Learning from Japan’s “Culture of Kindness”

When people think of Japan they often think of the culture that can be found in a more traditional location like Kyoto or the techier and anime filled parts of the country like Tokyo. Japan has a very diverse culture that is absolutely fascinating in every way and caters to a large variety of interests.

I recently traveled to Japan on a family vacation and was really looking forward to seeing a lot of different sites from historical temples located in beautiful gardens to stores like the Pokemon Center in Tokyo. Of course, I loved visiting all these places that were on my list to visit but, I was also very interested just seeing the interactions of the people who live in Japan.

We often talk about Japan’s traditional culture but, I was able to see first hand the “Culture of Kindness” that also exists in Japan. The people who live there are incredibly considerate and aware of the issues that could face those around them. I was amazed when we would get on a train and multiple people would stand up to offer my pregnant sister-in-law a seat. You get off the train and it isn’t an all-out rush to get out of the station like other places I’ve been. These people are very kind and treat one another how they would like to be treated themselves.

I remember early into the trip my mother stating that she was amazed by how different the people acted. She was so surprised that even in a larger city with a lot of people running around we never felt like we had people trying to push us out of their way. I lived in Japan when I was younger for a few years so I was a little more used to the very conservative kindness that existed in Japanese society but, other people on the trip kept remarking how kind everyone was and how it was so nice to be in a place where you don’t feel like others are against you.

Through my time in Japan, I gained a new appreciation for their culture and the way they treat one another. I always say that kind actions no matter how small can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I gained a new desire to try and bring this “culture of kindness” that I saw on display throughout my trip into my own life. I am dedicated to thinking of the struggles of others and doing my best to be considerate of their needs.