Ah, Japan. What a beautiful country with equally beautiful people. It always had a reputation of having a distinctive culture and unique traditions. As an island nation with a long history of isolation, Japanese culture, practices, and principles developed without outside influences.
With this, Japan has become a must-travel destination for many. But with the pandemic still ongoing, it is impossible to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun right now. So we’ve thought: Why don’t you bring Japan to you? And no, we’re not talking about food or wearing a kimono! (Read: Fun fact: The halo-halo is originally Japanese!)
Indulge yourself in these unique Japanese principles and practices that will not only make you feel like you’re on a vacation in Japan, but will also make your life easier in the long run!
#1: It is everyone’s responsibility to sort their garbage.
Japan has one of the world’s most elaborate garbage disposal system. They are also very strict when it comes to sorting their garbage. In fact, one city in the country has a 42-page garbage sorting guide, which describes in detail how and what type of waste should be treated. It is also a common practice in the country to gather friends, schoolmates, or co-workers to spend a few hours collecting trash in their neighborhood. (Read: Can the world’s ‘largest ocean cleanup’ save our planet?)
#2: It is important to live in harmony.
Aside from being clean, the Japanese people practice the concept of Wa or seeking harmony everywhere—from communication to arrangement of items. The art of ikebana (flower arrangement), and traditional Japanese poetry tanka and hokku, are based on principles of harmony. The Japanese believe that if there is harmony in objects and organization, there is also harmony in a person’s mind and soul.
#3: It is the consciousness that eliminates errors.
In order to increase passenger and personnel safety, Japan Railways implemented Shisa Kanko or the “Pointing and Calling” system. This system is based on associating every personnel’s task with physical movement and vocalization to further raise their awareness—and in turn, avoid common mistakes. (Read: Here’s Why You Should Learn First Aid Today)
If everyone would practice Shisa Kanko, it would boost people’s consciousness in their everyday tasks and would eliminate errors that are usually caused by doing things just for the sake of doing it. With that, you will be sure that your activities for the day will be smooth-sailing.
#4: It helps to take things one step at a time.
The Japanese practice the principle of Kaizen—any task, no matter how tough and complicated, can be accomplished in small stems. By using this principle, one lives life in a much simpler and easier perspective. (Read: 5 Ways to Cope With Burnout While Working From Home)
Think about it: If you spend at least one minute every day practicing that one thing that you want to master, your chances of becoming successful in that field can become higher. For example, if you want to learn a certain language, devote a minute or more to learning every day, and you will improve with time. The secret lies in being systematic about the way you approach and see success.
#5. It always pays off to listen to the people.
Japan has been trying to come up with solutions on how to address the low rate of birth in the country. And as a resolve, their government came up with a policy that provides citizens with the means to start a family.
Under the provision, newlyweds can receive up to 600,000 yen to cover rent and other costs that come when starting a family. Through this, Japan is encouraging citizens to marry since many of its people cited lack of funds as a reason they stayed unmarried.