Why do the Japanese have no concept of noise pollution?
It’s not just the Japanese. The Turkish and Thais pipe music into almost every park! Even more than the Japanese, Asian countries are only a generation or two away from the countryside and the silence of a rice field means being backward and even ‘lonely’. Add to that Japanese salarymen in the safety department and advertising department doing their gambaru best by adding sounds to escalators, vending machines, posters etc. and there you have it.
Why do the Japanese have such a positive feeling about the white noise droning of the cicada?
Part of it is them being the ultimate sign of the tsuyu rainy season finishing and summer really beginning- hence their pride of place in haiku poetry, where a subtle reference to the seasons has always been de rigueur. Partly it’s the Asian love of background noise that blocks out all thought- hence also students saying “My favourite music is BGM (background music)” and endless bosa nova loop tapes in cafes and posh restaurants. My other new theory is that the Japanese are more positive about their cicadas because they behave themselves better than cicadas in the Med- the ones in Turkey took to clinging to the jumpers of screaming girls in a stubborn and annoying way not unlike a Turkish waiter insisting that you choose his restaurant. Probably no connection to national characteristics though…