Japan isn’t perfect

Before I explain, let me just say that I love Japan, and I love living there.  I find that my life is far more interesting and fulfilling than it was in Canada.  However, there are some people around the world who seem to hold Japan in high regards as the most ideal place to be (I’m looking at you, Japanophiles and foreign anime otaku).  Japan is just like any other country.  It has social problems (suicide, public drunkenness, crime, racism, etc) just like any other country.

Last night, I had a pretty negative experience in Tokyo.  I won’t go into too much detail, but I’ll outline what happened.  On a train platform, a man was talking on his phone and backing up, nearly running into me.  I made a remark in English that people should be careful about walking backwards, as this was the second time that day that someone did that.  He must have overheard me because around 30 seconds later, he came up behind me and pushed me toward the tracks and started yelling at me.  Then he kneed me in the leg and yelled at me some more.  He was either drunk or thought I’d be an easy target as I’m a foreigner in Japan.  Well, he didn’t push or hit very hard, as I never experienced any pain.  He was just trying to intimidate me, rather than hurt me, I think.  But in any case, what he did was physical assault.  Since I’m a calm person, I just walked away and never saw him again.  Inside, I was furious at him.

This was an isolated incident, and was just the act of an idiot.  It coincided with the 65th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War of World War II, so maybe he was one of those nationalist extremists in Japan.  Who knows?  But if he tries this again with someone who isn’t as calm as I am, he may run into a lot of trouble and a lot of hurt.

There are idiots everywhere in the world.

8 Comments

Filed under Daily Life

8 responses to “Japan isn’t perfect

  1. Good for you for acting so calm. I am not sure I could have been so forgiving.

    • I’ve never hit a person in my life, and I wasn’t going to start over something like this. Frankly, he didn’t deserve any attention. I’m normally a very calm person, and don’t let things like this get to me.

  2. You did exactly what you should have. I don’t know that I could have walked away from someone kicking me either. I might have at least called the station attendant over to deal with the guy.

    • Well, someone was with me and was pulling me away. I went willingly, because I didn’t want to have anything to do with this guy at all. I didn’t even think about going to the station attendant.

  3. ChupaCabras

    I have several Japanese friends that grew up in Latin American countries and moved back to Japan in their teenage years. So they have a broader view of Japan and Japenese customs. They tell me that lot of Japanese people have anger problems at work but dont confront their bosses in an assertive manner because it’s just not the Japanese way of doing business. But a few of them will take out their anger on strangers on the street or train but mostly neighbors and family.

    I personnally would have not let someone push me towards the track of a train no matter who they are, I feel that is threat against my life. Either that person would have gotten a beaten or I would have gotten security involved.

    A few weeks ago I was driving and a small van swerved to moved out of the way of a parked vehicle instead of slowing down or speeding up. The van’s mirror hit mine and my mirror folder in, I slowed down and stopped half a block away to asses the situation. The van pulled up next to me and started yelling and screeming. I dont understand much Japanese but I was not about to stand for someone yelling at me when as far I was concerned they were at fault for hitting my mirror. So I calmly but in a loud voice so he could hear me over his own shouting told him I was going to call the police to sort this out and started to get out of my car. At this time the person begun to apology and ask me if I was ok and my car was ok. Shortly after that we both went on our way. Neither car was damaged.

    • Yeah, I know all about how people are stressed out. Quite often, when alcohol is combined, their usual restraint fails and they let everything out. I’ve seen these outbursts several times late in the evening. I know a police officer that works in train stations, and he said that there are some strange people in the stations at night, lots of drunk people, and even thieves who take advantage of drunk passengers who have fallen asleep.

  4. Yossy

    Oh! You had a big trouble.
    So when you see the strange man you have to leave as soon as possible.

    Dont watch the strange people and keep standing.
    You have to exercise rannig a way.
    This is the best way in the world.

    Take care yourself,
    Keep your safely.

    • Everything was ok, so no harm done. I don’t like confrontation like this, so walking away is the best thing. If he’d followed me, I would have gone to the station master to call security.

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