The Japanese Sense of Time

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May 16, 2015 02:03
“Japanese people are punctual.” Have you ever heard about this before?

The other day, I read an interesting essay, “I’m sorry I’m late!” on The Japan Times ST.

The author and his American friend joined a sightseeing bus tour in Japan. They were the only foreign tourists on the tour. In the tour, they slowly noticed that the Japanese tourists have the different sense of time from theirs. Somehow, they felt like that Japanese people must have had a secret cord.

While reading this essay, I couldn’t help but smile because I imagined their confusing faces when they encountered the unbelievable scenes.

For example, if you make a promise with your friend like this; “Let’s meet at the Kyoto station at 10am!” What time will you try to be there? I will also try to arrive there five minutes early at 10 am at the latest just like the Japanese bus tourists did.

Needless to say, it depends on people. There are rarely some lazy Japanese people for being on time and always come late, but it is true that most Japanese people are punctual.

When I was a kid, my mother always strictly told me, “Don’t make people wait! You should wait for your friends! Trying not to bother people is very important.” She disciplined me like that.

Besides, all of my friends who I talk on Skype seem like Japanese style. They are always keep promises precisely and try to be on time as well.

先日、ジャパンタイムズST“I’m sorry I’m late!”という面白いエッセーを読みました。