It has passed around half a year after I was relocated in a country from Japan. Looking back the day when I left Japan, it was comparatively easy situation against the pandemic with only a few people were infected a day. But now, EU has closed its border to Japanese citizens. Everything would be changed in Japan from when I was there I guess but the infected number is still not high level compared with other developed countries.
I don’t think the reason is because of cultural level or such kind of difference as some politician said, but of course there’s something factor X for sure. And personally I think one of it is Japanese people’s characteristics.
Japanese tend to be shy but the word ‘shy’ covers a bit wider meaning. Of course not all, but people usually see too enough others’ reaction. This is an extreme example but in my case I was even always thinking about someone’s feeling and someones thinking who I was talking to. That tendency changes their behavior also. Others’ eyes control self behavior. This is for not only in a conversation of one to one knowing with each other but even against society. And then people think like, we shouldn’t go to restaurant, it’s not good behavior in such situation, because someone (society) would see us…
In other words we can say it is one kind of obsession, obsessed by whole society around us, which represents the word of ‘the society sees you.’
I understand these story of thinking is common among other countries citizens too. What I want to say is strength of the tendency. In fact it’s only 6 months to live ouside Japan but I recognize myself that I’m losing such way of thinking in my mind, little by little.
During this pandemic Japan has never implemented national lockdown. And moreover even quarantine depends on each individual personal control, no strict monitor, no fine, no penalties against breaking ‘request’ by the government not to go outside during quarantine. However certainly penalty exists in this context for sure, which means, social isolation in their own feelings once it’s found. And it is actually no matter how others’ really think about.