Published on March 7th,2010 at 4:03 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Japan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to read


A good friend of mine pointed out this Kotaku article to me. I am sure that you have heard about Kotaku; a US based Video Game Blog/Magazine that is pretty popular around the web. They posted the following article: Japan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, that I would like to share with you today, not because this article is completely truthful, but simply because it is interesting in many ways.

I have to confess that I am not a reader of Kotaku, I know the website but have never felt comfortable reading it. I am more interested in reading its direct competitor Joystiq for example. Also I have to admit that I do not know or have never heard about the person who wrote this Article, Tim Rogers, who I am sure is a decent guy that I would like to have the pleasure of meeting one day.

Now back to Tim Rogers’ article, Japan: It’s Not Funny Anymore. First of all I strongly advise you to take the time to read it. It is a very lengthy article but Tim Rogers describes many things that I have to agree with, like its rant on “Japanese Comedy” or Drama on TV…Never have I seen such bad acting in my life… The “Mandatory Parties” with your co-workers, clients, suppliers… The poor quality of “today’s Anime”…

Even though I have to agree with some points he made and detailed very well, on the other hand I was saddened by Tim Rogers’ lack of perspective. First and foremost, I have to strongly disagree with his first Paragraph

“I’ve lived in Japan for a long time. When I first came here, I liked living here. Now, I don’t. I haven’t changed. Japan hasn’t really changed, either. Something else, however, has.”

This makes absolutely no sense at all, how can someone who apparently lived in a foreign country for that long say “I haven’t changed”. This is, and I am sorry Tim… absolutely ludicrous. I myself have lived in 3 different countries for a quite long time and been in Japan now for 8 years. Each year I spent overseas changed me from the day I left my home country to today. At 36 years old I realize that I am no longer the same bloke I was 15 years ago. Add to this that age, people you meet, working experience and so on all have an effect on you and your personality; how can Tim Rogers start his article by proclaiming that he has not changed?

Despite describing Japanese society pretty well, I really regret Tim’s lack of perspective, yes Japan and Japanese can seem weird to us, yes us foreigners, people who have grown up in a different country with a different culture and education… But Japan is not any weirder than Hong-Kong where I lived or even China where I spent a lot of time and, guess what, Japan is now not even any weirder than my own country! Where strikes and “kidnapping company’s executives” became a national pastime.
Not any weirder to me than the USA for example, the so call land of the Free, where buying some video games may be more difficult in a certain state than buying a Gun! Or where in Virgina for example the General Assembly approved a bill that allows people to carry concealed weapons in restaurants or bars where alcohol is served. An interesting article in the New York Times even explains and I quote “the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month.” (Please check out the full article from The New York Times here).

Now yes, Japan is changing, and things may not be as fun as in the past, but we have to keep in mind that we all changed!

Also we have to keep in mind, that whether we like it or not, we, myself included, are just “Guests” in Japan or any other foreign country we have lived or will live. And as a Guest we have to adapt to this new environment without judging it or interfering with it.
We also have to remember that we are “ambassadors” of our own country and have to behave respectfully in any foreign countries we are living in or visiting. I have seen in Japan many of my countrymen acting like jerks – giving a bad impression, without realizing, of all other foreigners living in Japan or anywhere else for that matter.

However, I also agree that when living in a different, foreign country it is our duty to share our experience in order to teach others something new, but we are not here to force our way of life onto the people and the country that is now taking care of us…

So basically while I admit that Tim Rogers describes correctly a part of Japanese society, he unfortunately failed to describe its many other wonders. In my opinion, Tim Rogers lost all perspective and if I have the chance to meet him I will suggest him to spend a couple of months back in his own country, where I am sure he will also see how things have changed there as well.
Personally when I am starting to get tired or feel uncomfortable in the country where I live, I try to fly back home for a couple of weeks, to realize that I am better off living overseas, discovering new things everyday like a 21st century Indiana Jones.

PS : It’s being raining the last 3 days and I could not shoot this week-end Let’s Visit Tokyo video… Hope next Saturday will be better !

Via Kotaku
Category Misc
Japan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to readJapan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to readJapan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to readJapan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to readJapan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to readJapan: It’s Not Funny Anymore, an Interesting article to read
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  • Niels

    trough == to go trough something.
    I think you mean truth?
    Your piece is a bit difficult to read because of a lot of spelling errors :)
    Please review your article so it becomes more readable.
    I am also not an English speaker, but if you write that many mistakes, please use a spelling corrector first and read your text again 2-3 times before posting.

    Good luck :)

  • rado

    block or bloke?

  • Author

    I would like to comment on two things in this article. The first being that the article made a bad impression on me due to the random pieces of text made bold.

    The second is that the author attributes his/her changing personality on living abroad. But completely forgets that he has aged as well in that time. I don’t know about other people, but I barely recognize myself from 5 years ago while I’ve lived in my native country all that time.

  • Tom

    Bottom line, 99.9% of Japanese are miserable, xenophobic little people. And yes, I escaped from there long ago. End of story.

    • L. M. Lloyd

      Bottom line, 99.9% of Americans are miserable, xenophobic little people.

      Bottom line, 99.9% of Chinese are miserable, xenophobic little people.

      Bottom line, 99.9% of French are miserable, xenophobic little people.

      Bottom line, 99.9% of PEOPLE are miserable, xenophobic little people.

      It doesn’t change just because you went to a different country.

      End of story.

    • johnsmith

      comments like that make you sound like a xenophobic little person. end of story.

    • L. M. Lloyd

      I don’t think the word “xenophobic” means what you think it means. To say that everyone in the world is the same kind of ass, might not be flattering, but it is the very opposite of being xenophobic.

    • Max

      Maybe the real reason as to why you feel that way is because you have a problem with yourself and any race of people can pick up on that. Learn to love yourself and the rest will follow suit. I’m a foreigner working with the Japanese and I have to say they treat me better than my own people do.

  • Noel Koutlis

    Very interesting read, although I’m Greek-Austrian living in Greece all my life, I understand Daimaou very clear. There’s nothing wrong with some spelling errors the other commenters said, we got the idea.

    Ancient Greeks pushed their kids to travel to countries to learn other cultures and bring back some fresh view on things (and some gold if possible).

  • wim piemel

    Although the article about “japan it’s not funny anymore” is indeed very well written and touches on japan’s weak points quite well, it’s also an article written by someone who might just have been living in tokyo a bit too long. When you’re not native japanese, there are just a few things in japanese society that you may never get used to. In fact, that’s not a bad thing at all. Many japanese who travel abroad feel the same when they come back to japan.
    Also I think that as a “gaijin” in japan you can actually enjoy not being japanese. You can get away with not conforming to many japanese customs. It’s easy to complain about the job ethics of the japanese but when you’re not comfortable with that you should just find a different job. There’s a reason that many gaijin in japan have their own, more western-oriented companies with a more relaxed management and more room to have a personal life besides your job.

  • Leon

    A crybaby he is, Tim-SAN.

  • 39 cents

    i think the people here complainging about his grammor errors have also lost their perspective.. its not perfect, but its legible, and understandable. daimaou prolly speaks like 15 languages. cut him some slack.

    great atricle btw. and thanks for the link to the other one.. ill read it now.

  • Mantari

    This rant was so personal and bitter that I couldn’t force myself to read very far into it. TL;DNR summary seems to be “An exasperated overreaction to all all-too-human contradiction in an opening paragraph.”

  • Datchan

    i did read Tim Rogers’ article and i would like to fully agree
    with everything you are commenting/saying regarding his perspective and
    i would,also, like to add that he is just being too absolute to his points of view
    and does not seem to want to see the positives that that country is providing him with!

    thnx again for your side of the article because it seems that all the comments under his article are
    one that agree with him and there is nobody to show him a different line of perspective! :)

  • UK Guy

    Having read both, I agree with your point of view. I’m British and have lived here all my life. British TV and music has gone in the shitter as far as I’m concerned too, but instead of call the waambulance I just don’t watch or buy it. If enough people feel the same, they just won’t either.

    I will soon myself move to Taiwan for work – a big life change – and I completely agree with your sentiment that despite all attempts at naturalisation I fully expect we’ll always be outsiders and ambassadors to our home nations.

    No matter where you are from the world changes and people change with it. 10 years ago we were on dial-up internet for crying out loud. Tim isn’t complaining about Japan, he’s almost complaining about a generation he doesn’t understand through rose tinted glasses.

  • palfrei

    I don’t think people truly change but they do adapt. What we change is how we fit in general but not how or who we are.

    From where I stand, if Japan isn’t funny anymore it is due to the fact it was never supposed to be funny. It turned out to be like that for caucassians because they wanted to have the same kind of power the mighty west threw at them during WWII, they just couldn’t be less because they have always been a proud a culture [remember that untill Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese people still believed their emperor was a living divinity and being powerless to stop the power of the atom he had to admit all the emeperors had been mere mortals].

    I’m 27, I grew up reading and watching lots of Japanese media and they usually made me feel embarrassed and sorry for them because they thought they had to lower their standards and mock the “decadent West” in order to compete with it in equal terms. This doesn’t apply to Japan alone since the Chinese have strict phisical requirements for their foreign affairs personnel: they must be 1.75 m tall at least otherwise they would stand lower compared to first world diplomats thus looking weaker and potentially submissive.

    I’m not an extremist but Yukio Mishima had already warned the Japanese and the world about this in 60′s. Yes, he was a totalitarian idealist but he had a point regarding Japan’s “degradation”, to Western “eyes”: amusement and now they seem to be reverting their state to a way more truthful to their origins.

  • chyro

    Even with all my cynicism, I can’t deny your weather excuse this time. It really was a pretty bad week-end… Soon comes a 3-days week-end, you could go on holiday and take us a video of “Visit Japan: Kyushu” or something ^^
    People carry concealed weapons in bars, and alcohol is severed? That’s horrible! I’d rather have my arm severed and my alcohol served than the other way round. (Or not.) By the way, have you considered giving proofreading rights to some (few) (trusted) readers?
    And yeah, Japanese acting is amongst the worst I’ve seen. I also find the stage design to be flat and non-immersive. But I like them anyway ^^

  • daimaou

    First of all I would like to apologies for the many mistakes in this article I published it without reviewing it… I don’t know what happened to me this week but I slept all week long and I apparently was not fully wake-up when I wrote this article.

    Anyway, Matt is now proof reading this, and hope it will be better soon ;-)

  • Sakaphoto

    The honeymoon is over.

    Let me guess, Tim Rogers is a white late 20-ish, early 30-ish guy from the U.S.A.

    I stopped reading just past the “don’t apologise” bit.

    I’m half-Japanese, half-white and I’ve lived on both sides. I’ve watched Americans love Japan and Japanese for no good reason and be extremely scary about it. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than when they hated Japan and the Japanese people. I’ve experienced both and the fists were hurtful but the weird adoration was incredibly crazy later.

    Every American I’ve known who had that weird adoration came back hating Japan (or some other country) because it wasn’t what the anime and video games showed them it would be. There isn’t a perfect country and if you think it’s exactly what you see and hear, stay home! Even when I returned to Japan at 25 years old, I still met with prejudice and I overcame it partly.

    Seriously though, life in any country is not going to be the same as it was in your country. If you expect that, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re inflexible, you’ll be angry. I see it here in the U.S.A. as well, as the Spanish-speakers want the U.S.A. to use Spanish instead of English. I speak Spanish, also, so I know the real mood.

    I just don’t understand why Japan has to be the U.S.A. (or the U.S.A. has to be a Spanish-speaking country) to satisfy people. I know that I apologise too much and I talk to myself and I bow even when I’m not in Japan, but why should I change to meet the expectations of other people?

    • L. M. Lloyd

      You know, now that I think about it, you’re right. I have several friends who live in Japan, and are quite happy there, but all of them just kind of ended up there because that is where their work took them. All of the people I know who idolized Japan, and went over their thinking it was the most amazing place on Earth, all ended up back home disgusted with the country, and with nothing but bad things to say about it, and sounding a lot like the guy who wrote the Kotaku article.

      Personally, I bounce back and forth between Japan and the US, and think more and more of spending the bulk of my time over there, rather than in the US. I love the country, but after hearing all the horrible stories my friends had to tell on coming back, and the wonderful stories of my friends who lived there, I really didn’t know what to expect the first time I went.

  • L. M. Lloyd

    I kind of feel sorry for the guy who wrote the Kotaku article. The vast majority of what he complains about, isn’t really that unique to Japan. Sure, the superficial stuff, like people smoking in an organic vegetarian cafe might be different, but a lot of the workplace rituals, and deeper social issues, are just as common here in the US as they are anywhere. I openly laughed when he seemed to think that judging a person’s worth by how much they have in the bank was a Japanese thing! The author of the article has obviously been away from America too long, and has forgotten what life is like over here. If he thinks coming back to the US is going to somehow make life cheaper, less full of unimaginative chain stores, and less burdened by social expectations and rules, then he is in for a shock when he gets here. By the same token, he is in for a very harsh awakening if he has somehow come to believe that what clothes you wear don’t determine how people treat you over here.

    It sounds a lot to me like someone who has grown up, and become disillusioned with life, and is blaming it on where he lives, while romanticizing the land of his childhood. The world in general is a lot less fun for all of us when we are no longer children, and no matter where you go, you are likely to find a lot of what this author thinks upsets him about Japan. It is just how adult life is.

  • Dapprman

    The first impression I got from wading through what I can best describe as a xenophobic rant is … why is he there ? It’s obvious he does not like being in Japan, it’s obvious that he does not, despite his many years there, understand or even try to understand the culture, and the examples he gives (the greetings for example) make him sound like a very hard person to work/be with. I’ll be surprised if the term urusei has not been thrown at him more than a few times.

    I think another thing I found annoying about this piece was that many of his complaints would equally fit many other Western countries. His writing style and attitude infer he is going to struggle where ever he lays his hat. I think he has failed to realise that along with Japan changing (against his supposition) the whole world has as well, and much more for a safer, blander form of reality.

  • Sarariman

    References to Yukio Mishima and xenophobia? Give me a break. The article was about a man disillusioned with a country that he at one point might of adored. I doubt this guy moved to Japan simply for the anime-coated fantasies some would like to believe in. The guy simply complained, ad nauseam perhaps, about particular aspects of Japanese culture and, like a stereotypical Japanese old man, people came down on him for having his own opinion. Take it easy, Akihabara News.

    • Atkins

      “people came down on him for having his own opinion. Take it easy, Akihabara News.”
      So basically you come down on Akihabara news for having its own opinion with your own opinion?

    • Atkins

      Also., please try to separate things in paragraphs, please.
      “References to Yukio Mishima and xenophobia? (…) Take it easy, Akihabara News.”
      Otherwise you make it sound like the Akihabara news came with those references and not the commenters.

  • Don Corleone

    I enjoyed the essay by Tim Rogers. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Japan many times, and can understand some of what he is saying about the politeness, the uniformity, and oddities of such a foreign culture. But I think Tim would totally crack in NYC, where instead of politeness there is rudeness, uniformity is transformed to complete inconsistency, and the odd stuff (like the parties, drinking, smoking) – damn, I wish I could have a smoke in a bar.

    Maybe living there would change my impression of Japan, but every time I visit I have a great time and meet interesting people. Even the small stuff – customs at Narita neatly and carefully repacked my bag after a search. I had to stop them because most of the clothes were dirty.

    But Tim, if you’re reading – Japan makes NYC look like the Flintstones. Come back to the states for a vacation, that’ll clear your mind – this place is falling apart. peace

  • sod

    if you wish to see tim rodgers from about 4 years ago search for him on you tube. you might change your opinion of him (for the worse) he even says he lies alot and he does so on the video. just catch the ‘am i getting away with this glances’ to the camera. oh and forward to about 3:15 to get to the interview.

    • daimaou

      A link would be helpful.

  • daimaou
  • Anonymous

    This is exactly the type of person I don’t like.
    A gaijin who goes to Japan for reasons other than liking the country and then being disenchanted. Not only is this frustrating for the Japanese people, but it is also poorly representing people from the country which he came from.

    • Sarariman

      You have to first like something in order to become disenchanted with it. Besides, did you think Japan was perfect?

  • Anonymous

    What does this guy think? Does every country always needed to be specially suited to him?
    This guy is selfish and has no grasp or appreciation of the Japanese culture. He is insulting it and should leave the country if he hates it so much.

  • Don Corleone

    Oh, now I get it – this guy is just being a jerk.

  • Author

    The guy is jaded about life and too self-focused. Anyone who references ‘I didn’t believe in santa claus – I have a problem getting away from reality’ either in humour or in all seriousness (or a little of both) is clearly someone who would find Asian culture pretty jarring. If you’re clutching at straws like that in order to make a point about some generic and trivial aspect of you that you feel puts you in some special anti-order with the universe, you don’t fit in anywhere other than the West.

    Plus the guy sounds like an annoying immature tool who makes stuff up because his life isn’t what he hopes it is.

    Hmm.. socially awkward, overly introspective and living in fantasy? Pretty easy to figure out how’s he got in his current predicament. Still, i’m sure he’s had a hell of an experience. Good for him, either way.

  • layth

    i am 100% witht he op , he is correct in everyway,
    i think the best lesson to learn is when u get the feeling of home sick, go back to your country, we move and change our life, not the life change us

  • henri

    Sorry my English is not 100% because I am Dutch.

    People thinking that they don’t change when they move to another country are fooling them self and also Japan is still changing.

    When I saw Tim in the Youtube video my impression completely changed, also because he was an English teacher how “used to live together with a mangaka” pffff strange story?
    I was already become a little skeptic after this Hosted club article and now this article was very surprising for me, but the youtube video showed me the real Tim.

    So sorry boy “game-over”, get a real job in Japan and re-start the game (to speak in gaming therms)

    I am working here (not as an expat) for an American company, the office is 98% Japanese so a real japanese work culture “for foreign companies”
    Note: japanese foreign companies have another work culture that the real japanese companies also the people working in these companies are different, something you will hear here when you talk with japanese people.

    First thing I needed to do was going out with the people of the office and talk about the work culture here and it was different than I was told, next month I will be the only foreign in the Japanese office, so it will be not becoming easier here for me.

    My reason was that I wanted to change my live and that is why I moved to Tokyo, now I am busy to change the way I live, because I succeeded in moving to Tokyo. This will not go quickly (learn Japanese, etc) or will go without any issues but people can change if they really want and age is not a problem.
    So I hope I can settle here and stay here in Tokyo for a long time. I am not a gamer, anime-fan or manga-fan I use to be one “many years” ago but now I just listen to Jpop.

    I found out 4 years ago that I needed to change my live and needed a new challenge.
    You can call it midlife crises, but I needed a change in my live.
    I was feeling more at home here in Tokyo than in The Netherlands, it was so strange that needed to traveled 3x more to check the feeling and then decided that I need to live here.. and made the move to Tokyo it toke me 2 year todo
    Had to change companies in The Netherlands and then work myself up into the american company to get a transfer to Tokyo, took me 18 months.

    I think Tim just went to Tokyo without really thinking about what would happen, I had to sell my house and give up a lot of things in The Netherlands. So it wasn’t a impulse “lets go to Japan”

    So I am now living the “Japanese Adventure”, an until now I have a total different impression that Tim about Japan. Yes I am only here 10 months but I know that you are going to make your own live by what you are doing and I know the sky is the limit.
    I will not be hold back by other people or countries culturs, you make your own live.

    I think Tim was looking true ping glasses before he came to Japan and found out that reality here in Japan was not what he expected.
    I know that no country is perfect but if you move to another country you must really think about what you will do there, and what you want from live.

    I think that Tim first need to learn more about himself before pointing the finger.
    And else go to Josh Sehrer same case as Tim … lol
    I think they have a problem that is called “charisma man” complex (old comic about Americans in Japan)

  • Iron

    Read the article… Well i had an impression that this guy want that the whole Japan will spin around him only and simply forger about other ppl… raining? Bad weather? Hell he ever been to Germany, we have rain for over 2 weeks some times here! Smokers? They are ppl too geez! Anime is bad? None is forcing him to watch it and it’s is a bit perverted huh?… well they have to make money don’t they?

    It’s all the same here in Germany, we have smoker and non. smoker sections in restaurant’s, cefe’s etc, we’re not allowed to smoke outside (if there’s a sign) and heck, i’ve never heard that some one got charged for smoking in a non smoker area!

    My 2cent’s, best regards.

  • Atkins

    I really think the author should try to relax and write his article on a “good” day. Clearly there are different kinds of living. Try to get out of Tokyo and your games and you’ll suddenly discover many interesting things. This article is really one big senseless rant.

    “I’ve lived in Japan for a long time. When I first came here, I liked living here. Now, I don’t. I haven’t changed. Japan hasn’t really changed, either. Something else, however, has.
    Maybe all three of these things are part of the same problem.”
    This really makes no logical sense at all. And what is the third thing he is referring to (“something else”)?

    “As my frame of reference for “Not Japan,” I’ll try to use San Francisco”
    And it ends here. No comparisons with “not Japan” whatsoever. So is this a comparison or not?

    Things he loves about Japan
    Basically, some music, the trains and classic video games. I really don’t want to judge here, but what exactly are you doing in Japan? There are people, mountains, architecture, food, and many other things to try. Clearly he is a person who didn’t bother to get out of Tokyo for the many years he have spent in Japan. Another anime and game geek.

    Anime sucks
    Every season’s new Japanese animation places one-upmanship of every single aspect of the last season higher on their list of priorities than even “make something entertaining.”
    I don’t see the “not Japan” reference here. Every other TV show in USA is exactly the same crap, and perhaps worse. And if we talk about anime movies, there are still very good ones, while in USA the animation is quite limited to the kids.

    Yes, it really sucks.

    Everything in Japan has meat in it
    Now, I really don’t have time to go to the supermarket and make photos to prove you the contrary, but that is just not true.
    I haven’t actually worked in Japan so I’ll skip the paragraphs:
    The Mandatory parties
    Some Japanese office traditions…

    Screaming is the message
    How true. I personally often feel like I am sent several centuries bak in time to experience what a “real” market is. It is very annoying most of the time.

    The copycats, the up-givers
    Maybe his example with the Chokokuro cafe is correct, I do not know the whole story there. But I don’t see how “Japanese businesses generally suck at marketing”. Here are some japanese businesses which I think work pretty well: Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujitsu, Sharp, Sanyo, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan and I am starting to get tired. In fact the japanese cars are considered one of the best out there and are sold worldwide. Also the only non-japanese camera maker is the korean Samsung. How’s that for marketing?

    Japanese comedy is not funny
    Yes, it’s not funny. It is completely childish. Most of the time.

    “Japan is land of the abundant “Famous For Being Famous” class of entertainers.”
    Very true and is completely ridiculous. There are Paris Hilton’s everywhere here. Most of the time they eat something on the TV and like he said they start screaming about how good the food is, with their mouths full, less than a second after they’ve tasted it. And trust me, there was not once a “so-so” or a “bad” meal. Not once.

    Japanese movies suck
    He is saying that the “shame is even thinner” compared to Hollywood. I beg to differ. It is exactly the same. The example he gives – “20th Century Boys.” – is far from the usual japanese movie.

    The passive aggression
    “It’s hard to find a garbage can in Tokyo. That’s why the city is so clean — the people carry their garbage everywhere.”
    That must be a joke. So if we take away the garbage cans in San Francisco the city will become cleaner? It’s clean, because they are well educated.

    “Eventually, this escalates to a point where either someone gets punched in the throat or kicked in the nuts, or someone just goes home and drinks himself to a dreamless sleep and a morning hangover.”
    So? Do we really want to compare to San Francisco and how much it will escalate there?

    “The old people are the majority, and they don’t like us because we lack the drive they had. Well, they’ve done fucked up a whole lot of shit, financially speaking.”
    I think they don’t like what happens to their country and traditions mostly. And if Japan is in its current state (good or not, but for those old people not), that is thanks to the USA. So yes, they maybe don’t like foreigners so much. Here, if we compare to “not Japan”, San Francisco would be the clear winner, but let’s not forget that it’s in a country where everyone is an immigrant. Go to some older countries, let’s say in Europe and you will see what looks you will get if they find you are foreigner.

    Shit be expensive up in here
    Yes. Mostly. But it is easy to say that a movie ticket costs $25, and forget that working at a chocolate shop can get you $15 for an hour. But yes, at the end salaries don’t cover it all. Now, for the basic stuff, rent some apartment and eat food I can say that I am paying around $150 dollars a month for food (I am cooking mostly) and around $600 for a room. I don’t see how this is expensive.
    Real estate, extremely expensive.

    No subjectivity
    I agree, nobody says something bad about another person or business.

    Stop apologizing to me
    “Why not try avoiding the situations where you’d normally have to apologize?” Very smart. In your San Francisco they will probably move everything around in the shop one day, treat you like shit on the hotline and will never apologize. Better?

    The weather
    What does that picture even mean? Please note that it is dated 31 August 2009. Well guess what, after comes September and the typhoon season reaches its peak in September. Nice try.

    There are many other points to address, like for example, the school uniforms which somehow are bad (there have been many discussions about that just google it) or the japanese people being formatted (or maybe well educated, or both), which stay really in a grey area.

    And I am skipping the rest.

    • Sarariman

      Please expand your theory of how the US is responsible for Japan’s current economic state. I’d love to hear it.

    • Atkins

      @Sarariman Please indicate where I stated that “the US is responsible for Japan’s current economic state”? Nowhere.
      My “theory” is that when a country is under occupation (read here after WW2) it doesn’t decide much for itself, and that can lead to transformations (cultural mostly, but if you want I’ll throw in economic too), which aren’t positively accepted by the local people. I am pretty sure that if japan wasn’t occupied much more of the traditions would have been preserved, thus not leading to all those things that the article on Kotaku is complaining about.

  • Josh Sehrer

    @Henri the Dutch’s comment, please don’t compare Tim Rogers to me, Josh Sehrer, I’ll have had sex with thousands of Japanese girls by the time even look like I’m giving up on Japan, plus I’m not known for even playing video games even when Square Enix’s The World Ends With You for Nintendo DSi was based off my life.

    Tim is a young compared to the old, married to Japanese women, once-apon-a-1990s Tokyo enthusiast turned Roppongi barfly. Discouraging words to others won’t reach the deaf ears of 18 – 20 year olds pounding away at some Japanese girls’ picturesque body in a Shibuya lovehotel, it’s alright.

  • henri

    @Josh Sehrer, nice the join the discussion.
    Do you have plans go live and work in Japan, or do you see this country just as a holiday (sex) destination?

    Do you know “charisma man” and what do you think about it?

    • Josh Sehrer

      @Henri the Dutch, thanks, right now I’m trying to raise $25,000,000.00 online to build a facility in Aoyama, Tokyo, where foreigners on 90 day visitor visas (common for Americans,) can take up 90 day residency for free saving them a lot of money – at the same time potentially leveling out the playing field for individuals that can’t excel in the business or academic world or both.

      I’ve been going to Tokyo since 2001, since I was 19. Back then I aside from students was like the only foreigner kid on the streets of Tokyo, I’ve nurtured globalization and helped a lot of people reach their dreams, but my goal has and always will be getting the sleeping-with-Japanese-girls high score and saving a few lives.

  • Pali


    I live in the US, have lived in Japan for 2 years and do a Japanese television program, Doko Ga TV: JapanMania (

    Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write that article. I was bugged by some of the things written, while I did agree with a few of his points—seriously, if you don’t like it Tim, M O V E. I tried posting a very lengthy reply on Kotaku’s thread, but I guess it wasn’t approved(?). Everyone seem to jump on the hater bandwagon. I’m telling ya, it’s quite the different society alright, but I find people there a pleasure to deal with and interact with. Quirky, odd-sure, but I’d take that over some of the psychos, gang-bangers, Government that gives crooks, er insurance companies, billions of dollars etc ANY day of the week.

    My guess is that, perhaps, he was burned in some way from a relationship-or job? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, sure, but I think when posting such a bold statement, when your site-obviously, seems to *love* video games.. many of which are ported from Japan, isn’t that kind of hypocritical? Will I keep going to view Kotaku’s site, sure! everyday even. I was bummed that someone would use the site which is supposed to be about video games, pop-culture stuff and post a lengthy rant like that. IMHO, that’s really irresponsible. Seek life elsewhere…

    Really, I do agree.. the world doesn’t revolve around you, Tim. Nothing personal-but it seems you’re a really smart dude, I just don’t agree with your take on Japan etc… and using Kotaku’s site as a place to vent is in poor taste.

    Move back to the states where you will fit right in. Japanese culture/society is not for everyone, but in regards to honor and respect.. the US has a *lot* to learn.

    Cheers and Sake for us all :)

  • GJames

    If you act like a dick… people will treat you like a dick. ;)

  • chromatic

    That article made me tired… iam french and i live in japan, and to me some of the things he said are true but in my country too some things are annoying…. as a foreigner in japan (or any other country) i would say that if you dont like it, go somewhere else…

    Something true about what he said is that Tokyo is extremly noisy, for me it would be the bigges problem i feel here lol
    i mean its like peoples are death and want to make as much noise as possible… that one of the thing where i feel absolute disrespect from japanese peoples to other peoples…. for examples my tonari really dont give a shit making lots of noise outside at 7.30 am….

    • daimaou

      You feel that Tokyo is noisy? Man don’t even try to visit Hong-Kong! To give you an example, when I first came to Tokyo while I was still living in Hong-Kong… My first impression at Shibuya during a Saturday was… At least a quite Country with fresh air and not pollution… I even felt like I was in the country side in the middle of the crowed.

    • Compulim

      If you ride metro in Japan, you don’t talk on the phone, it’s the rule.
      If you ride metro in Hong Kong, you can’t talk on the phone, it’s the noise.

      MP3 player in Japan is for music and relax.
      MP3 player in Hong Kong is for music and blocking the noise.

      One of the most annoying noise in Hong Kong: you get off from work and tired, you take a bus and want to nap for 30-60 minutes. But people on the bus are yelling on their phone. You can’t sleep at all.



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