For most Arabs, Japan is where harmony meets industry

A Japanese bullet train passes Mount Fuji. Japan’s high- tech industries and domestic culture, such as the tea ceremony, below, are highly respected in Arab countries, a major survey shows. (Shutterstock)
Updated 28 October 2019

For most Arabs, Japan is where harmony meets industry

  • Media and anime influence Arabs’ perceptions of Japanese culture, YouGov poll suggests
  • More than 60 percent of respondents described Japanese as ‘hardworking’ and 54 percent as organized

DUBAI: For some, first impressions are everything. To many Arabs who have visited Japan, their first impression of the population was that they were hardworking, organized, and punctual.
 A joint Arab News-YouGov survey conducted across 18 countries in the Arab world showed that this perception was also consistent among respondents who have not yet visited Japan but hope to do so in the future.
 Along with other words used to describe the Japanese people, such as “polite,” “creative” and “respectful,” 61 percent of respondents used “hardworking,” 54 percent “organized,” and 42 percent “punctual.”
 Arab perceptions of Japanese culture appear to be influenced by the mainstream media, anime and the country’s export industries, such as automobiles and electronics.It comes as no surprise that Toyota is considered a favorite among Japanese car brands (35 percent), followed by Nissan and Lexus at 13 per cent.
 

Similarly, more than half of younger respondents between the ages of 16 and 24 were primarily reminded of anime when asked about Japanese culture.
 Speaking to Arab News, Junko Katano, a Japanese journalist, said: “Japanese people are very honest and sincere with foreign visitors.
 “They are shy, especially when they meet foreigners, since the main problem is language. They are afraid to be asked questions in English or in any other language that they do not understand.”Considering that less than 20 percent of the Japanese population can speak English professionally or at a basic conversational level, language is often a barrier for many Japanese residents when attempting to communicate with tourists from around the world.
 This may explain why only 7 percent of survey respondents who had not visited the country and 15 percent of those who had referred to Japanese people as “tolerant.”
 The survey also showed that words such rude, lazy and angry were extremely uncommon when describing Japanese people.
 




Caption

Katano further referred to the roots of the Japanese culture, based on the concept of “Wabi Sabi.”
 The concept follows a less-is-more mentality, with Wabi meaning “simplicity” and Sabi refering to taking pleasure in the imperfect.
 “This concept can be seen in the Japanese tea ceremony and the Ikebana flower arrangement,” Katano told Arab News.
 “The main theme in these art forms is concentration, while working under strict regulations in an environment of respect and harmony.”
 Shifa Zghoul, an architect, designer and researcher who lived in Japan for 22 years before moving back to her home country Jordan, described the Japanese people as “kind and warm people who are very hardworking” and who “appreciate” other hard workers.
 “Once a friendship is formed, you become family to them,” she said.
 “Their lack of ways of communication, due to language barriers, makes them extra shy about reaching out to foreigners.
 “However, once they overcome such barriers, they dip deep into other cultures to learn more about them.”
 Zghoul, who first moved to Japan in 1996, said she has interacted with Japanese people and experienced the environment as a student, an architect and most recently as the wife of an ambassador.
 “The Japanese people respect teamwork, which is lacking in our side of the world,” she said. “They work in teams and are very organized, and their culture is a great source of inspiration and energy in their lives.”
 Portrayed to be a population that is more focused on their own country, the younger generation of Japan is more “curious” and tend to think outside the box, said Zghoul.
 “Most of the older generations remain island people, whose entire world is just Japan.”


DJ Khaled reveals Arabic name of second child during Grammys acceptance speech

DJ Khaled revealed the name of his second child at the 2020 Grammys. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 January 2020

DJ Khaled reveals Arabic name of second child during Grammys acceptance speech

DUBAI: US-Palestinian producer DJ Khaled has announced the name of his second child, a boy, at the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday.

Taking to the stage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center to accept his first-ever Grammy, for Best Rap/Sung Performance, the artist revealed that he and his wife Nicole Tuck have decided to name their newborn Alam.

“First of all, God is the greatest, thank you God,” began the 44-year-old, who accepted the accolade for “Higher” alongside John Legend. “This is for Nipsey Hussle. This is for hip hop,” he added, shouting out the late Los Angeles rapper who was also featured on the track.

“I want to thank my beautiful queen Nicole. I just had a new baby boy a week ago,” he continued, going on to share his second child’s name and explaining, “It means ‘the world’ in Arabic.”

“And I also want to big up my other son, Asahd,” Khaled added of his first child, who recently turned three-years-old. “I love you so much. Daddy will be home soon.”

The Miami-based producer took to Instagram last week to announce the happy news that he is the proud father of a new baby boy.  

Posting a picture of himself with the family’s doctor, Dr Jin, after the birth, the “Wild Thoughts” hitmaker said: ‘THANK YOU ALLAH! THANK YOU MY QUEEN NICOLE! BLESS UP DR JIN ! ANOTHER ONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (sic).”

The chart-topping producer announced that he was going to become a father for the second time in 2019 with a picture of Tuck having an ultrasound scan.