Today I would like to introduce 2 rules that I was taught at elementary school. I believe these rules are connected to the Japanese sense of values.
The first is to “gargle and wash your hands when you come indoors from outside”. During school days, students played in the schoolyard, then all of them washed their hands with soap at the sink. This rule was derived from the hygienic perspective of preventing the spread of colds as the group in the classroom, and it is still imprinted in my mind even now that I am an adult. The first thing I do when I get home is to wash my hands and gargle. It is believed that the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Japan was slow because of the custom of “hand washing and gargling” (although it has not been proven).
Another is “act 10 minutes early and arrive 5 minutes early”. This is another rule to facilitate community life. If you have an appointment with someone, this means that you should begin your activities 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time and arrive 5 minutes before the appointment time. This is a rule that is generally disregarded as we grow older, but I still follow it to this day. Since elementary school, students have been taught to be punctual, which has led to the Japanese value of punctuality. Customers expect transportation companies to be “on time” for train and bus departures as well.
Putting it into words like this, I feel that the values of the Japanese people can be said to be “pathological” in a sense. Are there any rules you learned as a child that stand out for you?