3 Common Japanese Stereotypes: Agree or Disagree?

  • Whoever you are and wherever you go, there are common conventional thoughts that people will normally characterize you based on your nationality. This is what you call “stereotyping.” It can be both positive and negative. Americans are stereotyped as friendly, generous, hardworking and optimistic in the positive sense. Negatively, they are viewed as materialistic, racist, gun-loving, environmentally-unconscious and many more. How about the Japanese people? Below are some of the most common Japanese stereotypes you may have heard of.

    1. Japanese Girls are Sweet and Cute

    It is said that Japanese girls often try to act cute in order to attract men. This is probably where the word “kawaii” came from. Kawaii means lovable, cute or adorable. Cuteness is accepted in Japan as part of their culture. The idea of cuteness is ever more popular nowadays which can be seen in their lolita fashion or kawaii fashion.

    2. Polite and Shy

    It is quite often when you can find a Japanese person who’s usually polite and less outspoken. This is one of the unshakable characteristics of their personality and culture which is passed from one generation to the other. They try to respect other person’s opinion without causing an argument. Most of them would love to be part of the crowd rather than lead it. They don’t seem to like too much attention!

    3. Getting Married Late

    Statistically speaking, the population in Japan keeps on declining. One factor is the late age couples marry in the country. A Japanese friend once told me that it is primarily caused by business at work and lack of day care centers as well as babysitters who will take care of the children while parents are working. The financial situation has a big influence on the number of children in the typical Japanese family.

    1. Anna Knecht says:

      First of all, most Japanese women don’t act cute. Japan men usually don’t act cute at all. You can’t just generalize and say, and I quote, “Both men and women act cute in Japan.”

      Secondly, while it is true that the Japanese population is shrinking, the reason for that is not the late age couples marry. In fact, in Japan, people tend ot get married earlier than in many European countries. For example, while the average marriage age in Japan is 29,3 for women and 30,9 for men, in Germany it is 30,7 for women and 33,5 for men.
      Also, while it is indeed difficult to get a spot in a day care center (but let’s be honest, in which country isn’t it hard to get one?), that shouldn’t be a factor either, since in Japan it is still common practice for women to stop working after giving birth.

      Please do better research and don’t generalize.

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