Groups are important in Japan- you always have to think about whether someone is inside your group our outside your group as it determines your relationship and they way you should speak/ act/ interact with that person. A simple example is your family group. Some people you are related to and everyone else is outside that. You will speak about your family to other people using specific vocabulary (haha, chichi, oneechan, etc.) and you will use respectful vocabulary to speak about people who are not in your family (adding ~san after names, okaasan, otousan, etc)
Because the culture requires the Japanese to be considerate of their environment, circumstances, etc...they are always making judgments about who people are in relation to them (are they older or younger than me? do they have a higher position or lower position than me? are we in the same group like school? neighborhood? country? etc...) so they know how to act.
The Japanese find White Japanese people like in this video difficult to categorize. The occurrence of people like this is so small that they don't know how to relate and it takes considerable effort to re-define what they have learned in order to relate. Almost as difficult is when you look Japanese but you don't "act" Japanese. My friend was born in Japan but moved to the U.S. when he was around 3 years old. He speaks Japanese fluently and understands basic Japanese culture but he's very Americanized. When he lived in Japan he seemed like a very rude Japanese person because he would make mistakes when interacting with people but no one would give him a break for being a foreigner because he didn't look like one. They expected him to know better.
Thanks for this video!
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