by Ewa Nowogorski
Above all, Japanese people value harmony and peace with their environment and people in their social circle. People are generally extremely considerate of others, and will often self-sacrifice in order to maintain the good air and get along with others. In a sense, many Japanese people’s happiness comes from pleasing their peers and succeeding to fit in. Harmony is really the core value that drives Japanese people’s lives subconsciously, and it is a value that is instilled as soon as children start going to school and interacting with other people outside their family.
Because of their peaceful values, Japanese people also tend to have mellow and relaxed hobbies and pastimes. Rather than spend a day or weekend out partying and doing extreme activities with friends, when people have a rare day off, they tend to spend it quietly, watching TV, listening to music, shopping alone, or travelling alone. In fact, it shocks me everytime I ask but many people actually prefer to travel alone than with friends. This is something very uncommon for Americans, who love to go on trips with either family or friends. A trip alone is just not worth it. But Japanese people can actually enjoy themselves best when they have no one else in their company that they need to be conscious of. Anything that can be done alone is a good chance for them to truly feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.