parts of Japanese culture

I’m watching One Piece, the saga of the Fishman Island. The huge arc Noah is falling towards the island. The king told everyone to evaluate. At first some of the townspeople started to, but then stopped. They were saying, “Luffy is fighting for us! What courage! I can’t leave! I trust him! I will stay here!” So everybody stayed on the island.

WHAT THE HELL!? He is fighting to SAVE you! What if he failed? Wouldn’t he want to know you were safe? Wouldn’t it be less pressure off his mind if you were safe? It’s like, there’s a gun pointed at you and someone steps in front. If the dude actually pulled the trigger, the guy in front CAN’T dodge, cuz you refused to move! It’s like, none of the heros want their loved ones near them when they battle, because the loved ones might get hurt. That makes no sense….it’s harder for the person trying to save you, no?

GET OFF THE FREAKING ISLAND, Fisherdudes. _< ; You might say that it’s just another dumb part of a movie where the audience groans. But no, I think that it is a cultural statement about Japanese people. That specific way of thinking: This guy is ganbatteiru-ing (doing his best) and sacrificing himself, so we ALL have to ganbaru (work hard) and sacrifice OURSELVES, too. Look how many people stayed behind and are living near Fukushima, the nuclear power plants? I mean, I’m not presumptuous to know exactly how those people feel about losing their homes. But people lived off the land, not vice versa.  People’s lives are more important than land. How can you argue that? I mean, if someone is invading, you wanna stand up for your home- I can understand that principle. But for a natural disaster where you can’t DO anything to effect it? I can’t understand. If a wildfire was wiping through the forests of Western Mass, I would grab my laptop and get out. lol So these recent One Piece episodes have disturbed me a little bit, after realizing this. I’ve always been so inspired by Japanese values and their hard work ethic- it’s what made me fall in love with Japan in the first place. However, I can’t accept this way of thinking. I am not saying ALL Japanese people are like this. Just, many. energy steriods
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Also on One Piece, the bad guys are taking “Energy Steriods,” and it makes them big and powerful. But the characters say, “Oh that’s FAKE power. That’s not REAL power you earned with your own hard work!”

SO they were really coming down hard on steriods. I really liked that…. they actually put that idea out in One Piece 😀

Next, about my last lesson last night. One adult student comes late and is really struggling to learn. Being forced is NOT conducive to learning. I had a feeling his company was forcing him to come study English, and I felt bad because he didn’t want to. But his company expects him to ganbaru.

Actually, in that class, another student had said something in Japanese she couldn’t explain in English and it wasn’t in my dictionary, so I was hanging around to ask the staff what it meant. They were busy, though, so I sat in the lobby. That previously mentioned student was talking to our staff in Japanese, and overheard. Something about if he doesn’t get 80% he might get fired. Then he begged her to write that he was present even if he was absent, and our staff was like, ‘Sorry, we can’t do that….or other students will ask us…’

Then I realized that the 80% was attendance record. :/ I mean, if your company is paying for your language lessons, they want to make sure you attend and don’t just stay home. I felt bad for the guy even more. I can’t do anything to help the situation! All I can do is try and make a fun class for him and his classmates. ~_~ I was really trying to make it fun, but it’s so hard sometimes.

Many students don’t bring motivation to the table, but that’s one of my goals – find a way to motivate our students of ALL ages to enjoy learning English!!…

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