May 1, 2018

Everyone likes to credit Japan with being one of the safest places on earth.  For the most part, this is true.

Over a thousand years of warrior hegemony, where causing offense could lead to losing one’s head to a swift stroke of a samurai sword, has disciplined the population toward extreme courtesy.

The Japanese are, for the most part, reserved and quiet.  The underlying philosophy in Japanese culture is to not make your problem everyone’s problem.  Social harmony is maintained by not airing your dirty laundry in public.

There are signs admonishing people from talking on the phone while riding on trains or in the subway.  It is expected that seats on trains will be given to the elderly, infirm, or expecting mothers.  The diligent and overworked people try to catch on sleep between their stops, even when standing up!

Sometimes foreigners just don’t get it.  Being ignorant of the standard is one thing, yet brazenly flaunting disrespect is another.

In late April 2018, an intoxicated Chinese expat was a bit too boisterous and caught a tongue lashing from an older Japanese man while at Kokubunji station in west Tokyo.  Rather than accepting the admonishment in stride and taking a note of how to abide by the local customs, this foreigner shoved the older man into the side of the train as it got underway.

The Japanese man sustained lacerations and bruising to the back of his head while the Chinaman was arrested for battery.  He denied his involvement citing the alcohol.

And they say Americans have an “ugly” reputation when traveling abroad.

This is a stark reminder that violence can erupt unexpectedly and even in places that are considered safe.

Societies have a reasonable expectation to have their local customs respected and speaking up when someone disturbs the peace is what good people are supposed to do.  It’s essential for the continuity of civilization.

It’s what men are supposed to do.

How prepared are you for dealing with sudden attacks?

This was Japan, the land of “wa”.  Do you think it can’t happen to you where you’re at?

This is a lesson in situational awareness.  Always think of the potential for threats to emerge…and have a plan.

Skills.  Mindset.  Readiness.

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