The power of douzo: Inviting others to do what’s comfortable for them

When I first moved to Japan, I was told that sumimasen (excuse me)was the most important word in the Japanese language, but I think douzo (do what makes you feel comfortable; go ahead; after you; and other such phrases) is much more important for daily life in Nagoya.

For expats who want to engage and become a part of Nagoya society, embracing the “douzo spirit” of Nagoya will make all the difference. Embracing the “douzo spirit” will enrich every part of your life, especially your daily commute. When sitting on the train, if there is an open seat next to you, simply say “douzo” to the nearest person standing and you have an instant seat mate. Point to yourself and say your nationality and you have an instant conversation starter.

If the invited party doesn’t sit down, the benefit of everyone seeing that moment of offer creates connectedness. This connectedness will connect you to the other commuters during your daily commute. This connection to fellow commuters will help create a place of belonging while commuting. Having an everyday place of belonging will do wonders to improve feelings of overall belonging and create places that you “just exist” in the world. Places that you exist not as an expat but as a person and member of society. Finding these points will energize and enliven your everyday life while diminishing the sometimes overwhelming state that is “expat”.

Posted on 07 Jun 2015 04:57

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