What I Like about Japanese People

History told us that Japanese soldiers during the first World War were not that “kind” to us Filipinos, but I hope we can move on to the next chapter of History that we have to create for the future generation. It is not of course impossible for things to change and mostly when it comes to people having “intellectual capacity” to perceive things differently and even change for the better.

I have these countless misconception about Japanese People. The moment I hear a Japan Citizen – what comes to my mind is the fearful(?) ‘Yaku-- Organization and Japan's  ultra-famous sharp-edged Samurai.  I felt like running seeing a sight of Nihonjin  around. It so happened that I have met two Japan Citizens who had changed my perception on them.

Photo taken by: Mrs. Lee-Yap Nakajima  Yr. 2002

I formerly worked in a Japanese Heavy Equipment Trading Firm. The Company’s President, Mr. Nakajima is of pure-Japanese blood – his partner Mr. Sasaki (former owner of Multinational Village) too have not just became my big bosses but also friends as well as their wives and children – having Filipina spouses.

Although I can not speak Nihonggo, I have just learned a few – our communication medium is the English Language.  Here are the things I found out that I really like about them:

-Japanese people are minimalist, very simple. They prefer function over design. They are very practical people. Visiting their residence when the family has special occasions, I have seen that they have a table for the purpose of a place to put their plates and glasses while eating. They are not the type that splurges on very expensive antique or famous designer-brand furniture and fixtures. Take note, they can afford it but still…

My boss just wear super nice clothes during a meeting with a client while in the office he is so simple that; mind you, this is not exaggerated but it is real, you might mistake him as the janitor (no offense to Mr. Nakajima’s family-he died almost eleven years ago) and he looks like an ordinary employee treating everybody with respect and humility .

-Japanese people are NOT gullible like others thought them to be; they are just TOO TRUSTING that when you break that TRUST do not hope you will regain it back again. I was trusted with millions of cash just in a backpack way back then. I was entrusted with their children that I tutored after office hours and accompany in educational tours (Tagaytay Highlands) with their nannies. Mrs. Nakajima brought me along when they play golf along with their kids and helpers. I mean, they treat me like a family. Even throw party on my birthdays. When they trust, they give it all. They will treat you more than you will expect. But when you broke that trust, you can never be trusted even with a single peso anymore or with other things.

-Japanese people VALUE DIGNITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE. Some went hara-kiri (suicide if I'm not mistaken) when name is dragged on a controversy like my boss told us. A manager committed suicide after being accused of corruption.

-Japanese people are GENEROUS. They have a gift for everybody even for the janitor and the nearby store clerk.  They are truly nice - they treated everybody as if their equal without the typical bossy attitude regardless whether you are a driver or Company owner-equal regard.

Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu Nakajima-san, Sasaki-san for changing the way I looked at Japanese people. I wrote this in memory of Mr. Hideo Nakajima, who passed away a decade ago due to kidney failure. 


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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.