1. ~ Category Theme ~
“It’s Not a Mystery But…”
~ The Culture of Japanese Organization ~
Last Modified: Jan/18/2010
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. ❖America is:
6. ❖Full of honesty
❖Full of arrogance
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
11. ❖Regarding the surface of things such as
demographics, of course, there is no argument,
I agree with it 100%.
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
13. ❖I don’t think it is homogeneous, but very
14. ❖Dr. Ruth Benedict(1887~1948), American
anthropologist and author of “The
Chrysanthemum and the Sword”, described
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. ❖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. ❖When he says a people are submissive, he
does not explain too that they are not easily
amenable to control from above.
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
✎ First chapter of “the chrysanthemum and the sword -
pattern of Japanese culture”, 1946
20. ❖A lot of contradictions are described in
(Some criticize her work)
21. ❖There are many good points in her book
even though she had never been to Japan.
22. ❖I was born in Japan, got an education in
Japan and worked for a Japanese company.
23. ❖However, I have had similar questions with
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
25. ❖I’m hoping that my contents to be posted
here will give you some hints for your better
experiences in interacting with Japanese
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
“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
❖ 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.
“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
(*) 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. #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?”
❖ In this topic, I’d like to discuss their decision making process
and how to deal with them.
30. … to be planned.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org