There exist stereotypes for every kind of people and the Japanese are no exception. As with many misconceptions, some of them are based on some truth that has been exaggerated to the extreme, but some of the misconceptions about Japan are downright outlandish.
When asking about outsiders’ perspectives toward Japan, some people would say “Don’t go to Japan! They are so crazy, they have killed a lot of people during the world war II and they are crucial because they even eat whales and dolphins!” I have watched a documentary film named The Cove which analyzes and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan. The film is a call to action to halt mass dolphin kills, change Japanese fishing practices, and to inform and educate the public about the risks, and increasing hazard, of mercury poisoning from dolphin meat.
To be honest, I have to admit that before I search on the internet and collect enough information about Japan, I have some misconceptions toward Japan as well. I thought that Japanese people are kind of crucial and indifferent because the sins they made. But the fact is not like what I think of Japan, the reality is that the majority of Japanese are very friendly, kind and caring.
While Japanese people are much more likely than others to dine on meat from whales and dolphins, it’s probably not as common as you think. In fact, Japanese people are really nice and polite, they will greet and bow to other people every time. And nowadays they are well known for their goodness as they often help people when someone is in trouble.
In a word, while we are travelling, the first thing we need to do in advance is that learn this country from both inside and outside perspectives and avoid judging others based on your own standards.