Japanese Street Addresses and Other Cultural Opposites

(YouTube Link)

This video by musician and entrepreneur Derek Sivers provides several examples of American cultural norms that are counterintuitive in other societies. For example, Americans navigate roads with street addresses, but Japanese streets don't have names. So how do travelers in Japan find a particular place?

via Urlesque | Sivers' Website

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I design housing developments (in America, and as part of that process blocks and individual house lots are indeed numbered. So it is possible to ind your house by block and lot number. Usually late in the development process, the city takes over and assigns addresses to the house lots, which becomes it's mailing address. But my tax records lists my property as Fairchild addition section 11, block 13, lot 6.
much more similiar to the japanese style.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Directions are given by compass, distance and by referencing landmarks. "Take the east exit and turn left. Go three blocks. Turn right at the Takoyaki shop. Wait for the tatoo'd man." That's if your traveling by foot or train. If you have a car then you likely also possess a GPS and needn't worry.

AS for cutlery I side with caveman. Chopsticks are delicate and require practice. They are so designed to enable a person to delicately select a single serving of food and gently place it in ones mouth. A fork/spoon allows anyone (on their first try) to shovel large amounts of virtually anything into the mouth. You don't even have to pay attention to what your eating. Heck with practice you can skip the chewing part altogether... much more efficient.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

They do just fine from what I've seen.

You don't automatically know street name do you? You only learn the ones you need to get to. Streets are the same, you only learn the ones you need to take. Same with comparing a phonetic language to a pictographic one... you simply cannot compare the two.

Impractical cultery? Are you referring to chopsticks? It took a while for me to learn to how use them effectively as a kid, but I did, and still use them today when I have Asian food at lunch.

If you can't adapt to thinking differently, you're probably better off not trying.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Japanese Street Addresses and Other Cultural Opposites"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More