Presenting a case of “move by ostracism” to Oita district court. The ex-headman of a ward was claimed 30 million yen for the damage

Quoting from yahoo News

A man (73) with a family of three in 21st January , 2019 took legal proceedings to ex- headman of a word and a member of an assembly and land improvement district that manages reservoirs to claim 29,200,000 yen for the damages

A family has been harassed persistently by neighboring villagers for as long time as to move another place. Villagers frequently ignored a family and schemed to disturb a family from taking out the daily garbages to collect and from drawing dairy water from a reservoir.

According to a petition, a man built a new house in a village and started living with a family of three in February, 2008. A man withdrew from the ward council with doubt on its way of management of a ward in August, 2016. After he withdrew, he was pronounced that a ward council stops distributing regional public relations magazine to him and prohibits to take out garbage to the garbage collection place. In the mean time, neighboring villagers started ignoring his family.

Ward administration disturbed a man from drawing diary water from a reservoir although a man got permission from the land improvement district to draw water in July, 2017. A man has claimed moving cost and compensation for the damages with the reason that he was forced to move by neighbor’s illegal actions.

Nowadays, Japanese people who are attracted by country life and settle in regional villages to enjoy slow life have been increasing. Needless to say, there are also foreigners who are attracted by Japanese dynamic nature and made up their mind to settle in country side of Japan.

However, if you don’t really know about how to keep company with residents in country side of Japan, you may go through a bitter experience and end up regretting your decision.

For those who spent a majority of life in city area, it is many ordeals to anticipate to settle in country side of Japan.

You should understand the surrounding environment after you settle in is quite extraordinary for those who are commonsensible in advanced society.

Unchanged unreasonable rules to keep, the way of thinking that envy is the companion of honor and placing yourself in power of peer pressure by villagers that restrain all the different opinions are the examples.

There are a lot of realities you should know before deciding to settle in country side of Japan not to regret your decision.

Example1. You can’t take out garbage to a collecting place if your don’t join a member of village council

There are many cases that small villages in country side of Japan have private village council composed of residents and a new comer is recommended to join by force without exception.

The meaning of “by force” is that headman of village council suggest conditions that you need to join, which is like taking things to do that is indispensable diary life as hostage to press a new comer to decide to join in.

Of course, you can turn down this offer with your strong will but there is high possibility to receive harassment by villagers disturbing you from using public facilities. There is strong peer pressure in a village mood that forces your to join a member of a council.

Quote from news week Japan

Soon after I settled in, when I took my garbage out to a garbage collecting place, I came across a resident. He asked me who I was so I introduced myself as politely as possible.

Not long after, an old man who called himself a board member of village council visited my house and said “
That garbage collecting place belongs to our council so a person who are not a member of our council can’t use that place.” And I said, “I will join in a village council and I will pay dues.”

A man who talked about this thing to a headman visited my house again and said “I am sorry but a headman don’t want an outsider to join in our council so…”

I said instantly, “What? Where can I take my garbage to then? No, it shouldn’t be… ” I ran into a municipal office and explained my situation but a person in charge just repeating like “I know how you must feel but a headman is always like that to a new comer… (Please accept it)”

(What? As far as I live in that place, there is no place where I can take out my garbage? )

Listening carefully to the talk of a person in charge, a municipal office creates a garbage collecting space in some spaces of parking of an office for those new immigrants whose taking out garbage is rejected.

Example2, thoughtless remark is the trigger for being targeted to list on a blacklist

Thoughtless remark means the one that invades villager’s personal territory. I just want to say one thing firstly, your common sense that you’ve learned in your life often fails to work in a village. Never expect people will move as you think.

Among village residents tend to be induced to take actions by suspicion, jealousy, peer pressure and strong kindred connection. For that reason, indication from a person who they don’t accept as brotherhood in the community is what brings them tremendous anger. It is as if an outsider tries to invade their persona territory. This is how they feel.

Village rules are ostensibly regulated based on our common sense but it changes a lot frequently by villager’s convenience so villagers are the rules. If you say something that brings villagers anger in some way while you don’t know , you are listed on nuisance list and a rule decided by everyone is upset without realizing it. Villagers secretly share the new rule without letting you know to ostracize you from all the residents in a village.

All a new comer can do is just nodding to what villagers decide without having questions until being accepted as a brotherhood by villagers. You can understand how disgusting this society is.

Quote from news week Japan

Tomomi’s family has moved to a village lately with her small daughter. As an opportunity to make her daughter to enter a kindergarten, she accepted a managing member of the parent-teacher conference

Her first job in parent-teacher conferences was managing mother-child picnic in spring season. This plan was to go for picnic to a large public park with 4 buses. Bus passengers are some teachers and mother and kids.

When she looked bus seat assignment sheet, she realized one thing.

The seats of the bus No.4 was somehow assigned to mothers who originally needed to get on the bus No.1. All the managing members concentrated on the bus No.1 according to the seat assignment sheet

After she realized it, she asked a question about this thing to a manager of the teacher-parent conference. This behavior brought a manager’s anger.

After a picnic, a manager and her secretary summoned Tomomi.

Before they summoned Tomomi, they asked about her husband’s job around a village. In countryside of Japan, Agricultural municipal office, association and police department are three big industries and those are equivalent of government forces. Others are rebels for them.

If husband’s job is categorized in “government forces”, hauling his wife over the coals may interfere villagers’ business and living.

Tomomi’s husband is a tech engineer. Villagers made sure her husband job was expressed with western language and might have thought her husband’s business had no influence on villager’s business and living.

A manager and her secretaries who finished personal background check involved with every villagers summoned Tomomi to their place and disclosed the following things in the end.

In the teacher-parent conference, its managing members have taken over “Parent Black List ” that lists parents labeled as a nuisance from generation to generation.

Caste pyramid

There is clearly caste pyramid in a village society. Villagers ranked on the top of pyramid are the ones who were born and raised in a village and has never got out of a society.
Their parents also grew up in a village so they take over tradition and village rules from generation to generation.

Second layer of the pyramid is occupied by immigrants who has lived in a village for a long time. Those people were assimilated into traditional village rules while they experience and overcame various things through their lives in a village.
Those villagers are the people accepted by the top ranked villagers as brotherhood.

The bottom layer of the pyramid is for those who newly move to a village and looking forward to enjoying their lives in a village. Those people are still stranger for other “official villagers” and there are so many things and steps to overcome to rank up as official villager by being accepted as brotherhood by other villagers. Villagers rule is absolute. Getting set to put shield of law in front of you is not really useful anymore but just weaken your position in a society.
The shortcut to make your life better in a village is to bear all the hardness until you are accepted as brotherhood.

Quote from news week Japan

Social events such as a summer festival and a fire rangers gathering are packed over summer. Villagers are obliged to participate in all events. After joining a village council, if you don’t join events or monthly meeting because of your job, you are punished with a fine of a couple of thousands yen per events.

Kazuko who is friend of Tomomi is a new comer from Tokyo.
She is almost just like a gofer who is made to do things or get things for village ladies.

In summer festival, they unreasonably ordered her any miscellaneous duties like “you take drinks right here, kazuko! You bring it right here! Please but it for us! ”

She has ever bitterly seen the scenery with her eyes that village ladies were easy in behavior even while all the miscellaneous duties were pushed to her.

Of course, there is also bullying in PTA in urban society and there so many harassment from parents with whom hit it off badly. However, in case of countryside, there is no place to escape to. Implicit caste hierarchy system make her think that she needs to become a salve as long as she live there.

This traditional caste system is taken over by young generation due to strong peer pressure with fear of what’s happening if one of them are against this tradition.

You are under surveillance

Villagers are quite inquiring people and snoopy enough to watch your all day. They know how many washed clothes you hang out in your balcony. They know the date your relatives visit your place. They probably know your beginning of love with your husband or wife. They know everything and they bring up all information they’ve got somehow for backbiting in a gossip conversation each other.

They can’t get it out of their minds to know someone’s private especially an outsider coming from an urban society.
Indulging in insulting someone in sense of superiority behind an insulted person is a kind of small diary joy for them.

Quote from news week Japan

When I live in village, villagers told me how many washed clothes I had hung over in my balcony even though they should’ve remained silent and kept it in their minds. They told me these things as often as I saw them.

If I parked my car in front of my house, they asked me “why don’t go for a drive on such a sunny day?” And, if they realized there was no car in front of my house during daytime, they asked me “where have you been by a car

If my relatives visited my place, they tried to come to see my relatives by pretending to greet with a gift to my house.

For those who get used to living in an urban society, it is tremendous hardship to overcome the tradition and custom taken over in a village in a countryside of Japan.


Lately, municipalities in country side promoted publicly a campaign to attract more people to settle in for their financial situation. The wonderfulness of country living compared to the bustle of city is a platitude to attract urban people with advertisement. Its keywords are like tranquility, nature, slow life.

As always, same as business, municipalities keep secret about “Inconvenient truth” that makes immigrant experience hardship after starting living. You must not swallow every single words insisted on ads or TV commercial and believe Japanese country living is perfect for your retirement life.

For those who want to live in countryside of Japan, information that provides defectiveness of lives in country-side or that is disadvantageous for you is more useful to prepare yourself whether you decide to settle in or not.

All information I wrote here is quite biased in negative way. Of course, there is also good aspects of village living at the same time. All you have to do is to ascertain if the tradition and the society customs of a village are really suite for you.

I recommend you just settle in for a trial for about one-month. It is not too late to make your decision after this experience.


  1. McCall




    P.S.: By the way, thank you so much for creating this site. It’s people like you who make people like me want to come to Japan in the first place. ^ ^

    1. YuOi

      コメントありがとうございます。 とにかく自己主張を抑えることが重要です。日本の田舎暮らしにおいて、強すぎる自己主張は周りの住人との軋轢を生みます。多少理不尽なことや、おかしいと思うことがあっても日本の文化だと思って受け入れること。その姿勢が田舎の住人の支持を得て双方に信頼を生みます。 周りの住人の声に耳を傾け、多数意見には真っ向から反対してはなりません。ひどい場合には住人から嫌がらせを受ける場合があると思いますが、その場合は警察に相談しましょう。

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