What Has Japan Taught Me About England?

This is my last minute entry into November’s Japan Blog Matsuri. I was going to skip it this month, as the question, “What has Japan taught you about yourself?”, would require me to take a deep look inside and pull out something wise and intelligent. Instead, here are a few things Japan has taught me about England…

Ascending the throne

When I first came to Japan, people would say “Give my regards to the queen!”, but soon after, David Beckham became the name that most Japanese associated with my home country and I couldn’t get through a single introduction without someone mentioning him. What did this teach me about England? It taught me that it doesn’t take much to impress the Japanese.

English food is crap

While I still have a fondness for English food, the general consensus is English food is bland and overpriced. What has this overwhelmingly popular opinion taught me? I love bland and overpriced food.

Englishmen are gentlemen

This is a good example of a lie told again and again becomes the truth. Despite exports such as rule-breaking Harry Potter, foul-mouthed Wayne Rooney, and gun-toting Prince Harry, the Japanese population still believe Englishmen are gentlemen. I think they’ve been watching too much Mary Poppins, but this has taught me that no matter how rude and unsophisticated British society becomes, we will always be gentlemen to the Japanese.

English is really hard

I’ve learned that the English language is incredibly difficult, and have huge respect for anyone who can speak two or more languages. [Edit: I also have huge respect for those who try to learn a second language, but fail miserably. 😉 ]

In summary…

While writing this, I’ve been drinking a hot “One Cup Sake” – perfect for a wintry evening. Unfortunately, it has failed to stimulate my imagination beyond the points above. I’ll see if a few more cups can’t work their magic next month when I host the Japan Blog Matsuri on JapanSoc. Stay tuned!

Kudos to Danielle for hosting this month!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “What Has Japan Taught Me About England?

  1. I say, jolly good piece old chap! I’m sure you uphold the great gentlemanly tradition here in Japan. Though I’m yet to visit England what I’ve seen of the way immigrants to Australia cook and what the English have done to, say, Indian food doesn’t exactly put them on my list of cuisines to learn – though a good roast is a treat (perhaps that’s English) and Fish and Chips is one of the world’s truly great inventions! Regards to Her Majesty!

  2. Nick, I’m surprised at you putting down the great British gentleman. I can assure you that there are still very many of them about, but they are quieter than the louts so you don’t hear about them so much. They don’t find the need to attract attention.

    English foood is never bland. It is mostly quite delicious. Have you forgotten sausages, egg and bacon, steak and kidney pie, apple pie and custard, hotpot, shepherds pie and your once time favourite trout with almonds. I could go on and on. You’ve been away too long.

  3. I know that that last part to that last point was totally about me Nick!!! P.S. It’s nice to have your respect! 😉

  4. Good one about the gentlemen! I took my father-in-law back to meet the relatives this summer, and the one thing he disliked the most about his experience was when staying with my parents it was always Ladies First when serving food!

  5. Things I’ve learned in Japan about America and myself

    1. Who Bob Sapp is.

    2. What it is like to be an minority.

    3. American food is unhealthy depsite the fact that I’m usually told this by a ji ji with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other with a plate full of greasy Izakaiwa food in front of him.

    4. American = White person, though I hope Obama will change this.

    5. Often when something seems perfectly logical to me it probably has deep social ramifications that I’m completely unaware of. ie wearing house slippers outside to get the mail.

    6. I was probably Japanese in a past life because I’m a Buddhist and I like temples.

    7. Natto, raw horse, raw whale won’t kill you, but mochi might.

    1. Haha, that’s a Matsuri entry in its own right!

      I can’t believe you wear your house slippers outside. Better those than toilet slippers I suppose. 😉

  6. “What Long Countdown Has Taught Me About My Own Blog”

    Snacks eaten while browsing my own blog are bland and tasteless, but snacks eaten while checking out “Long Countdown” are freaking delicious!

  7. Your blog continues to impress me Nick. How you come up with interesting things on a constant basis kinda amazes me!
    I do think your mum got it right though on the English Gentleman thing. My mother married an English man and while we never got on great, he was a gentleman and was wonderful to my mother. I do know quite a few English Gentlmen and even a couple of young ones to boot.

    “Steve in Nagoya” you really crack me up mate and number 7 was spot on!!
    Mike your japanese is not that bad!!

    1. Well said Keith. I continue reading LongCountDown because Nick is always writing something worth reading! Good work on keeping the topics interesting Nick! 🙂

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