Top 10 Reasons It’s Great to be Japanese (According to Japanese Women in Their 20s)

February 26, 2010

This is a translation of a poll done in which women in their 20s were asked about the moments they felt glad to have been born Japanese.

Here’s the list:

  1. Being moved by the deliciousness of rice and miso soup. / Eating Japanese food.
  2. Regularly bathing in hot water. / Taking hot baths and entering hot springs.
  3. Being able to live in safety everyday.
  4. Being able to experience all four seasons.
  5. When going abroad and seeing other cultures.
  6. Experiencing Japan’s wonderful traditions and history.
  7. Seeing Japanese workmanship or expertise recognized worldwide.
  8. When thinking how wonderful the culture of duty and humanity is. / When meeting kind people.
  9. Being able to read, write, and do math. / The fine educational system.
  10. Watching Japanese people succeed. / When a Japanese athlete gets a gold medal.

If you have ever been in Japan or interacted with people from Japan at any length, you may have noticed some of the naivete about other countries and cultures.  Number 4 is pretty high on the list, but something that many people think is uniquely Japanese. It is true that there are festivals and traditions associated with each season in Japan that can make a year fun, but you can also stump people who say this by pointing out that Australia, Korea, China, France, and plenty of other countries have four distinct seasons.

Number 3 is true if you think of direct crime, but there is more to safety than keeping just your wallet in your pocket.

I think number 2 is a great example of something that we can argue is a great thing about life in Japan. A hot bath on a cold day, going to a hot spring with a bunch of friends, a big family bath, and if you every get the chance to visit an outdoor hot spring in the winter, please don’t hesitate to take that chance.

Another thing I like about this list, as a non-Japanese long time resident of Japan, is that none of the items on the list are exclusively the property Japanese citizens. Visitors and non-citizens can appreciate the seasons, a nice hot spring, and a good bowl of rice as well as citizens can.


1 George Donnelly February 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

The hot springs and the food are absolutely wonderful, that’s for sure!

2 jay February 27, 2010 at 9:46 am

I could go for a nice big bowl of tonkotsu ramen right about now!