Japan and the United States have very close relationship despite of the complicated history.
In this article, I will explain how ordinary people in Japan really feel about the US, and some stereotypes about America that exist in Japan.
Table of Contents
The History of Japan and US Relationship
It is not a long time ago that Japan and the United States started having a relationship.
Because of the isolation policy (Sakoku) during Edo period, Japan didn’t have any foreign ties over 220 years except for Dutch.
However, in 1853 known as the start of the Bakumatsu period (End of Edo Era), the American Black Ships commanded by Matthew Perry forced the opening of Japan to the United States.
This is the moment that Japan and the United States started having relationship in their history.
When it comes to politics, there are so many types of people and opinions, but overall Japanese people see the US in a good way.
There are so much American culture that affects and been affecting Japan, as well as Japan has to the US.
According to this article, 30% to 50% of Japanese people have favorable views on the US.
Why doesn’t Japan hate the U.S.?
Japan and the United States were in the war against each other throughout WWII.
In August 1945, America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulting the death of over 200,000 Japanese citizens.
With such a complicated history between two nations, it is very unprecedented that Japan is now politically and socially very friendly to the US.
The answer is disputable, but probably because they moved on for the future.
Now, let’s see how Japan actually sees the United States and some stereotypes about Americans in Japan..
America is the Nation of FREEDOM
America is the Nation of Freedom.
The majority of Japanese people think American people live in a lively life with a full of energy.
Actually, compering the Japanese culture and the American culture, they are totally opposite with one another.
I think one of the most apparent difference is how people express their feelings toward others and how they deal with the social dispute.
In Japan, people tend to avoid controversial things and do not want to argue with other people.
So people tend to control their emotion reading how other people think of themselves.
Even if they do not want to go to Nomikai (Drinking party) with their colleague, they would not say “no”.
However, it is a completely different story in the United States.
People always tell what they think of, how they feel, and why they think that way.
If you do not like it, then tell it straight if in America!
Of course, it is totally simplified.
But it is true Japan sees America and its people as the full of freedom.
America is SO BIG
It is true everything in America is big.
Geographically, America is 25 times bigger than Japan. Many Japanese people’s perceptions about America is how big America is.
One of the most known American culture is the portion of meal in America.
American Food – Japanese think of
What American food Japanese people think of when they are asked is a big hamburger like the picture above.
And a big typical American dream house with a huge garage and a pool.
A House In America – Japanese think of
A lot of Japanese people believe American life is like living in a huge house and barbecuing hamburgers at a pool side.
Thanks to movies that America makes, it is a common perception of America to Japanese people.
America is a dangerous place with a full of guns
People are allowed to own a gun in America, but not in Japan.
While Japan is a country that has one of the least crime rates related to gun violence and strictly bans its people to own a gun, it is not so rare to see gun crimes taken place in the United States on Japanese news.
No wonder why Japanese have such stereotypes about America.
For Japanese mindset, it is very weird that people can own a gun.
They have to take so many medical steps and lessons to be allowed for owning a hunting gun.
But in America, people can buy a gun in a typical store without checking their medical conditions or any lessons.
Most of Japanese people have positive views on the United States in spite of the complicated history.
If you have a Japanese friend, ask how they see America, maybe they would answer just like those written above.