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Osaka – A Different Culture Final


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A short explanation of some of the cultural differences between Osaka and Tokyo by a long-term foreign resident

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Osaka – A Different Culture Final

  1. 2. <ul><li>Natsume Soseki </li></ul><ul><li>“ You know when you’re getting closer to </li></ul><ul><li>Tokyo because the peoples noses get </li></ul><ul><li>longer and their faces get pointed.” </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Botchan was written by a Tokyo author, about a </li></ul><ul><li>very direct Tokyo character </li></ul><ul><li>Any differences we identify are tendencies rather </li></ul><ul><li>Than hard and fast rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Often differences between company cultures are </li></ul><ul><li>greater even than national cultural differences </li></ul>
  3. 4. Stuttgart Milano Tokyo – 550 km (340 m) Stuttgart – Milano Washington DC – Charleston London – Edinburgh Not surprising there are some differences in style
  4. 5. Overspending on: G o o o d food
  5. 6. 808 Bridges – they say
  6. 7. <ul><li>Northern Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Bad weather </li></ul><ul><li>Dull food </li></ul><ul><li>Rigid rules, </li></ul><ul><li>Reserved people </li></ul><ul><li>Orderly parking </li></ul>Southern Europe Good weather Great food Flexible Open people Chaotic parking
  7. 8. <ul><li>Accent is scary – sounds </li></ul><ul><li>aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t stick to rules/agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Noisy, impolite, intrusive </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Homesick - miss the food </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to meet people - don’t </li></ul><ul><li>understand me </li></ul><ul><li>They’re prejudiced against Osakans </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>What difference? </li></ul><ul><li>Direct and open </li></ul><ul><li>Why did I learn Japanese? </li></ul><ul><li>Wakarahen! </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Targeted – sell good quality at a good </li></ul><ul><li>price to individuals </li></ul><ul><li>They will keep the price to </li></ul><ul><li>themselves so others don’t find the </li></ul><ul><li>source of their b argains and discover </li></ul><ul><li>that they are buying cheaply. </li></ul><ul><li>You can continue to sell at a good </li></ul><ul><li>price. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Volume – Sell quality at a good, </li></ul><ul><li>But slightly lower price to </li></ul><ul><li>individuals </li></ul><ul><li>They tell all their friends about the </li></ul><ul><li>bargain price and sales take-off </li></ul><ul><li>quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, they’ll try to find out </li></ul><ul><li>Where you’re buying, so they can </li></ul><ul><li>buy direct. </li></ul><ul><li>A City of Merchants! </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Can be difficult to get into the market – strong personal relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation style is tougher </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation after deal is signed </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Flexible thinking – many of the best comedians are from Osaka </li></ul><ul><li>Not afraid to say what they think </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming – once you’re in, people want to help </li></ul><ul><li>Long history of links with the world – The Manchester of the East </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Adapt your approach </li></ul><ul><li>Use the positive points to your advantage </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re late for the Shinkansen and </li></ul><ul><li>can’t buy a ticket, in Kanto, you often </li></ul><ul><li>miss the train. </li></ul><ul><li>In Osaka, you ask the ticket </li></ul><ul><li>collector and buy the ticket on the </li></ul><ul><li>train. </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>End 1996 - visited various cities – Hiroshima, Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama to find a factory location </li></ul><ul><li>Most dynamic reaction from Osaka City - showed me a number of potential locations </li></ul><ul><li>When I arrived back in the UK, the Osaka European office called me immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Osaka-style result – found the first office through personal contacts </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>1999 – Rented assembly location – normal bargaining over price. </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated reduction in estate agency fee – everything is negotiable </li></ul><ul><li>2000 – Started assembly – received subsidies from Osaka Pref for workers taken on full-time </li></ul><ul><li>2002 – Re-negotiated rental agreement to reduce payments (negotiating after the contract has been signed is not necessarily a bad thing!) </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>2000 – 2005: Mixed full-time and temporary workforce produced consistently high-quality products </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourced service providers (Accounts, HR, IT) were effective and loyal </li></ul><ul><li>Local equipment, component and service suppliers were flexible and supportive </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Maido arigatou gozaimasu </li></ul>