I volunteer as Board Vice Chair/Co-Secretary of Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH), NPO, whose mission is to help international tourists when in need, accident or incident while vacationing in Hawaii, with the hope that they come back to Hawaii in the future. With the high ratio of Japanese having incidents in Hawaii, many times day or night I need to stop what I am doing and rush to the site of the incident whenever I receive a call from whoever needs me.
Recent frequent incidents include stolen passports, cash, and luggage/suitcase (entire family’s belongings) from a trunk of rented car while at the beach or shopping until hotel check-in time. They often ask, “How can this happen?” or say, “This would never happen in Japan. Japan is so much better”. Such thinking should never be an excuse to assume it would never happen in Hawaii as this is considered “naïve” thinking. Unfortunately, this thinking that “Japan is safer, therefore better” also makes the Japanese disliked while in Hawaii.
There are many reasons & behavior that can make Japanese visitors disliked in Hawaii community:
- Uniformity - like to be the same as everyone else.
- Detached - Indifferent to politics.
- Do not understand the good of Japan.
- Work-oriented without humor.
- Care too much about what others think and do not share real thoughts or feelings.
We need to be aware that being naïve can also make Japanese virtue misunderstood or misinterpreted.