As I often write, I think one of my roles in the current job is, albeit unofficially, to bridge the cultural gap between Canadians and Japanese. I’ve found it is easier to explain a cultural difference to Canadians than to Japanese. When I talk about a difference (hoping it will make the job easier), Canadians typically say “aha, it is different from Canadian style”, while Japanese typically say “Canadians don’t understand the Japanese way”. What makes this difference?
Probably one of the reasons is the history. Canadians, as described as cultural mosaic, embrace diversity. Let me assume I do not need to explain the reason. On the other hand, Japan is, to make a long story short, composed of one ethnic group except for the Northern part and the Southern part for complicated historical reasons. (A large number of Koreans migrated to Japan a few thousand years ago, but their offspring are considered to be Japanese today. Probably I am one of them.) Therefore, Japanese people are generally conservative and do not accept diversity.
For other unknown reasons, when Japanese people find two different things, they, probably unconsciously, try to judge which is right or correct and which is wrong. This is one of the reasons why I prefer living in Canada to Japan. When I do something different from what the majority of people do, Japanese typically say “you are wrong” while Canadians generally say “that’s different”. Canadians have more acceptability. Probably they are more adaptable.
Perhaps one of the reasons of their reaction is my stance. For Canadian colleagues, I am a counterpart who gets closer to them. On the other hand, for Japanese coworkers, I am a fellow who stands on the other side.
Anyways, this is more interesting experience than I had previously expected. Now, let’s enjoys this.