The three steps to having a Japanese best friend

man wearing orange traditional costume holding sword while standing surrounded with green trees

If you are a Westerner, being best friends with the Japanese is very difficult because of the culture barrier, but it is not impossible. If you want, I will explain you the 3 steps to understand the Japanese culture very well.

The 3 steps to absorb Japanese cultures

①Estudiar Japanese to the level that you can read a book with the dictionary.

crop pupils writing in copybook on desk
Photo by Katerina Holmes on

The whole basis of understanding the foreign culture is understanding the language. So to begin with, let’s study Japanese. If you don’t know it, you can’t understand the culture even if you live in Japan. There is actually a lot of foreign community in Tokyo and many foreigners live in just this group.

In my opinion, if you can speak N3-N2 Japanese, it’s not bad to start collecting information in Japanese. By the way, almost 70% of foreigners stop studying it before they reach this level.

東洋経済オンライン | 経済ニュースの新基準

This is the website of an economic magazine “The Oriental Economy” If you can read one article a day, it’s perfect.

②Read news or see TV drama about Japan.

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You already know how to read a lot of things in Japanese. Then you should go to step 2.

In this step you have to watch many series and informative. The intention of these acts is to imitate the Japanese acts.

Does imitating Japanese acts seem ridiculous? But this one is very important for you to be trusted. The Japanese want to be with people similar to this person. That’s why copying Japanese acts is a good idea.

In this intention your good teacher is the Japanese series. Usually the main characters are very good or impressive except Joker. If you want to copy a cool Japanese act, they are suitable.

In comparison Anime is fatal to imitate because all characters are extreme and speak very rarely. If you talk like Naruto and ask the pedestrians something, they are afraid.

After you can copy the acts, now study Japanese society. NHK World Japan is a very good channel to know the news of Japan.


③Hablar with the Japanese and check their reactions.

You studied a lot of things about Japan and now you can copy the acts of Japanese people. You’re almost Japanese now, congratulations!

So now you can use what you learn with the Japanese. Try talking to Japanese people. Don’t you know what I should talk to Japanese people about? No way! You already know the way to start communicating by watching many series. If you make a mistake in talking to the Japanese, hypothesize and try talking to someone else, then you can know whether your act was correct or not.

Well, honestly copying the acts of people from another country is not that difficult, you just have to study it for a long time. If you want to be a professional, there is an index. Study for 10,000 hours.

Learning something for 10,000 hours is an indication of being a professional.

Do you know the theory of 10,000 hours? It’s a theory that you have to learn something for 10,000 hours to be a professional.

Actually, if you can have a Japanese best friend, it means that you know Japanese culture as a professional, and this Japanese trusts you. So apply this theory to have a Japanese friend.

Let’s calculate.

If you are a student and can learn the things of Japan for 8 hours a day, you can study for 10,000 hours in 3-4 years. If you study in a Japanese university, when you graduate you will be at the professional level. However, if you come to Japan after 24 years, you can’t study as much for work and so on.

OK, for example if I could study for 2 hours a day, I would have to continue it for 13 years. You’ll be 37 years old… Being a professional from another country is very difficult after becoming an adult.

If you can’t learn that much, you can’t improve very well. Actually my western friends who adapted to Japanese society learned Japanese for 7-10 years and didn’t reject it.

So studying Japanese is not that difficult, but continuing it is difficult.

Can you continue it for many years? Or do you love Japan so much? This is the essence of whether you can have a Japanese friend or not.

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