8 episodes

Japan is a prime example of collectivist culture while western countries put emphasis on the individual - such polar opposite mindsets. Misunderstandings and confusions are bound to happen when these two perspectives collide. Every episode we unpack one controversial opinion about the Japanese mindset, culture, and custom through stories and interviews. Join host Kaho Koda as she dives into her own culture and attempts to make sense of the disconnect between the Japanese and Western point of view.Produced by Human Burrito ProductionsWritten and hosted by Kaho KodaSound design by JunanCover art by Macie MatthewsTheme song by Mikara

Controversial Japan Human Burrito Productions

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 14 Ratings

Japan is a prime example of collectivist culture while western countries put emphasis on the individual - such polar opposite mindsets. Misunderstandings and confusions are bound to happen when these two perspectives collide. Every episode we unpack one controversial opinion about the Japanese mindset, culture, and custom through stories and interviews. Join host Kaho Koda as she dives into her own culture and attempts to make sense of the disconnect between the Japanese and Western point of view.Produced by Human Burrito ProductionsWritten and hosted by Kaho KodaSound design by JunanCover art by Macie MatthewsTheme song by Mikara

    No Changes Possible

    No Changes Possible

    In this bonus episode, we explore Japanese customer service at a restaurant. First, Internationals explain their frustrating experience ordering meals. And later we hear from a Japanese individual who experienced customer service abroad.

    We're on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/controversialjapan


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    • 13 min
    No Need for Questions

    No Need for Questions

    “Sometimes I ignore my questions, and I just take it for what it is.” says Eri, a Japanese woman.  This has affected her academically, romantically, and in just daily life. What does she mean she ignores her questions? In this episode, we explore the Japanese conformity and collectivist culture. First, Japanese individuals explain why they follow the crowd and why they don't ask questions.  Later we hear what it’s like to navigate Japan from the expats’ perspective.



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    • 28 min
    No Japanese No Service

    No Japanese No Service

    “I’m on a holiday. I’m there for the experience, right? But there are other people living their lives. My experience just intrudes in their lives, basically.” says Rutger, a Dutch man who visited Kyoto as a tourist. Rutger and (host) Kaho Koda visited Kyoto together back in 2018. And they still talk about that one evening in Kyoto where they had the same experience, yet very different interpretations of the event. In this episode we talk about Kyoto and tourism. First, we look at the foreign tourists’ experiences and then we take a look at the Japanese perspective. 
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    • 37 min
    Girl Power

    Girl Power

    “I feel like it’s almost harder for a woman to be supported by other women in Japan to some extent because I don’t think it’s a common idea that Japanese women want to change their conditions for themselves.” says Fanny, a French woman living in Japan. In this episode we talk about feminism in Japan. Do you know the word 「女子力」 (read as ‘jyoshi ryoku’)? It directly translates to ‘girl power’ but it’s not what you think it means.. 


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    • 30 min
    Let's (not) Talk about Sex

    Let's (not) Talk about Sex

    “Often we are very talented to divert the conversation. Because that’s the way we speak. We don’t directly address on something. But we always kind of divert it.” says Terra, a Japanese man living in the Netherlands. In this episode we talk about how Japanese society does not discuss sex. We also talk to an English teacher, Lizzie who experienced the Japanese way of not talking about sex when she introduced western literature to her students.
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    • 33 min
    Don’t Say I Love You

    Don’t Say I Love You

    “You don’t say I love you. You don’t give your mom a hug at the end of the day. Like I feel really awkward doing that. And it’s something that I tried to change at some point in my life. But I think my mom didn’t feel comfortable with it as well when I started to try hugging her and saying things. So I kind of stopped... Oh my gosh, have you ever said “Aishiteru” to your family? ” asks Natsumi, a Japanese woman living in Japan. We’re going to get super intimate and talk about host Kaho Koda’s relationship with her mom and how the Japanese family expresses love. 




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    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Karnonka ,

Insightful!

Just listened to the entire podcast in one sitting while working. I think this is a well produced, well researched podcast. I enjoy the transitions, the cultural insights, and the personalities shared. Please make more podcasts!

culage ,

素晴らしい内容。もっとエピソードを増やしてください。

健康のために散歩をしていてその時にControversial Japanを知って毎回聞いていました。でもすぐに全てのエピソードを聞き終わってしまいました。できたらもっと週2、3ペースで聞きたいし、扱ってほしい話題も沢山あります。たとえば最近ならジャニーズの性加害問題とか。日本は痴漢も多いし性犯罪についての認識が世界水準より低いように思います。それ以外にも日本には「ここがもっとこうなれば良いのに」って思うことが色々あります。Controversial Japanはインタビュー形式でよく編集されていてとても良い番組だと思います。

HumanStain101 ,

Very Thorough!

I enjoy this podcast and hope to hear more! What is so great about this podcast is that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There is a lot of well-thought out social observations that are thoroughly explained and dissected with regard to language, mores, and traditions. The interviews also expand on these ideas by providing nuance, further background, and personal experiences.

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