Tokyoites: Not Showing Off Too Much: Reading series, The Conclusion of Life -10

the conclusion of life 10

Hi everyone! It’s Pentleman (@pentleman_blog) here!


I’m going to buy a branded wallet!
Everyone has branded items in my school~
Do you realize the value itself?
You may get relieved to be the same as everyone. That’s just a Japanese way of thinking.


Japanese people like being the same.
Here, I would like to share a story in Japanese high school.

This Article is for people who:
a) Are going to live in Tokyo, and
b) Are interested in Japanese conforming culture
Key message
Not showing off too much makes us nicer essentially.

Let’s see the tips of today!

~Tip#18~ Tokyoites: Not Showing Off Too Much

Since the author lived in Tokyo for long time, he had the time to clearly distinguish between original Tokyoites and provincial residents.
It’s natural for Tokyoites, so they don’t dress up too much.
The original Tokyoites are simple and unfussy.
Being first class is not about showing off, and one can be stylish without being obvious.

Book Review: The Conclusion of Life, by Kazuo Koike

(人生の結論, 小池一夫 )

Provincial in Tokyo and Paris syndrome


Forty-five percent of the people living in Tokyo are from the countryside.
Original Tokyoites in three continuous generations are only 10%.

Tokyo is a city where people go to pursue huge career opportunities.
The same is true for major cities around the world.
However, young Japanese women without any experiences going abroad think that Paris citizens were naturally born in the capital of France.

Japanese girls’ first trip abroad is probably in Paris as the destination for their graduation trip.
Elegant cityscape. Fashionable Parisiennes with LOUIS VUITTON bags.

However, these girls would have an adjustment disorders – gaps between expectation and reality, which result in the Paris syndrome.

Most women in Paris don’t bring designer bags in the street.
People easily encounter pickpockets in subways.
Women who have such expensive bags wouldn’t use public transportation.

Young Japanese travelers don’t know this fact before going there.

High school Japanese students who have branded wallets


What is the most interesting activity for young women when traveling abroad?

In Japan, one of the most popular purpose of their trip used to be shopping at high-end stores.
Shopping activities were always in the time table in the tour packages about 15 years ago (2006).

That attitude made the souvenir culture or what we called Omiyage in Japanese.
Shop owners welcome this idea because they think that Japanese people purchase items a lot.

Let me introduce another weird Japanese culture in high schools here.

In my understanding, expensive brands are for mature and sophisticated adults.
However, when I was in high school, female classmates used branded items.
LOUIS VUITTON wallets, COACH bags and CHANEL perfumes.

Female students tried to express their identity by using these items.
They used these brands to show their fashion statement.

That bag is cute!


Since they were not mature enough and provided for by their families, the contrast between high brand images and a student looked strange.

That’s because everyone has branded items

peer pressure

Why do you need to use a luxury wallet?
I asked some female friends directly. But I didn’t get nice answers.

Because everyone has a nice brand items!



My grandmother bought it for me.

In summary, they didn’t know the brand value itself and why they wanted to get items except for the reason that everyone has it.

You waste your parents work efforts with such a trivial reason… (I thought)

This is common in Japanese culture and it’s called peer pressure.
If they don’t follow the trend, they can’t belong to a group.

This is one of the reasons why most of the Japanese women in general have lack of confidence
compared to other women in other countries.

Harmonious culture: I’m the same as everyone else


The following nodding attitude is inside out of low confidence.

Another habit of Japanese people is nodding too much when they have a conversation.
If you have seen this, you might have noticed that they tend to nod a lot.
This comes from the culture of keeping harmony.

Common Japanese virtues: to conform and to harmonize.
But in some cases, their attitude is difficult for foreigners to understand.

I feel relieved because I’m the same as everyone else


That mindset brings “I need a branded wallet!”
The biggest problem is that they don’t notice the feeling of wanting to fit in.

Japanese culture makes people feel ashamed to be different, unlike the US culture, where “being the same is seen as bad taste”.

Japanese remain in rows even when there is confusion or after a big earthquake.
This was even broadcasted abroad. “Japanese people are polite!”
Actually, that’s not only their politeness but their dislikeness for being different.

female student

I want to buy a branded wallet, Dad

If you were her parents, you should reconsider.
I don’t think that attitude would make a good financial sense in her future.

You need to buy it, do it on your own. Even after starting your job, if you still want it, that expensive wallet is truly valuable for you.

smart dad

Just showing off branded stuffs doesn’t bring real sophistication to a female student.

Topics of the day
~Tip#18~ Tokyoites: Not Showing Off Too Much


Thanks for reading Pentleman blog!

Pentleman’s Photo Travel


@ The main line of Takayama, Kamo district, Gifu in May

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