Secret To Japanese Discipline Revealed

I’m currently on a special personal mission in Japan to discover the secret to why the Japanese people are so disciplined.

Shitsuke (しつけ) or Kiritsu(きりつ)-no matter how you say or write it, this Japanese trait is so admirable, to wit:

  • Leave a personal belonging anywhere, you’ll still find it there, unmoved and untouched;
  • At the ongoing Qatar World Cup games, Japanese fans were seen collecting trash at the end of an opening match earning compliments from disciplined and undisciplined social media peeps alike. It makes me want to punch myself in shame having to be reminded by the wife to take out the garbage;
  • No loud talking in elevators and trains. Wait, I take that back —no talking in elevators and trains! Because they find no need to call people that they’d be late. Because they are never late;
  • They bow down to show respect. During my last visit, I chanced upon a man who appeared to be drunk crisscrossing a street. Seeing a police officer walking in the opposite direction, he stopped to bow down. Discipline transcends sobriety;
  • And this: No one jaywalks! I mean, darn —y’know, especially when crossing is just a few strides away and when, sometimes, you’re in a bit of a hurry.

Enough of these verbal illustrations. Time to reveal the secret. Prepare your palate. You can’t be too ready for this.

The secret to the revered Japanese discipline is this: Onigiri (おにぎり)!

Yup. That tender, triangular toothsome comfort food made from white sticky rice wrapped in dried seaweed. Delicious any time of the day. And night. And any time in between. You’ll find them in convenience stores and supermarkets. Discounted after 8pm, too. Yay!

Why, you asked?

It takes a lot of patience and discipline and good manners to eat Onigiri. There are specific instructions in order to unwrap one. Doing so is the perfect exercise for this discipline. Failing to follow them makes for a messy meal and augurs a life of discordance and misery. Though you just need to eat more to be happy.  

I finally found the answer to world peace. If only the rest of this cruel world would learn. But until then, I sip this lovely cup. With Onigiri.

Kanpai (カンパイ!)

If you’ve been touched, amused, or entertained by this post, or it put a smile on your face, please favor me with a cup of coffee. I will continue writing.

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