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Friendship (友情)

Hi All,

How do you become friends with a stranger? How do you make a good strong connection with your friends? What do you do with your friends? Do you usually argue with friends, or not? What do you talk about with your friends? I think you already realized this week’s topic: it’s friendship.

In this post I will answer the above questions about friendship in Japan. <!–more–>

In Japan, the way people become friends depends on the person. But a lot of Japanese people make friends in class as they go to school. Moreover, if they belong to a club most people become friends with the other members particularly during primary school and college. People become closer as they spend many hours practicing together for various events. They sometimes fight about what they should do in the club, some boys even punch or kick each other.  However, they normally become even closer after the fight and have resolved the dispute.. I saw many people fix their relationships by fighting or arguing several times when I was a student. By contrast, girls usually don’t fight. A lot of them resolve their issues by talking about their problems.

A lot of Japanese people (except minors and children) often go to Japanese style bar to drink alcohol with friends.  They also go to Karaoke very often after drinking. At bars we often talk a lot about work, hobbies, relationships, family and how life is going. If people have the same hobby, they do it together.  As they have time to go travel, they go on trips together.

If a friend is in trouble, we help her and listen to her story carefully. If I am in trouble, my friends always take care of me a lot. That way, we begin to understand each other. This is one way that we make strong connections with our friends. Friends usually listen to their friends anytime even if they are so busy or tired so that we can trust each other. In my case, if my friends feel sad, get angry about something, are lonely or need to help , I listen to my friends anytime I can.

Recently it is more difficult for younger people to make friends. Because they can not express themselves clearly and care too much about what others think of them. We have a word, “KY”  which is used to describe people who have difficulty making friends. “KY” stands for “kuuki wo yomenai” (空気を読めない).  It means someone is unable to be sensitive to the situation and pick up on social cues.  If someone does not care about others, they must be called “KY” by others. If a “KY” person is unable to change their perspective and become more aware, they may be tormented by this. We always have to care about people other than ourselves. This is a very cultural thing. That is the reason why we try to mind friend’s feelings carefully.   I thought coming here that we don’t need to care so much about others.  We should be more free, otherwise we can not live in Japan comfortably. But it is so hard to do in my country. I hope young people will be able to make their lives meaningful by realizing their personality as soon as possible.

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