Don’t Call Me BROTHER!! – Malaysia v.s Japan Brother Culture

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Hi guys!! It’s me again. Shen Lim TV – When Malaysia meets Japan series ^^

Some people asked me
“Shen, why do you make vlogs?”
The answer is simple.

“Because I have something to SAY!”

Nowadays, internet allows us to express ourselves more easily than before. And vlogging is a very efficient way to let people speak out their mind on internet. Think about ourselves. Students like us don’t get chances to stand on the TED talk stage and be introduced after the big screen with “Idea Worth Spreading”, we don’t get chances to publish book or be interviewed on a TV show. So what can we do?


Vlogging! If you said the right things, the video will spread itself for you.


So today, I have something to SAY again. lol To put it short….


Don’t Call Me BROTHER!!

Have you seen this kinds of BROTHERS around you?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean they are bad people. You know, sometimes they are just joking. Don’t apply my video to every brother situation, ok? :p


Why Japanese people don’t call you brother easily – 2 Japanese idioms

Why japanese people dont call you brother easily? Malaysian vs Japan

Here let’s remember 2 idioms that I think it’s related to the culture of “Japanese people don’t call you brother easily”, which means they tend to keep a certain distance with you.

親しき仲礼儀あり Shitashiki Naka Reigi Ari

Means we have to keep good manners even between best friends.

Living in Japan, you may have realized that “why I always feel distance between me and Japanese people?” Yes, I’ve experienced that too. But if you understand the culture behind their behavior – keeping good manners between friends, or even family is a virtue – then you won’t feel strange any more. That is why they don’t become too close to their friends, like in Malaysia one could call another “BROTHER” randomly.


夫婦は他人 Fufu Wa Tanin 
Means even between a married couple, one should respect each other as an independent individual.

I have noticed many Malaysian married couples that, often, they get too close to each other that they forgot to keep good manners such as “Saying thank you” or “asking for a favor politely”….etc.  In Japan, even after marriage, one should still keep a certain distance so that good manners remain in the relationship.

This explains pretty well why they don’t call you brother easily, because they keep distance even with their significant one.


What about 兄貴 Aniki?

Yeah, good point that you have realized! There is a term 兄貴 Aniki in Japanese, meaning “Brother”. So why do you still insist that Japanese people don’t call you brother?

Of course, if you are familiar with Japan Yakuza culture, we all know that Yakuza has strong brotherhood culture. In Yakuza case, they call their superior Aniki. But nowadays, it’s not usual to hear Aniki among young Japanese generation.

But sometimes we still can hear Japanese say, “This is my Aniki. He has helped me a lot when I was having a bad time.” Yes, some people still form Aniki relationship, but only with the people they are really close to, or they received help from. Compared to Malaysia “Brother culture”, it’s virtually different. 🙂



When Malaysia meets Japan series vlogs are intended to spread Japanese and Malaysian culture & value, and to find a balance point between these two very different cultures. As I usually say, there is no good or bad about culture, but only understanding about it.  Hope you got something new from my 5 min video 😀 Peace~



A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.