Today, I took partake in a vegetarian cooking gathering with older Chinese and Japanese women. After trying to persuade me to become vegetarian and discussing how they're sustainable behavior, they shared their perspectives on Japan and stories from their upbringing.
When asked what they loved about Japan and what they would change about Japan, they had no opinionated response to either. In Japan, I have noticed that people follow a system without complaints. They don't really seem to understand that there are alternatives ways of doing things. They believe that they way things are done is the right way because that's the way things are done! Why would it change! This perspective initially came across to me as ignorance—ignorance to change and a resistance to ask questions. But it seems like Japanese people aren't even taught or encouraged to think in a different way. They aren't encouraged to be individual because then they will stand out.
They also mentioned how families no longer announce the death of a relative because there are so many old people in Japan and deaths happen so frequently that attending all the funerals and sending condolences to all the families has become a "nuisance."