New York, Bangkok, London, Singapore, New Deli, You’ve seen so many more places than me. I have been to over 60 countries. Hey guys it’s Cathy Cat, on Ask Japanese. On our shooting we met a gentlemen, who has traveled a lot. He was from Japan but he has been to so many countries, I haven’t been to that many countries… And he has got some stories to tell especially about culture shocks that he got when he went abroad. So let’s find out what kind of culture shock Japanese people get when they go abroad. Also don’t forget to subscribe for other videos. And let’s start the video. Is there a country you would like to go to.
– Oh we have. You have? We went abroad for 23 years and 7 months. New York, Bangkok, London, Singapore, New Deli, … You have been to a lot more countries than me. I have been to over 60 countries. The countries I told you about just now are the ones we actually lived in. What were the differences between those countries and Japan? One would be the different traditions. Two, their sense of values. Those make a big change. Those things make Japanese people experience a culture shock. One thing will be to go to India and experience the caste system. I see what you mean.
– Right. But he society is still functioning with that system in it. But Japanese people cannot comprehend it. That is a big culture shock. But Japanese people who get a culture shock, will learn something out of it. They can use that experience once they get back to Japan. I don’t mean they have to implement the caste system. It’s a good example of how not to treat others. Japan has a very different system. We live in an equal society. It is the duty of the young people need to keep up the better philosophies of society. Many young people are going abroad, and coming back after 6 or 10 years. And as more experienced people, they know how to improve Japan’s society. Having broadened their horizon abroad.
– That’s it. Was there a country particularly good, or one you still want to go to? All of them are good.
– Glad to hear that. Everyone has different lives, and all of them are different traits. There isn’t a single country we would not want to go to again. The only ones we would avoid are those that are in war right now. Apart from that, I would love to see them all again. Did you go with him?
– I went to some of those countries, not all. We were also bringing our cat with us. You cat?
– We made her travel abroad. But our cat got sick… I mean, our cat got a culture shock too. You think so? How so? Our cat hates the English language. Foreigners will speak English with her, right? And that will surprise the cat. Because the cat is used to hearing Japanese. Also, Japanese faces are different. Our language is different too. The interaction will be totally different. That’s how pets also get the culture shock . It’s eyes were swelling up and in other areas too. Poor thing… What language did you use when you went abroad? Generally business English. But in Thailand, English is not a language that many speak. Even university graduates can’t speak much English. That’s why I studied Thai by myself. That’s how I was able to communicate with the staff there. You learned how to speak Thai? That’s right, I had a teacher visiting me at 6 in the mornings. Then we studied two hours until 8. From there we studied for 2 hours. What did you learn the most abroad? I learned so many things. The biggest thing I learned was about the differences in our cultures. If you learn different things about cultures…. take for example America. Americans speak English as their native language. Young Japanese will study English for many years, but still won’t be able to speak it. One reason is religion. Christianity… Religious words appear inside the English language a lot. But if you are not a Christian, you cannot understand them. But if you are a Christian you understand them. Things like that re-appear in the daily language and life. No matter how good a Japanese person get at speaking English… They will never be able to speak at an equal level. So culture is inside the language.
– Religion is inside the language. Thank you so much for your time. Culture shock… for cats… That’s new to me. I am not sure what you think about that. Looking forward to reading your comments. What is your culture shock that you experienced when you went to a different country. The first thing that many people have is maybe the food… or local customs. Or maybe different flowers or things that are around. I can see… a couple of flowers here that I don’t have in Germany. So let me know about that as well. Looking forward to reading your comments. If you are new to our channel, don’t forget to subscribe… Leave us a like on the way out. Catch you soon for another video on Ask Japanese. I hope you enjoyed this Bye… I am not sure what I am doing right now. Hey!


  1. この おじさんは、正に的を得た内容を言っています。
    ところでオープニングの衣装はどこの国の衣装でしょうか? とってもよく似合っています。 : )

  2. Well i guess Cats are really smart that cat probably didnt get used to the surrounding area everytime they travelled 🤔 it happened to my cats when we moved to a new house. Also with what that elderly uncle said i politely disagree if a person really wants to and like to learn a language i believe that they can come to an equal level or sometimes be even better than the natives there are some foreigners in Sri Lanka who speak sinhala better than the Sri Lankans 😄 but he seems super cool🙌🏼 Please oh please do more videos asking Japanese elders about different topics like about the different subcultures and such i really want to know what the think about it. Love your videos as always CANT WAIT FOR MOORREEE 😆💕

  3. Nah its true, animals do get culture shocks, only with language though. The reason is, the animal gets use to hearing the language spoken by its owner and then they learn to respond in a certain way. However when the language is different the animal can sometimes act unpredictable.

    Example: in school i took Spanish classes and i came home one day and i spoke it to the dog. 😂😂😂😅😅😅😅😅 he attacked me . But thats cuz he didn't understand what i was saying

  4. He's so lucky… I wish I could go to 60 countries. Maybe you could ask Japanese what they think of the Philippines because I want to know what they think about my country.

  5. Cats in Japan are so different in comparison with cats in others countries. Here in Latin America cats are not the same that in Japan, for instance yours have biggest eyes, they look more peaceful and are more かわいい!

  6. When I went to Japan, a cat saw me using chopsticks, and it appeared shocked! 🙂

    Excellent video Kathy Kat, an interesting topic.

  7. 猫の場合、言語の違いや人によってカルチャーショックを受けるというよりは、環境の変化(場所)によるストレスが原因で病気になっているのではないでしょうか?よく昔から言われていることで、「引っ越しは猫の最大のストレスになる」と言いますからね。

  8. My culture shock?

    When I randomly spoke japanese to someone while in japan and was answered back in mandarin…

  9. Hmmm… Only real culture shock experiences I can think of was when I visited England as a kid. Parents went off to do something I would have been bored with and left me in the hotel room. Turned on the tv and there was a movie with full nudity in the middle of the day on a normal channel. Also saw lollypops being sold on the street corner shaped like penises. We had the same kind of candy in the US, but it was a thumb, lol.

  10. I really enjoyed this video. What a life he, his wife & cat sure have had traveling all over the world and all those experiences they have taken in.

  11. You could feel the old man's wisdom and experience from the way he talks. It is always a pleasure to listen to people who have seen and lived a lot and who can think and analyze environment around them.
    I myself had a little of culture shock when i moved to Germany from my non-EU country so i completely understand what he is talking about 😀

  12. Oh man do l like that gentleman a lot. Maybe you could look him up and do more interviews with him. Maybe just let him talk about his travels and what he learned.

  13. That gentleman has an understanding of the world that I wish everyone could have. If he wrote a book about his experiences, regardless of how long, I would certainly read it!

  14. When I went to Japan, a dog called スコービ saw me using chopsticks, and スコービ said "おらし ろうず れす ね!" 🙂

  15. That’s a really interesting point about religion being baked into English (and other European languages, for that matter). Even in countries that aren’t particularly religious, such as the UK, so many expressions come from the Bible (even if the people using them don’t realise) that it must be a real barrier.

  16. Cats and dogs are actually surprisingly attached to certain languages and things like that. A bunch of studies showed that a dog or cat that grows up in a certain area will even have a different "accent" itself when barking or meowing! It's because their owners speak different languages or have different accents, so the animals end up emulating it a little. Nature is weird!

  17. Interesting to see it from a Japanese person's perspective for once. Seems like a really cool and smart guy.

  18. i believe in culture shock in animals. there are many that dont like knew people just coming in their home… but to see vastly different looking people that can make an animal upset. i knew a dog that would bark at people that were 'too dark' and another that was questionable with specifically east asian people [not sure why] and another dog that had an issue with men in ball caps [due to his history]. strangers are scary in humans and animals

  19. That was great. What a fascinating life he must have led. I doubt that cats really get culture shock though. Maybe it was just the stress of moving? Maybe there are cat diseases that his cat wasn't immune to in the place he moved to?

    Thanks for this interview. I enjoy seeing your interviews with young people in Japan but I also enjoy seeing older people interviewed as well. Maybe it's the difference in perspectives? Young people tend to be more energetic and older folks tend to be more experienced, both have advantages.

  20. One thing that would shatter us when visiting other countries is the old stereotypes: people erroneously assume Germans wear Lederhose, drink only beers or Riesling wines, eat sausages and sauerkraut all the time, yell like those Nazi people in the American films (think of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ), or are very serious and humourless. Once they visit here, they were in for a big shock at how wrong they were.

    The hardest thing about English is how subtle the difference in meanings based on how you pronounce the sentence or stress certain words in certain positions. Sometimes, my friends and colleagues would come to me, ranting or confused, and asked me what did they go wrong with English. One look at the sentence, I got the gist and explained in a very lenghty discourse the difference between this and that.

    One good example is verb stress that throws people off:

  21. What an interesting man! I'd like to him now haha! I was aware of how a culture can influence a language, but his point about religion is interesting! Being from a Christian country myself, and having solely traveled to other Christian countries until now, I never saw it under that angle, evven though I did think about it (as religion is a part of one's culture). But it's true that some references in expressions or swear words do have a religious aspect to them that you can't fully understand if you don't know about the religion. Heck, I'm French from France and while we don't use much religious swear words, in Québec most of their insults are religious and you can see how history influenced that (with the impact of events such as the French Revolution and the separation of State and Religion in France, which didn't concern Québec that much)!

    However, I find his comment about Japanese people never being able to learn English very well quite pessimistic. I do think that with the proper learning and understanding of the culture tied to the language one is learning, it is possible to become fluent. It takes more effort and may require some form of immersion, but I'm more optimistic about it than that old man haha.

  22. It's an AMAZING video !! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This kind of episode with only one group (such as the one n the hijabi girls) are truly loaded with feelings and knowledge, vers interesting. Great job !! ^_^

  23. You'll never be able to learn English at the same level as british/american people unless you're Christian? That sounds wrong.

  24. Wow this men he is amazing to learn thai. This was very interessting. And i hope i can travel as so many countrys too. And poor cat and it's new for me to hear someone take there cat with him when he is travel.

  25. When I went to a foreign country for the first time(I'm Japanese), I
    was surprised that there are lots of dust boxes everywhere, but I thought that was good.

  26. I guess it's a good thing I generally have Japanese playing in the background, music or anime…. and I actually just named him ネコ because I like silly puns. I live in the U.S., just planning on going to Japan eventually. Just got my Genki books in the mail the other day 🙂

  27. My dog is used to my family speaking Spanish and English but it didn't know how to react when I started talking to him in French. Even when I started talking in Japanese my dog avoided me because it didn't understand the reason I was making those sounds so it thought I was mad. Animal culture shock is very interesting to experiment with but in moderation since it seems to stress out the animals.

  28. I had very elder Caucasian neighbours and everytime my dog saw them she would go mad. Maybe because they were pale white, and very frail looking?

  29. Not New Deli but New Delhi capital of India. can you please correct that @0:51. and love you and all your vids <3

  30. First and foremost: I LOOOOVE Cathy Cat's strawberry blonde side-ponytail!!! Secondly, I love this guy. He is cultured and he is wise! He is also very open-minded about visiting and revisiting other countries. I like this guy. And his wife. And their cat, even though their cat might not like me (which I don't believe. I've never met a cat who hasn't liked me). I think the cat was probably traumatized from travel and unusual surroundings. My parents have taken the cats cross-country twice and they have been traumatized both times (hiding under the beds, meowing all night, tense for days). I had a lot of culture shock in China. Negotiating prices is something I was really uncomfortable with. Also, I got followed a lot by shop-owners, even into a restroom one time (I finally got assertive and told them to go away/stop following me). Also it was my first time where no one spoke my language (I speak English and Japanese). I was hungry and tried to buy a crepe from a crepe cafe but nobody there spoke English or tried to help me with like a picture menu or anything (like they would in Japan). They all just stared. Also, I saw the way people were outcasted and living on the streets there: disfigured, amputees, children, entire families calling the streets home, in the middle of these big, beautiful tourist areas, like the Forbidden City. I realized, "Wow. This is really messed up." It made me more grateful to have been raised in the US. Don't get me wrong though: China was AMAZING and the people there were so genuine and warm. I would definitely go back, especially Beijing, Suzhou, and Hong Kong. Anyway, I live in Japan now. I've lived here so long I can't really remember my culture shocks. Maybe just lost-in-translation moments. Or I got a funny look from my first host family when I poured soy sauce over my rice….little things.

  31. What's up with Japanese people that think they can't learn English to native level fluency? I've heard this many times from Japanese people, it's the most annoying stereotype they have. Even worse is when I hear them say the same about foreigners trying to learn Japanese.

  32. My culture shock was that everybody was so nice to me. I traveled from Switzerland to New Zealand. Such a lovely country, and a lot to learn from :).

  33. Not sure about the religion and being able to speak english connection. Im from india and I picked up english fast within a year of moving here back in the late 90s. As an indian im curious to hear more about his travel in india.

  34. Now that gentleman I would enjoy talking to. Hearing his take on things during his travels. I have been to little over 20 countries myself. I think it would be fascinating to sit and talk to him.

  35. This is interesting. I do agree with the part about the culture in language. Does Japan have that too? For the religious words? I think other countries have it too. Culture and language really do go together.

  36. I wonder if my cat remembers how to "speak" Chinese. The family i got him from asked me if I could say his Chinese name, but I couldn't, I have neighbors that speak Chinese now and I always wonder if that's his first language XD But he was very young, so I doubt he remembers. If he even understands Human at all that is haha

  37. Wow. Impressive! I definitely believe animals could experience culture shock. Some of the first things I've noticed when in a new country are: the smell of the air and soil, the sound of the birds, and the feeling of the air. Animals have enhanced senses so this would be the same for them in stereo. Then add the fact that you can't really explain to an animal that they are going on a trip. Plus, you can't explain that there will be other bald monkeys (aka humans) there who look, smell, and sound completely different. This would equate to a culture shock bomb! T_T

  38. The last time I had culture shock was when I was in Tokyo last year; my brain would not let me sleep because I was in a city with close to the same population as Canada where I am from. Mostly I have a greater reverse culture shock when I return home that is more intense.

  39. Shocking! Isn't it? The gentleman is at least 3 times your AGE and he has visited more countries than YOU have カティー! W O W ! How dare he?
    Very patronizing tone. I hope you get my sarcasm. It's important to be kind and respectful towards elderly people particulalry since you live in Japan but don't be patronizing as you come across as a total fake!

  40. This is a really interesting story! I was once teaching English in South Korea and one of my student was a 74 years old gentleman who has been travelling to over 50 countries and man! he was one of the coolest student that I ever had! I think when you have been to a lot of different countries and exposed to lots of different culture/religion/races, your perspective started to change (in a better way) and that's really amazing!

    I'm obviously nothing to be compared with these gentleman, but I have been travelling to almost 20 countries and lived in some. I'm Indonesian but my family used to live in Japan, I attended high school in Australia and did exchange + internship in South Korea. Something that I always figured out after travelling each time = I became more open minded and tolerating. I was so clueless when I was young and not exposed much to diversity (thus I became to have my own prejudice of some race/religion/nationality and even hating on them although I NEVER even met them!!) but it gradually changing everytime I go travelling and meet a lot of different people.

    I think the term "The more you spend money on travelling, the richer you become" is really true! If you're reading this I just wanted to say go on travelling! it doesn't have to be far, try to be immersed with the people and culture, learn the language and obviously make LOTS of local friends!!

  41. Clearly a wise man this one. I actually enjoy talking to old people, they often have a lot of interesting things to say, and stories to tell, so it can be quite fascinating. They have lived for a long time after all, and experienced a lot. Some of them also, as is clearly the case with this guy, have acquired a lot of insight and wisdom as a result of their long lives and the things they have experienced. I think us young people shouldn't underestimate that.

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