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  • Hey guys! So, today I want to talk about what was probably the first major culture shock

  • I had when I went to Japan. And it's about the phrase "shouganai" or "shikataganai."

  • And this translates in English to the phrase, "It can't be helped." And it's used in the

  • context of something like... Let's say it's raining outside and you forgot your umbrella.

  • You say, "Shouganai. Ah well. It can't be helped. Whatever. I forgot my umbrella so

  • I'll just have to deal with it." And the first time I went to Japan, I heard

  • this all of the time. I stayed in an international dorm with other international students and

  • we had Japanese Resident Assistants, or RAs. And their jobs were VERY strict. They had

  • very strict rules. Like they couldn't go hang out with their friends, they couldn't spend

  • the night anywhere else except for the dorm, they had to be at the dorm almost all of the

  • hours of the day that they weren't in class or doing like absolutely necessary shopping.

  • They had to help the students with their homework, and help them buy things, and any other problems

  • that came up, so they were extremely busy. And I knew one RA who spent so much time helping

  • the students that they got almost no sleep at all and their grades plummeted because

  • they didn't have time to do their own homework or to study for their own classes.

  • And I would get so frustrated for them. I would be like, "Tell the students sometimes,

  • 'No, you can't help them. You need to focus on your own work sometimes.' You have to take

  • care of yourself, too." And they would just be like, "Shouganai." I picked this job. That's

  • just the way it is and those are the rules." And there were other cases where some international

  • students would accidentally break the RA's stuff, and the RA's would be like, "Shouganai."

  • And I'd be like, "NO!! Go find the person who did that and get them to pay for it!!

  • They have to pay for it if they broke it! You can't just like let them get away with

  • it!" It drove me crazy that they would say "Shouganai"

  • for all of these things that I felt like they needed to fight for. And I think that's because

  • in our culture in America, we're raised with an extremely strong sense of justice. Like

  • good versus evil, and people are right or wrong. And the wrong peoplethey have to

  • pay! No matter what, they have to pay! And I may have a stronger sense of justice than

  • most people so maybe I'm even a little farther than a lot of American people. But this is

  • what we grew up with. If something happens to you and you tell your friends, your friends

  • are going to tell you like, "Don't stand for that! Go talk to the manager! Go write a letter!"

  • or something. And that's probably why we have such a strong suing culture in America, because

  • people feel like they need to be vindicated when something happens to them.

  • And it drove me crazy in Japan because it seemed like people just let things go and

  • they didn't stand up for themselves. If you had asked me when I studied abroad in Japan

  • what I disliked about Japan the most, I definitely would have said, "Shouganai." I absolutely

  • hated that phrase. And it wasn't until I moved back home to America...

  • Because Jun and I had started dating and gotten engaged and we knew that I had signed a contract

  • with my job before I ever even met Jun and it could be four years until we could be together.

  • And actually as of a couple days ago it HAS been four years and we're still not together.

  • There were a couple opportunities with my job where I could potentially move to Japan.

  • And I put all of my effort into making sure I was absolutely the best candidate for the

  • Japan jobs. And I worked for this for years. I planned for years and did absolutely everything

  • I could to get to Japan so Jun and I could be together sooner.

  • And every single time that benchmark came where I could have gone to Japan, I failed.

  • And it wasn't just failing to get to Japan to be with Jun, but all sorts of other things

  • would happen at the same time. Like you guys know, my stuff got shipped to Korea and I

  • haven't seen like half of the stuff I own in a year and a half or something. It's been

  • a really long time. And I had the heart problem. Woo! Suddenly rare heart condition! pops up.

  • And there would be problems with like my taxes, and problems with appointments, and problems

  • with my car. It would just all come at the same time. And it was too much to handle.

  • It's devastating. No one can handle that much stuff at once without kind of breaking down

  • a little bit and going crazy. And it was around that time when I started

  • to rethink what "shouganai" actually means. And I started to think, maybe "shouganai"

  • doesn't mean you're weak or you won't stand up for yourself. But maybe it's actually a

  • healthy mindset to have when bad things happen to you. If you can just accept the things

  • that happen to you without getting stressed out or freaking out about them, and you can

  • say, "All right! Whatever. So I had an appointment and you rescheduled it for this morning without

  • telling me and I missed it and now I'm in trouble. Okay, well-shouganai. Whatever. That's

  • not my fault. So I'll just have to reschedule my appointment, I guess.

  • And I actually came to rely on that sort of attitude a lot when all of this stuff would

  • happen to me. I wouldn't say it's one of the main things that has helped me get through,

  • but I would say it has played its fair role. So I really have come to have a different

  • understanding of "shouganai," I think. I think it can actually be a good thing for people.

  • I'm curious about you guys and your experiences in Japan. Have you ever heard Japanese people

  • use "shouganai" or "shikata ga nai" in absolutely awful situations where you're like, "No! Don't

  • do that! Just stand up for yourself! Do something about it!" Or are you more of the type of

  • person who leans toward "shouganai" and you understand that, and that's kind of your attitude

  • about things? I'm curious where all of you stand because I've changed completely about

  • it in the past four years. So, thanks for watching, guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hey guys! So, today I want to talk about what was probably the first major culture shock

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Culture shock: Shouganai カルチャーショック:しょうがない (Culture shock: Shouganai カルチャーショック:しょうがない)

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    Hhart Budha に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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