Japan is one of the most healthy nations with the longest lifespan. All thanks to the Japanese lifestyle. It is totally different than the Western way of life. Some expats are having trouble adapting to it, while others embrace it very quickly. If you are thinking about relocating to Japan, you first must explore what the Japanese lifestyle is all about.
The Japanese lifestyle is all about the harmony and selflessness
When you go to Japan, it may surprise you how the people are standing in the lines and following the rules. That is the main reason why Japanese people are perceived as obedient. That is not the right definition. They are not obedient, they are just very conscious of other people needs. They always think of others and wait for their turn.
When you find yourself in distress, you can always count on the helping hand of the stranger.
Japanese people understand that rules are there for the reason, and they are always following them. That is one of the main reason why Japan has such a low crime rate.
Also, the Japanese lifestyle has a simple recipe for happiness – avoiding conflicts as much as possible. The Japanese think that the harmony is the key for the inner happiness, and they don’t allow to be frustrated by the things that they can’t impact like traffic jams or crowded public transportation.
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Spirit of group unity
Japanese lifestyle is based on the concept of “Wa”. That is the cultural concept that means “harmony”. It implies a peaceful unity and conformity within a social group and putting the needs of that group above personal interests.
This is the integral to Japanese society, and individuals who break it are facing with the big disgrace. Wa concept includes respect for hierarchical structures and seniority, rules of society and contributing to the preservation of the communal harmony.
This concept is implemented in all areas of the Japanese lifestyle, from family to the workplace. Japanese work culture encourages “Wa” in the workplace, and this concept is the main reason why Japanese workers are loyal to the company. The Japanese business environment is based on the teamwork, and everybody has the saying in the decision process. Huge difference between the Western and Japanese business model is that in Japan rewards and bonuses are usually given to groups, rather than individuals. In that way, the concept of group unity is further enforcing.
Strong work ethic
Working long hours for Japanese people isn’t a nightmare – they consider it like their responsibility. It is a form of respect that they are showing to the company. Of course, it is very stressful and hard, but no one is complaining. Japan is one of the few countries in the world where you can die from working too hard. It is a legitimate cause of death. People here work insane hours. During the holidays or weekends also. That is why death by overworking is not a rare case in this country. Still, Japanese people consider necessary to do their best for the company that they work for. Even if that means that it will affect their health.
Work hard, play harder
Since the work in Japan is very hard and demanding, people need some way to unwind. After work majority of Japanese workers are going to the bars to get a strong drink. It is not unusual to see a businessman passed out on the street from drinking too much alcohol. That is totally acceptable behavior in Japan.
Meditation is the great way to clear your head and find inner peace. Japanese people find it very healing and practicing this skill on the daily basis. When the everyday life gets too stressful, this is the great way to take a step aside from your thoughts and rest your mind.
One of the pillars of the Japanese lifestyle is the healthy diet. That is one of the reasons why this is the healthiest nation in the world. Only 3% of the Japanese people have a problem with the obesity, that has become an epidemic for the rest of the world.
Here are the pillars of the Japanese healthy eating:
- Carbs with low fat – Accent is on the food that contains healthy carbs with a low fat intake.
- Enjoying in the food – Except for taking care of what they eat, Japanese also take high regard on how they eat. Traditionally, this is the nation that enjoys in the food, eat slowly and always at the similar time of the day.
- Local and seasonal products – Japanese diet is based on the consummation of the local products. They rarely eat international specialties on the daily bases. On their table, the most common food items are rice, fish and seafood, seasonal fruit and vegetable.
- Balanced meals – Japanese people take care that every meal contains proteins, fibers, and carbs. The typical school lunch is meat or fish, rice, miso soup, fruit and a glass of milk.
- The responsible attitude towards the food – The attitude towards food in Japan is forming since the elementary school. School lunch isn’t considering as a break – it’s an integral part of education. Nobody rushes or forcing children to eat, and after lunch kids help to clear the tables. In that way, they are learning about responsibility and making the healthier food choices.
- Fresh products – Japanese people don’t prepare meals for several days. They consider that very unhealthy. The focus in Japanese cuisine is always on the fresh ingredients and preparing meal by meal.
- Burning the calories – An average person in Japan walk between 3 and 5 kilometers daily. Usually after the meal, which helps with the digestive process.
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Japanese lifestyle and how to improve your own
Now that you know a little bit about the Japanese lifestyle, you know what to expect should you decide to start over in Japan. Even if you aren’t ready for that step, you can embrace some of the principles of the Japanese lifestyle and improve your own.
- Try to eat healthier
- Don’t be upset about the little things that you can’t change
- Reach inner peace through meditation
- Try to be more aware of your surroundings
- Don’t dwell on the past
- Be active
Relocation is a hard process, but there are some ways to reduce the stress of moving. Embracing some of these guidelines from the Japanese lifestyle may be the good tactic.