Japan's 47 Prefectures - "I want to know about this!" Vol.12 - Traits of people from a city rather than a prefecture? Hyogo Prefecture's Citizens give Kobe City an Envious Gaze
Japan, a long and narrow country that stretches from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Through climate both peoples temperament and values change. If you take a look at the different areas, from the customs to the local foods, it is apparent that everything changes. If you understand this information then it is local knowledge that your trips to and around Japan can be a lot smoother. In this article we are going to be introducing the traits of people in Hyogo prefecture within Kobe City.
The Sea of Japan, Seto Inland Sea, and the Various Traits they Both Hold
The 2 sides have completely different traits and characteristics with the Sea of Japan having a more farm-like and agricultural aspect whereas the Seto Inland Sea has more urbanized traits. The northern and eastern parts have a more severe climate meaning the people there are typically simple yet diligent. The west sees a much warmer climate giving a more relaxed and easygoing atmosphere. The east can be seen as intellectual and assertive, however, if we look at Kobe District we can see a lively amount of curiosity. It may be because Awaji is a small island away from the mainland of Japan, but it is said that the people there are open and smart.
Even if the prefecture's are the same, it is very characteristic that easy area within those prefectures seems to have it's own uniqueness to both itself and it's residents.
Not Prefecture Pride, City Pride. Not "My Prefecture", but "My City"!
When asked where they were born, instead of saying "Hyogo Prefecture" they will instead tell you the city such as "Kobe City", "Nishinomiya City", "Himeji City", "Ashiya City" etc., they have a much stronger sense of pride in their city rather than their prefecture. You typically find that these people are more open-minded towards people from other prefectures making them very easy to socialize with.
The large presence of Kobe city is just another of Hyogo Prefecture's characteristics. In this fashionable port town, lots of global fashion & smart corporations are gathered, making it a location yearned for within the prefecture. When talking to people from other prefectures, saying "Kobe" gives them a lot better of an image than saying "Hyogo".
People from Kobe don't like being lumped together with people from Kansai
Even though Kobe is located in the same Kansai region, you should never say people from Osaka and people from Kobe come from the same place. Kobe, stylish and vibrant, with progressive people is like oil and water compared to Osaka residents who don't really mind about appearances. People from Kobe get quite annoyed when people in Osaka use the same dialect as them. It's quite simple to check if someone is from Kobe or not. For example, when asking "What are you doing" in Japanese, you would typically say "Nani shiteruno?", but in Kobe dialect it would be "Nani shito (shiton)" whilst Osaka dialect would be "Nani shitennen".
People from Kobe don't eat Kobe Beef
Hyogo Prefecture's representative meat "Kobe beef". People from other prefectures will say "You're lucky you get to eat Kobe beef", but in reality, just because the people live in Kobe, does not mean the meat is any cheaper. It's not a kind of food one can get their hands on regularly.
There are many more stories such as this that you wouldn't believe all across Japan! This article is part of a series, so please look forward to the next one. We would love to hear what you think about all of this in the comments section, which prefecture would you like to hear more about?