One of my co−workers asked me if we did Janken (Rock Paper Scissors) in the states. My answer was that yes, people do it but nothing like here in Japan. Somebody, maybe my father taught me rock−paper−scissors before but it was mostly a play thing. Here in Japan though whenever something has to be decided in a group of friends they will nearly immediately Janken for it. It happens so fast I hardly have time to remember how to play and if they tie they've started the next round before I've even had time to recognized that they tied.

My co−worker then asked, "then how do you guys make decisions?". An example would be you are at a party and there is one beer left. Who gets it? Maybe we might do "Eeny Meeny Minee Mow" but deciding among 4 or 5 people get gets harder and to be honest I couldn't remember how we'd do something like that. It seems like we'd just split the beer and/or a couple people would pass.

So, that got me wondering, are our cultures different because we don't play Janken? Meaning do American's, for example, share more because we don't have such a simple way to decide things? It just got me curious. I often wonder what's the origins that make our cultures different.

Some other examples of cultural differences. There is of course the current baloney about Korean's eating Dog. What nobody seems to mention is that they eat a specific kind of dog that's not the kind people keep as pets. Some French celebrity supposedly wanted France not to participate in the World Cup because of that yet of course the French have no problem eating cute little bunny rabbits.

Another difference between Korea and America is that in Korea, at home, generally there are no seats. Everybody just sits on the floor. It clearly used to be that way here in Japan. If you look at a traditional Japanese house it was just walls and tatami mats. No chairs. But, of course most houses here in Japan now have chairs, tables, sofas etc.

Another I read about today is the difference in how people want to experience history. To most Westerners, seeing the ruins of the Colosseum in Rome is connecting with history. It's the actual structure that was built hundreds of years ago and so that's connecting with history. But to some other cultures it's just an old crappy building. What they want is to experience the Colosseum as it was to the people that acutally used it so in their cultures they would tear it down and build a new one in the same style as the original so that the experince would be the same as it was back when it was built.

What's up with me now?
KEC Journal