Reading time Japan!

Japan Life! – may only be experienced in Japan

The worst thing that ever happened when I worked at the Sogo Department Store in Matsuyama was to walk through the store to my workplace carrying a Mitsukoshi department store bag.
You have to appreciate that Sogo and Mitsukoshi are the arch-rival department stores in the City of Matsuyama.

Then of course I had the misfortune of meeting my superior, the person who actually employed me, with my Mitsukoshi bag in my hand. He asked me where I was going and I explained that I had been invited to the Rotary Club lunch, held every Thursday on the 7th floor of the Sogo Department store. He gestured to me to accompany him to a counter close by, removed the Mitsukoshi bag from my person and replaced it with a Sogo substitute. Judging by the way he disposed of the competitor’s bag by throwing it behind the counter this episode was certainly embarrassing for him. I quickly packed my belongings into my new bag and thanked him.

In spite of everything I had to grin after he had disappeared. That taught me a lesson! After exchanging the bags he happily sent me on my way to the formal lunch table on the 7th floor with all the elder Rotarians.
Before the meal everyone stood up reverently and devoutly and sang the Japanese national anthem followed by the Rotary hymn…

Tamura, Claudia: „Japan Life!“ Intercultural diary of a 20-year-old German student in Freiburgs partner city, Matsuyama, Japan


Interaction of Brasilian nikkeijin with Japanese

Interaction of Brasilian nikkeijin with Japanese

Even though Brasilian nikkeijin who have close ties to Japanese and make efforts to study the language are more willing to integrate, their personal ties, route of information and counsellors - should problems arise - are still predominantely other Brasilian nikkeijin. The survey showed that even nikkeijin born in Japan, or living in Japan since early childhood and facing no language barrier, are confronted with discriminatory acts in every day life and are fully integrated into Brasilian nikkeijin community rather than into Japanese society...
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Tamura, Claudia: Labour migration and social development in Japan: what are the challenges? In: Neues vom JSPS Club, Nr. 04/2009