Japan is a very special country with very distinctive culture and traditions. the most interesting thing in Japan is that you may form an idea or image about it when you read a book; you also can enrich your image by watching a documentary or historical movie about the chain of islands in the far east.  When you visit Japan, your image will be soon changed and the idea will be replaced by a different one. If you have a chance to live longer in Japan, you will discover that all your previous ideas and images were illusion!! and the amazing society is absolutely different !!
Discussing the Japanese culture and way of thinking, and comparing it with the Egyptian one is a very huge subject which needs much efforts and time to be covered, but I'd like to start by narrating my impression of the idea of "Groupism" (Group-think) represented by the Japanese society on contrary to the sense of "Individuality", which might be seen clearer in the Egyptian society.
I was just a new comer to Japan when I started Japanese language courses before joining the graduate school in MIYAZAKI*or the southern paradise of Japan as they call it. There was a project of constructing a new facility in the university; one day I saw five or six workers of the project gathered and began a long discussion on how to move a rock to another nearby site. I was surprised to watch them talking and discussing the very easy task. It took from me a few minutes before I could imagine how the rock could be moved. The workers had taken the same steps I thought about after a long discussion lasted for about thirty minutes. when I told the story later to a Japanese friend, he taught me a lesson about the Japanese mentality and culture; he said that Japanese in general cannot take the responsibility of taking decisions individually even if the matter is an easy one!! He mentioned a Japanese proverb says, "Same like the others, then I am safe". He added that taking the responsibility is very hard, and individuals cannot afford it , otherwise committing mistakes results in committing suicide or in vain trying to escape society's punishment. I guess that there is no need to analyze the Egyptian way concerning this point but I'd like to mention the Egyptian expression , "FAHLWA", and I leave the rest to the readers' judgment. 
In Japanese educational institutions, starting with kindergarten and ending with the end of one's life, citizens are taught  how to be responsible. Children in schools are responsible for cleaning their schools; classes, corridors, walls, stairs, every bit and everywhere in the school. THERE are no workers for cleaning! The same is in hospitals - doctors, nurses and hospital's president- clean every bit everywhere in the hospita ; companies, factories and night clubs too! There is no shame to clean the sidewalks and the surrounding areas of own place of work; surely the same implies on the residence areas. No governor, a worker, or an official to be blamed for any shortage of the cleaning issue; all the blame and the shame fall on the citizens themselves
The equalizer sense of being GUILTY in our society is the sense of being ASHAMED in Japan. In Egypt, God is our judge and in Japan society is. The merciful God forgives and gives more chances to repent, but the society in Japan is merciless and cruel! 

The sky and the mountains are the two guardians of the pacific here in the southern paradise of Japan, Miyazaki.


When people know how to be responsible, they can build a civilized and advanced society. They will stop recalling the memories of kings and presidents, and accuse them of all what they themselves failed to correct. Society, whether it is a nursery or a big country, is owned by its people; the leader is just a representative of people, and when they fail to correct their leaders' mistakes, they should take the responsibility courageously otherwise they are irresponsible and worth all conclusions. 

Sunset in Aya town where sun hugs the trees and the mountains in a unique and fantastic way.


In Egypt, we were lucky enough to be the first nation which worshipped one God, but we betrayed Akhnaton and worshipped the pharaohs, and the process continued until today! Every time we damn the leader, and what else can do the irresponsible?! 

When a governor or a minister in Japan is found guilty or irresponsible, there are only two alternatives to his remaining days in life; one is to commit suicide, and the other is to go on trial and lose his credibility in society; a social homicide. In Egypt, he will be transferred to a post in ministry of tourism before moving on pension!!! 


*The historical name of Miyazaki means "Land facing the sun." It is by this name that Miyazaki is mentioned in the Nihonshoki, one of Japan's oldest written chronicles of history, as the cradle of Japanese civilization.
 

 


 
 
 
 

 

The Egyptian Chronicles is a cooperative effort by a group of Egyptian authors pooling together their talents for the sake of Egypt's Future.  Articles contained in these pages are the personal views and/or work of the authors, who bear the sole responsibility of the content of their work. This Monthly Electronic Magazine is a non-profit, commercial free zone and is answerable to no one.

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