Why Are the Japanese So Honest?
One of the best things about life in Japan is being surrounded by people who are generally very honest and upstanding. While it’s important to not turn Japan into some kind of perfect ideal when it’s not — the liquor shop my in-laws run has been burglarized three times in the 23 years I’ve lived there for example — it is true that if you leave a wallet or camera on a park bench, you’ll probably get it back intact. A broader way to view Japan is that it’s chanto shiteru, translatable as an upright, honest and well-run country.
I see this tendency to be honest and do the right thing in a lot of places. The NTT employee who talked me out of signing up for the fastest and most expensive fiber optic internet because it would be a waste of my money. (This is in stark comparison to a friend who lived in northern India and told me the speed with which you get your phone line installed is proportional to how much you bribe the phone company employee.) The restaurant on top of Mt. Hakodate in Hokkaido that presents you with the most beautiful night view in Japan yet charges only $5 for a beer. The 20-year-old girl who called out to me after noticing that I’d dropped a 5000 yen note out of my pocket. The aftermath of the horrible 3.11.11 earthquakes and tsunami, which saw no looting or hoarding, only stoic calm. And so on…
Politicians are naturally expected to be upstanding citizens and follow the many rules that govern elections and campaign finance, as well. Currently Japan is experiencing a big scandal over some land that was sold at a discount to a school called Moriyama Gakuen, which has ties to the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Depending on how the scandal unfolds, it might shorten the career of Mr. Abe, already one of only two Prime Ministers with enough charisma and popularity to not get chased out of office after a year. The scandal also endangers Finance Minister Taro Aso, famous as Japan’s former “otaku Prime Minister” who loves manga and anime (including Haruhi and Rozen Maiden).
Why are the Japanese so honest? Why do you think?
We always stock great anime figures from Japan, and today we posted even more new ones, from a Super Sonico Racing figure to a new Aoba from New Game! and more. Lots of naughty “cast off” figures to browse, too. See them all here.