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Some will shrug off their cultural identity altogether, refusing to talk about where they’re from and only wanting to focus on their Japanese life.
Another big mistake some foreigners make is to treat Japan like some sort of divine force which has the power to bring either misery or joy to their lives. The key to a happy, balanced attitude is in avoiding drawing comparisons between Japan and your home country.
Japan isn’t responsible for your happiness, and if you’re constantly unhappy here, there’s a good chance you’d be constantly unhappy somewhere else, too. Instead of trying to decide which aspects about each country are better or worse than the other, maybe just embrace the differences.
Culture shock is real and feels awful, but we’ve all known foreigners who choose to stay here year after year and yet just love to blame Japan for every last little thing that upsets them. When they first move to Japan, many people have visions of visiting each prefecture, hitting all the big temples and sightseeing spots, maybe getting some snowboarding or surfing in, and really getting into some of Japan’s cultural pastimes like karate or ikebana.
Pretty much every foreigner who has spent time in Japan will have tales of all the myriad ways they unwittingly did or said the wrong thing before fully acclimatising.
But today we’re not here to talk about accidentally stepping on tatami mats while wearing shoes, or talking on the phone while on the train, or any of the other insignificant little social snafus that we’ve all heard of before.