It has been suggested in a comment here: How is しかたない an opinion about a product feature? that しかたない might be a characteristically Japanese response to a question (that a Western person might never give).

Is this a valid observation? If so, what would a Japanese person mean when replying in this manner to a market research question about a product?


In the context of your other post, I think that it's not a peculiarly Japanese response. I would think of it in that context as an expression of the feeling "there's nothing I can do about it".

However, I also think that in Japanese culture, it's more common than in English-speaking culture to express feelings of "there's nothing I/we/you/anyone can do about it".

In English-speaking culture (please let me know if you agree), a person who often expresses such feelings of some kind of "helplessness" is likely to be looked down upon as not being motivated, self-empowered, etc. It seems to me, in Japanese culture this is not the case and expressions like this are more likely to elicit understanding, fellow-feeling and respect for a persons humility.


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