Summer Outfits : Social Norms and Modesty #175

Summer Outfits : Social Norms and Modesty #175

暑い夏でも肌を隠すファッションをする人が多い日本。その背景を考えてみました。In Japan, many opt for covering fashion even in hot summers. I will delve into this subject, drawing on personal experiences and insights, complemented by two proverbs that succinctly embody the underlying reasons.

Silver Penguin+ Members: Video Podcast and Japanese Transcripts (Furigana Included/Excluded)

Japanese proverb "郷に入っては郷に従え"(ごうにいってはごうにしたがえ)

It can be translated as "When you enter the village, follow the village." This saying highlights a significant aspect of Japanese culture, which values harmony, respect, and the concept of the collective over the individual. It implies that when you find yourself in a new or unfamiliar environment, it is essential to respect and abide by the local customs, rules, and traditions.

An English equivalent might be "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Both suggest the importance of understanding and integrating into the local culture, rather than imposing your own.

The Japanese emphasis on social conformity and group harmony is historically rooted in a relatively homogeneous society influenced by Confucianism, which values hierarchy, respect, and proper behavior. This belief is reflected in various facets of Japanese life, including school, work, and everyday social interactions.

Japanese proverb "出る杭は打たれる" (でるくいはうたれる)

It literally translates to "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down." This is a powerful reflection of certain aspects of Japanese society and culture.

This proverb is often used to convey the idea that those who stand out or behave differently from the norm are likely to face criticism or punishment. It can be seen as a cautionary statement about the dangers of nonconformity or individualism in a society that values uniformity and harmony. It suggests that it's safer and more socially acceptable to conform to societal standards and expectations than to stand out.

In terms of cultural context, Japan is known for its emphasis on group harmony and consensus. This cultural norm is rooted in Japan's history, influenced by Confucian values of order, hierarchy, and respect for social roles. There's a strong societal expectation for individuals to work for the benefit of the group rather than their personal gain, which can lead to a pressure to conform and not stand out.

An English equivalent to this proverb might be "The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut" or "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Both imply that standing out or making noise could lead to negative consequences.

However, it's important to note that while this proverb does reflect certain aspects of Japanese society, it doesn't apply universally, and individuality and nonconformity are also valued and celebrated in many contexts in Japan. It's just a way of illustrating a certain cultural emphasis on harmony and unity.

単語 (Vocabulary)

服装(ふくそう) - clothing
水着(みずぎ) - swimsuit
パーカー - hoodie / parka
露出(ろしゅつ) - exposure
(かさ)() - layering clothes
羽織(はお)る - to put on (as a coat)
目立(めだ)つ - stand out
馴染(なじ)む - to blend in, to fit in
(かさ)ねる - to layer, to pile up
()()わせ - combination
胸元(むなもと) - chest area
(かた) - shoulder
(あし) - leg
(うで) - arm

会話の話題 (Conversation Topics)

What types of clothes are typically worn during the summer in your country?

How much skin exposure is deemed acceptable in your culture? What's your personal viewpoint on this?

What's your take on the saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"? Have you ever had to adapt to a culture different from your own?

Do you ever feel self-conscious about how others perceive you? Can you describe some situations where this happens?

When it comes to summer fashion, what are your priorities? For example, functionality, comfort, keeping up with trends, others' opinions, etc.

Video Podcast and Japanese Transcripts (Furigana Included/Excluded)

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