Its Not A Mistery But...


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Its Not A Mistery But...

  1. 1. ~ Category Theme ~ “It’s Not a Mystery But…” ~ The Culture of Japanese Organization ~ Chikafuji, Ryu (TAKA KONDO) Last Modified: Jan/18/2010 Nov/20/2009
  2. 2. ❖Comparing the culture between the United States and Japan, people say that the United States is a heterogeneous culture, on the other hand Japan is homogeneous.
  3. 3. ❖America is:
  4. 4. ❖Urban ❖Rural
  5. 5. ❖Friendly ❖Hostile
  6. 6. ❖Full of honesty ❖Full of arrogance
  7. 7. ❖Self-devoted ❖Selfish
  8. 8. ❖Rich ❖Poor
  9. 9. ❖Innovative ❖Conservative
  10. 10. ❖I used to agree with the argument that, “Japan is homogeneous”, before I started working in the United States. ❖But, now I feel there is something weird about it.
  11. 11. ❖Regarding the surface of things such as demographics, of course, there is no argument, I agree with it 100%.
  12. 12. ❖What I want to discuss here is the thinking pattern and the process of decision making. These may be related to the emotional and psychological aspect of a human and an organization.
  13. 13. ❖I don’t think it is homogeneous, but very heterogeneous.
  14. 14. ❖Dr. Ruth Benedict(1887~1948), American anthropologist and author of “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”, described Japanese culture.
  15. 15. ❖ When a serious observer is writing about peoples other than Japanese and says they are unprecedentedly polite, he is not likely to add, ‘But also insolent and overbearing’.
  16. 16. ❖When he says people of some nation are incomparably rigid in their behavior, he does not add, ‘But also they adapt themselves readily to extreme innovations’.
  17. 17. ❖When he says a people are submissive, he does not explain too that they are not easily amenable to control from above.
  18. 18. (snip)
  19. 19. ❖When he writes a book on a nation with a popular cult of aestheticism which gives high honor to actors and to artists and lavishes art upon the cultivation of chrysanthemums, that book does not ordinarily have to be supplemented by another which is devoted to the cult of the sword and the top prestige of the warrior. Quoted from: ✎ First chapter of “the chrysanthemum and the sword - pattern of Japanese culture”, 1946
  20. 20. ❖A lot of contradictions are described in Benedict’s book. (Some criticize her work)
  21. 21. ❖There are many good points in her book even though she had never been to Japan.
  22. 22. ❖I was born in Japan, got an education in Japan and worked for a Japanese company.
  23. 23. ❖However, I have had similar questions with Dr. Benedict.
  24. 24. ❖In this theme, “It’s Not a Mystery But…”, I’d like to discuss various aspects of the culture of Japanese organizations with case examples.
  25. 25. ❖I’m hoping that my contents to be posted here will give you some hints for your better experiences in interacting with Japanese organizations.
  26. 26. ❖The following pages are a kind of trailer about which I’m planning to write. ❖Each title and its abstract will be subject to change. So, this slide will be updated as needed.
  27. 27. #1 “Histories of Digital Still Camera” ❖ The Digital Still Camera (DSC) market has been an extraordinary competitive market which included two different industries, camera and consumer electronics. ❖ DSC was the first full-fledged consumer digital product except personal computers. So, it required close encounters of American IT industry such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, etc. ❖ DSC market destroyed the film camera market, coincidentally, Camera Phone is creeping into this market. ❖ In the early stage, Japanese manufacturers had over 90% of the global share in DSC market, and they still have a major share in this area. ❖ To review DSC market gives us a lot of suggestions to understand Japanese organization cultures, I think. So, first of all, I’d like to write about the history of DSC.
  28. 28. #2 “Behind the Mystery” ❖ Most Japanese people are not religious. ❖ However, religions are still unconsciously influencing people’s actions and way of thinking. ❖ What makes Japanese culture so different from the rest is its quit unique “religious system(*)”. Japanese religion is highly syncretic beyond completely different religions. ❖ Not only religions, the ideas from “Bushi-do”, “Sa-do(tea cult)”, “Ka-do(flower arrangement)”, etc., are also blended. ❖ In this topic, I’d like to outline the above focused on the business scene. (*) This expression might be eccentric for people who are monotheistic religion. First of all, basically, Japan is a polytheism nation like ancient Rome / Greek.
  29. 29. #3 “It’s not a labyrinth, but…” ~Decision Making Process~ ❖ The decision making process of Japanese organizations, especially, big companies, is one of the most interesting things. There are big differences with American companies’. ❖ “Why does it take such a long long time?” ❖ “Who is the decision maker?” ❖ “What priority do they have?” ❖ “Why do we have to repeat the same argument?” ❖ “Why do they have a passive attitude?” etc. ❖ In this topic, I’d like to discuss their decision making process and how to deal with them.
  30. 30. … to be planned.
  31. 31. ❖Contents of this theme will be posted in the category of “English” on: ❖If you have any question, please send an e- mail to