That’s the standard early morning greeting in these parts. If you have studied Japanese, you would have learned “ohayõ gozaimasu” (お早うございます) as the proper polite form of greeting.
But in these parts it is more common to hear “yõgozaimasu.” It is a shortened form that has stuck in these parts.
By these parts I don’t mean the whole city, just this little area where we live.
You see, while Japan is a small group of islands, the geological barriers between regions coupled with various waves of immigration over the centuries, led to the development of various regional dialects. As you can see from the map above, there are a great many regional dialects and even sub-dialects in Japan. It is very similar to the Philippines.
I travel a lot all over Japan and I come across people from different regions often. Some dialects are similar to others, while some sound closer to Korean than Japanese (the two languages are related). The people of the north sound very different from the people of the south, while those on other islands sound different again.
Then there is the way in which people behave and the variations in etiquette that are observed. People in the Shõnan area are very different from people in say Tõkyõ in their behaviour and etiquette. People in the mountains behave differently to those living primarily in the plains. Some differences are subtle, some not so. This makes learning the culture all that more interesting!