I Show The Cultural Differences Between Japan And Other Countries (50 Pics)

I studied in Tokyo from 2010 to 2014 and noticed a lot of cultural differences between Japan and my country so to deal with my culture shock, I started creating comic strips about them. I hope my comics will help more foreigners like myself understand Japan and the Japanese people better, as well as increase awareness about some changes in behavior we might have to make when we visit.
These comic strips were selected from a collection of over 300 that I created between 2012 and 2015 and posted on my Facebook page. I also compiled these illustrations into two books: “Eva, Kopi and Matcha” and “Eva, Kopi and Matcha 2.0” which are available on Amazon and other eBook platforms (Kindle, iBooks, Google Books, Kobo).

More info: amazon.com | Instagram | Facebook

Curry

Takeaway

I heard that no take away of leftovers from restaurants and buffet was allowed because of a major food poisoning that happened some years ago. Caterers and restaurants did not want to be liable if anything happens. Bento is ok because they have an expiry date and storage instructions on the packaging

Drawing session

I was surprised when I attended a life drawing session in Tokyo and all the artists flipped their pages as soon as a break was announced. Perhaps the Japanese do not like to show off their work and prefer to keep things to themselves…?

Tattoos

If the tattoo is small, it can be covered with plaster to enter into the public bath houses or swimming pool.

Convenient stores

I often go to convenient stores to buy bento, snacks, cakes or vegetables when I was in Japan. Sometimes I will pass by their adult magazine section and wonder if I should play a prank by browsing through it and see the reaction of customers and staff. But I wasn’t brave enough and abandoned the idea…

Kids in trains

Seven wonders of Japanese

The 7th wonder can be found on my FB or blog.

Toilets

The toilets are always wet in Malaysia and there’s always no toilet papers.

Impressive customer service

No service charge and tips

Japanese service

Hairdresser

Accurate weather forecasts

Cyclists are considerate

The last stop

If you fall deep asleep on the bus in the US, it may be your last stop…

Getting off the train

Train etiquette

Giving way to those who really need to use the lifts

Diagonal crossing

The diagonal crossing will no longer be the same again!

Bus drivers

Picking up own (and others) trash

Kids after finishing their food

Designated smoking area

Safety

Amazing Japanese women at Shibuya

Dashing rickshaw pullers

Active elderly

Train stations

Amazing clean toilets

Clean and state-of-the-art Japanese toilets

Vending machines

There are vending machines almost everywhere, even at places where life-forms doesn’t seem to exist.

Eating noodles

Slurping noodles to eat in Japan is perfectly fine and it is said that they will taste better too.

Celebrating Christmas

Strangely Japanese celebrates Christmas not with turkey and ham, but with KFC…

Sushi rice

Somehow sushi rice will fall off when you eat outside of Japan…

Baths

Japanese enjoy taking hot baths too, especially hot spring baths. (monkeys are there for humor, you won’t get to dip with any, sorry!)

Comic conventions

Station masters

Stairs

There is a great number of staircases and very few escalators and lifts at smaller train stations.

Muscle training

You’ll get to train your muscles in Japan because there’s a lot of stairs, not many escalators, and lifts! So imagine all the luggage you have to carry up and down while transiting to the airport to train stations and in-between hotels…

Shinjuku station

It is a place where Google maps fail and all hope is lost to find the specific exits…

Recycle

Though it’s good to recycle…

Hiking

I really feel like melting recently…

Wet napkins

So do you use the wet napkin before or after or not at all?

Introducing

We only network with a plate full of food in our hands.

Changing rooms

I always dislike to try clothes during winter time and especially in Japan because you have to remove your shoes to try in their fitting room…

The real kitty

What if the excited girls know it’s a guy beneath the costume?

Fruits

Anybody bought the expensive Japanese fruits before? Like the melon or the insanely priced grapes…

Bugs

This idea was contributed by reader Kok Hong, quite interesting don’t you think? Probably because of our lack of interaction with nature that causes us to freak out whenever when we see insects.

Sayonara

“Sayonara” means goodbye but has a sense of finality to it, so don’t use it to your clients!

Hiring married women

Office toilet

I went to a Japanese company for an interview before I decided to leave Japan. When I went to the ladies toilet, I saw a nice wooden locker cabinet mounted on the wall with small compartments. I know Japanese are very particular about hygiene but to see a locker for toothbrushes and sanitary stuff is a whole new world for me…

Promotion

Japanese companies do not let employees specialize in one skill but instead be a Jack of all trades. So even if the employee graduated from an engineering school, they will place him in sales. During the promotion, they may even transfer a sales assistant manager to Human Resource!

Final decision

Although Japanese love to have meetings to gain a common consensus, they also may decide important things among themselves and simply let the employee know their final decision without discussing with them.

Name cards

Based on my friends’ real stories. Quite amazing that the CEO has to approve name cards too!

Why it takes forever for the Japanese to decide

This is based on the true story from my Japanese friend, that they need meetings to discuss when to hold the next meeting! The consensus from everyone is important but this delays making decisions…

Smartphones

You can’t turn off camera shutter sound on Japanese smartphones due to privacy and upskirt photo taking.

Japanese speak English

Based on the real story at a sushi restaurant…

Growing up

Kids are very pampered in Singapore…

Chichen rice stall

Taxi

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