Category Archives for News in Japan

Japanese Schools VS American Schools

What are the Differences of Japanese Schools and American Schools?What Differences to Expect When Going to School in Japan

Good Japanese Students are Seen Not Heard, American Students are Loud and Opinionated

There are a few things to understand about Japanese Schools and how they relate to American standard schools, and it comes down to the way you are taught, what the teacher expects from you and how you are graded.

In American schools, there is a lot of freedom to expression opinions and to ask questions. In fact, it’s said to be that those who take advantage of this idea are the ones who get the most of out classes in America and get the best grades. Whereas those who go to school in Japan will notice that it’s not as appropriate to ask questions in class, it’s more appropriate to ask questions after class or to ask your friends and classmates instead. It’s more of a virtue to be quiet during class, and by being ‘quiet’ you are seen as a good student in Japan, and with that, your grades can and many times will improve simply based off of that fact alone.

It's possible to learn Japanese while watching your favorite anime

There is no eating or drinking in the class room or sitting on desks in Japan classrooms, whereas in America this custom is beginning to be the normality of going to school. When it comes to studying in Japan be it from 1st grade to University, the teacher will simply write down notes on the blackboard, and you will be responsible for taking down those notes and remembering them. Whereas in America the teachers do not use the blackboard as often and ask questions of the students while teaching. In Japan, it’s not very often you will see a teacher asking questions to their classroom.

When it comes to examinations, American classes rooms will expect you to be able to write down facts, names and history, but not only that but to form your opinion based around it as well. In Japan the notes you took while in class are simply the answers for many examinations, and you simply must just remember the facts. Although these two systems seem very opposite, the formulation of the illegal standards of Common Core in America is quickly leaving American school children behind. At this point although the Japanese system is a bit odd to us westerns, Japan is ranked #2 in schools in education in the world (from 2014) just under South Korea, whereas America was ranked #14.

So either way you want to look at it, Japanese students and the way they teach seem to be working much better then the American standards. No matter what the cultural shock may be, this remains to be a fact. But I often wonder with so much freedom overall given to American students if it creates a different kind of education, more of an opinionated one that could very well be the American spirit of freedom to do what one wishes. If one wishes to become more educated the platforms of doing so are there, as I’m sure it is in Japan if one wishes as well.

If you are interested in going to school in Japan contact us on Facebook and can will help you find a school in the area you’d like to study in. I’d also suggest checking out my free Japanese learning resources here that will help you become more proficient in speaking, reading, writing and understanding Japanese.

So now you know the differences between Japanese Schools and American Schools!

Ever See a Albino Sea Cucumber?

The newest addition to the Fukuoka Aquarium Albino Sea CucumberFukuoka Aquarium’s Albino Sea Cucumber

A rare white namako (sea cucumber) has wowed visitors to an aquarium in the city of Fukuoka recently, prompting many to make their wish for good luck on the marine creature.

Better Ways to Learn Japanese Fluently

The white sea cucumber is thought to be an albino, with its pigments mutated for unexpected reasons. The rare marine life recently debuted at the Marine World at Uminonakamichi aquarium in Fukuoka.

Aquarium official Takumi Orii pitched the new exhibit, saying: “It may bring good luck. We’d like people to come and see it.”

The namako is about 15 cm long and weighs 75 grams. A local fisherman found it in January and offered it to the aquarium.

With the assistance of aquarium staff, visitors can even “feel” the namako by touching it, the aquarium said.

What Do Hikikomori’s Have to do With Birth Decline in Japan?

Why is Japan's Birth rate declining?Japan: Population Crisis 2016

Recluses and Overworked Husbands…

So what is all this talk about Japan and their population declining? Some say that they have enough people crammed over there already so whats the big deal? Well lets go through this and really analyze the situation so we can both better understand the decrease in birth rate in Japan.

Better Ways to Learn Japanese Fluently

Hikikomori in Japan Book

I recommend Shutting out the Sun for those wishing to learn more about the social implications of Hikikomori in Japan.

Right now the Japanese population has one of the lowest birth rates in the entire world. But at the very same time we see that they have the longest living populace. So Japan is leaning more towards the elderly. So if you are looking to learn Japanese, it’s best to start speaking the elderly language (which you can begin learning here).

But to continue on, just a few years ago Japan peaked 128 million people living in the bounds of Japan. The population is set to decline by around 1,000,000 people every single year from now on. It’s said that by the year 2060 it’s estimated that there will only around 80-85 million people living inside Japan. More then half will be 60-65 years of age.

At this pace Japan will not have enough people to take care and support all of the elderly that have retired. This will create huge problem in the long run. But maybe Japan’s robot city will come to the rescue?

But Why is the Japanese Birth Rate So Low?

Well if you checked out my post about how to properly say the word sake (Sah-Kay) you’ll also remember an anime called ‘Welcome to the NHK’ where a hikikomori name Sato locks himself in his apartment, playing games, watching porn and basically just not mingling with the outside world. This syndrome is a real condition in Japan. Most of these hikikomori’s end up shutting themselves in their apartments or at their parents house with absolutely NO human contact beyond those who take care of them.

In fact there are a few government out reach programs whose sole job is to help them come back into society. There is even a program where female outreach therapists known commonly as ‘rental sisters’ come to push the hikikomori out into the world again. Many times these hikikomori’s will become recluse’s because of a rejection by a woman or by general embarrassment in society.

But this can’t be the only reason why the society as a whole is dropping the birth-rate ball? Well, it’s a huge part but it’s also because many people in Japan are no longer getting married, and it comes down to a woman being tied down strictly to raising kids while their husband works 50 hours a week, hoping that karoshi (death from over work) doesn’t sneak in and steal away their husband in the dead of night.

A Japanese husband on average will help with the children and housework 1 hour a day, compare that with western men who help 3 hours a day. It’s a huge difference, and because of this many woman are not looking forward to getting with anyone and starting a family. The Japanese government is looking to push further incentives for house wives to have children and be able to work to pay for their family by offering more government assisted programs for day-care so they no longer have to choose between being able to survive, have children and a husband and not jump in front of a train.

So there you have it, over worked husbands, higher costs of living and hikikomori’s…

As you can already see I attached the first episode of “Welcome to the NHK” above. I’ll be adding this series in the Anime and Manga section soon!