I keep thinking of the Japanese Occupation in Malaya .. altho I had never experienced it first hand, but stories I heard from my mother about them was rather frightening. I look at the Japanese who walked along the streets ... they are so polite and 'mild' that you wonder how they ever became so evil in the days of war. But my conclusion is that evil lurks in the hearts of men... it's so easy to turn to evil and that it takes a great deal of effort to stop the hearts from going down that path.
So back to these orang Jepun yang dahulu kala telah berperang dengan kami... they seem to have taken the 'politeness' and thoughtfulness to the extreme... look at the shower toilets that they have created. There is a button to press for music to cover the sound of your urinating, then 2 buttons to wash your fronts and backs and then another button for some 'wind' to blow on your bottom to dry them. The seats are also warmed up for the cold winter months where people dread putting their bum on to freezing toilet seats (reminds me of an old friend Elaine's story about England's university toilet seats- where during winter, everyone would wait for a yell in the morning which meant that the toilet seat would be warmed up by that first person and then now they can all line up for the toilet)
The hotel bus driver will greet everyone who comes on board and then tells everyone when he is starting the bus. Also the bus (after a long journey and they assume you have fallen asleep) will wake you up by putting nice music for a minute before making an announcement.
No one seems to cut into anyone on the streets, people apologise profusely when they bump into you. And bowing....Marido has to stop me from bowing as I was torturing them by bowing lower and lower... (unfair cos I can bow very very low). I find it rather amusing - the bowing thing... something you must try on your trip here.
Shopping here during the sales is like going to the pasar... the sales assistants will call "welcome!" ,in Japanese of course, really loudly all the time...
And CUTENESS! They are openly not afraid of being cute or wanting cute things.. mature women here think nothing of owning a hello kitty bag or a soft toy.. and men- they sometimes have a mickey badge on their cap...is that cool or what?? The young girls dress up as maids- complete with an apron, lace petticoat and a cute headgear. And they will be walking down the street with a rattan basket. Mits- a new Japanese friend told me that there are bars where the waitresses dress in maid clothes and serve men calling them "Young Master".. ooh how kinky!
Cool factor - There were people who really were into the Gothic look with inky black rims over their eyes, pierced noses, spiky hair and black robes. The women seem to have very stiff looking hair probably due to the repeated hair colouring and bleaching. The women are also very well groomed - I felt like a slob!! Apparently according to Mits, Japanese girls do not like hunky men. They prefer their men to be slender and beautiful... which explains to me why the boys on the street look almost like women. Mits also told me that the current trend was fair ladies - the trend before that was dark skin tone and there were bevies of dark skinned beauties walking around during those trendy days... how did they get dark and then fair? Amazing!
That sums ups what I think of Japan at the moment..