My Japanese friend was very upset and she asked me to listen to her (online) for a while about an incident she had with an old man the day before. She was very distressed.
Being a westerner, my mind flew too high and what at first I thought it was something more severe, luckily it happened to be, (and I am happy it was so) more of a generational conflict than a physical aggression.
He was a Japanese man who was born before Wold War II, he was amazed by the way young people nowadays are living an easier life with much more opportunities and comfort than he had in his time.
She took it more as a criticism of her way of life, he asked her about her studies and family but in a “casual” way (at least that is what I perceived). She was very offended.
Of course I was not there to know for sure, what happened yesterday in Japan, since I was on the other side of the planet but, according to the questions and comments he made to my friend he was not really “humiliating” her in any way. But she was really offended and crying a lot.
I tried to explain to her that his intention was not judging her or her life but I just couldn´t make her see my point.
She just had decided to be offended and take his questions and comments as a lack of respect for young people.
When I was in Japan, many old people asked me things in the less expected places, I found them to be very polite and interested in learning more all the time. So according to my own experience his questions and comments were nothing out of the ordinary.
As I said before, I wasn´t there, but after a whole hour of listening to her side of the story I concluded that my friend was overreacting.
But I am not Japanese, I was not there, so this is only my own personal conclusion.
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