Preparing for life in Japan : a handbook for the American planning to live with a Japanese family : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
The purpose of this project is to make a practical guide for American students living within the Japanese culture, whether it be for a few days or even a year. I feel it is important to have an introduction to the culture that is useful and easy to use.I spent a few weeks in Japan as a delegation member of the 1995 Far East Exchange Program Summer Study Tour and discovered that I really did not know as much about the culture as I thought I did. When I returned to the United States and learned more about the Japanese culture, I discovered all kinds of things I could have done differently.During the next school year, I worked with students going on the same trip I had taken to try to get them prepared for the culture differences they would experience. I found that they were most interested in what to do and what not to do within the context of the unfamiliar culture. I tried in this paper to compile information on Japan that would be helpful in that respect.What follows is a brief and general introduction to Japanese culture and highlights of things I thought were important in order to understand the Japanese way of living and thinking. I also went into some specific detail and further description of DOs and DON'Ts that a guest should know in order to acclimate themselves to Japanese society. These DOs and DON'Ts have been translated in the appendix to benefit those studying the language.