January 22, 2006

"Tatsu Tori Ato wo Nigosazu"

"When do you know you are really Japanese?"
I asked this of my Japanese friend in America.
She answered.
"Whenever I pick my hair from the drain, after showering and clean up the bath room for anyone who is going to use it next, I feel that I am really Japanese. Even staying in a hotel, and knowing a maid is going to clean up my room, I feel like I am not supposed to leave a mess."
I agree with her thought.
I often see the business class seats incredibly messy after a long flight.
I wonder who, how, and why it should be so chaotic.
In the both cases, staying in a hotel or an airplane, you might say,
"Since I have paid for my room, I can use it as I like."
Of course, you can,
but if you are a well educated Japanese, you might say,
"What a shame!"

We have a proverb in Japan.
"Tatsu Tori Ato wo Nigosazu" --- (Japanese)

The direct meaning is that migrant birds never leave garbage when they leave.
So, it means
"Clean up before you leave."

My parents always taught me to think about the person who comes next,
so I want them to feel comfortable.
I appreciate that I could learn that sense of morality from my parents.
Perhaps myfriend was taught the same thing from her parents with the old Japanese saying.
As I was wiping off the table, after the chatting in a STARBACKS COFFEE,
she looked at me and laughed,
"You are a very Japanese!"
"OK, I am Japanese."
" I feel happy to know someone is going to sit here and enjoy a cup of coffee comfortably ."

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