I am Japanese, I live in Japan. I am English/Japanese bilingual and I have lived and worked in both Japan and the United States.
And do you know what really bothers me? Any time reddit talks about my country. Every so often a post about Japan will pop up in trending, like the post about the Miss Sherlock actress who committed suicide, or the recent TIL post about Japanese holidays.
And in every single thread about Japan the comments are always filled with people who have never been to or lived in Japan, who know literally nothing about Japan, making claims that aren’t even true. I don’t even know why I click on these threads anymore, I legitimately hate reading them. What makes it even worse is if you link to articles showing that their claims are incorrect they double down.
I’ll give an example. One of the many claims is about how “toxic” Japanese work culture is. These people are talking about the work culture of a country they have never lived or worked in, and are talking about thousands of companies as if they are all exactly the same. One of the common reddit claims is about how Japanese people work 18 hours a day and never get to see their families, and yet workers in Japan work less hours in a year than Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Koreans etc. How is everyone in Japan working 18 hours days every day when we are literally working less than those other countries and they’re not working 18 hours a day in those countries?
Another common claim is suicide. I regularly see comments claiming that Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world, and that’s not even close to true. According to the WHO Japan’s suicide rate (as of a few years ago) is 20.5 deaths per 100,000 population. Comparatively in that same year the rate in the United States was 21.1 deaths per 100,000 population and in Korea it was 29.6 per 100,000. Tell me again how do we have the highest suicide rate in the world? And our numbers are dropping btw.
Another thing I dislike is the “wacky Japan” claims. I remember like 10 years ago there was something going around online about “bagel heads”, saying that Japanese people get injections into their head that looks like a bagel. Yeah no we fucking don’t.
I hate kpop fans who go around on reddit saying that Japan is so evil because they tried to colonize Korea. That shit happened literally lifetimes ago. Japan has issued apologies to Korea on multiple occasions and paid them and yet it’s never good enough. Japan apologized in the 60s, the money that they paid was supposed to go to the victims and the Korean government instead used it on infrastructure. Apparently that doesn’t count because their government was very corrupt at that time and the victims didn’t get any money, so Japan apologized again in the 90s and set up a private fund so that they could ensure the money actually reaches the victims that time.
Still not good enough. And then Japan apologized against a few years ago and paid once more, but apparently that’s not good enough because their government was corrupt at that time. But it’s cool, it’s lots of fun to go on reddit and claim that Japan is so horrible because I like kpop and have never lived in either country and don’t knowing what I’m talking about. It’s cool to go on reddit and write claims about how all Japanese people hating Korea despite kpop and kdramas being extremely popular in Japan. That’s all cool I guess.
I see all kinds of crazy claims about my country on reddit but if I even try to explain that the claims are wrong and link to data which shows this then people argue with me and tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about despite that they don’t knowing anything about **my** country. I hate all the false claims, I hate the “wacky Japan” narrative, I hate people who don’t know anything about my country trying to tell me about my country. I hate the narrative that treats people from my country like robots who have to act a certain way.
I hate the Korean anti-Japan narrative that kpop fans push. F**k all of that sh*t man.