The fight against “Paris Syndrome”

Here’s a fun photo story from the Reuter’s blog. A group of Japanese expats in Paris are helping tidy the city in an attempt to ammeliorate the symptoms of “Paris Syndrome”.

According to Wikipedia, Paris Syndrome is:

“a constellation of symptoms primarily affecting mood which affects visitors working and vacationing in Paris, France.”

Basically, Japanese women who grew up reading  Palace of Versailles set manga and watching films like Amelie arrive in Paris to have their illusions instantly shattered by cigarette-butt littered streets and narky waiters.

Some vistors are driven to nervous breakdown. In 2006 the BBC reported that the Japanese embassy in Paris had to repatriate four tourists with a medic on the plane to help them in their distressed state.

I’ve always suspected a corresponding Tokyo Syndrome actually, people who come expecting servile robots and nymphomaniac women (or perhaps the reverse).

And there’s no-one repatriate the victims of that malady! I guess they  just take up residence in the corner of a Roppongi Irish bar.

8 Responses to “The fight against “Paris Syndrome””

  1. katk says:

    I hadn’t heard of this phenomenon. This story plus this one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/world/asia/22japan.html?scp=1&sq=hime%20island&st=cse

    have really made my week! Thanks!

  2. tony says:

    what about Kusanagi?!

  3. Poor Kusanagi, the news conference for his apology last night was down-right insulting. When will the members of SMAP realize that they have the power to be independent performers (at least some of them, Goro may struggle!!) Will be interesting to see how the others react to any harsh treatment of Kusanagi over this event.
    On Paris syndrome or Tokyo syndrome I found Japan uglier than I`d expected especially as the propoganda put out it all about that subtle asthetic and attention to detail that the japanese specialize in. Paris I found great and the biggest surprise I ever had (in a pleasant way) from visiting a country was Poland which, in Krakow at least, is so much more beautiful than you expect it to be. How about your big travel surprises both good and bad?
    Damon

  4. David says:

    Tokyo exceeded my expectations in every way, except maybe the nymphomaniac women :) I’ve definitely seen people excessively romanticize the city, only to come crashing down to earth when their dream of being the only foreigner in an exotic asian paradise collapsed.

  5. Daniel Fath says:

    Japan’s media should save their self-righteous anger for the politicians. Mayor of Chiba takes 1 million yen bribe? Where’s the outrage?!

  6. tony says:

    Damon, I was in Poland last Summer,including Krakow, and you have just encouraged me to put up some of the B&W photos I took then. Watch this space.

    Yes, poor Kusanagi. The only scandal is that he got arrested. I don’t blame the media for looking for an excuse to finish off SMAP though.

    I’m not sure what my biggest travel surprise was – perhaps arriving to live in Toyohashi at the end of the 1990s and finding it full of Brazilians.

  7. Tokyo Syndrome, hahaha. That will be the next big trend now that you brought it up. I swear I’ve seen what must be the symptoms.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s because the french are so darned rude – and everybody makes it look like paradise until you step foot there and get treated like garbage!

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