I’ve seen this time-lapse on Reddit about a crowd in Japan waiting to enter a comic convention called Comiket.
“The video is completely captivating, less for what we are seeing and more for what we are not. There’s no pushing, shoving, line-cutting or even a need for fences or barriers.”
A Reddit user, who is Japanese, writes that the value of patience is ingrained in children from the start:
“In Japan, children as young as 2 year old start to learn at kindergartens and nurseries how to wait and early education for young children is designed to emphasize the importance of waiting patiently without complaining. Being able to do that is fundamental to being part of Japanese society. You really cannot do anything without having to wait in Japan. It’s not an overstatement to say that a huge part of whether or not a young child is considered well-behaved is judged based on their capability to wait for their turns (thus their willingness to follow unwritten rules).”
Japan’s culture of order was given a global spotlight in 2011, when a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami slammed the country’s eastern coast. Instead of looting, people formed lines outside supermarkets.
See also an excellent article on Slate , by Christopher Beam, about the structural factors that contribute to the strikingly calm response “a robust system of laws that reinforce honesty, a strong police presence, and, ironically, active crime organizations.”