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Japanese People and Society
2015 update by Steve McCarty
Japan International Cooperation Agency
JICA Kansai
Fuji japan by Travelbusy.com, 2012, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/da5BdG
Geography and Climate
Japanese People
Image and Reality
Japanese Society - 1
• Population structure
• Family structure
• Religions
Demographicshift, its reasons, and difficulty of solutions
“Six out of 10 respondents saidthe biggest reason for having fe...
伊勢神宮外宮別宮月讀宮 - Tsukiyomino miya (Gekuof IseGrand Shrine) by Tamago Moffle, 2010,CC BY-SA2.0
NARA: 法隆寺 Horyuji temple by ume-y, 2013, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/eSekCB
KYOTO spring:
Kiyomizu Temple
Summer:
Gion Festival
KYOTOfall
Japanese Society - 2
• Traditions & new attractions
• Gradually changing values
• The Lonely Crowd
• Difficult to meet str...
OSAKA
Big Issue Stall – Osaka Station by GanMed64,
2011, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/aGkhiz
SHIKOKUisland
DSCF0752.JPG by Kazu Letokyoite, 2007,
CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/LcWcC
HIROSHIMA: Peace Memorial by
Stripy T-Shirt, 2004, CC BY-SA 2.0
https://flic.kr/p/2fuzj
NORTHEAST JAPAN
earthquake/tsunami...
Japanese ways
of thinking
• Other-oriented values
• Individual and peer group
• Concept of time
• Environment and nature
•...
Social behavior
& relationships
• Levels of social distance
• Intimate circle, face relations, strangers
• Politeness, ind...
Lessons of a
Japanese family
• Putting others first
• Pressure to assimilate
• Being a professional foreigner
• Child-rais...
Kids in
the 1990s
With
wife’s
parents
Japanese People and Society (for JICA, 2015 update)
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Japanese People and Society (for JICA, 2015 update)

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The author gives occasional lectures on behalf of the Japanese government, introducing Japan to visiting officials from developing and emerging countries, at the Japan International Cooperation Agency Kansai regional center in Kobe.

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Japanese People and Society (for JICA, 2015 update)

  1. 1. Japanese People and Society 2015 update by Steve McCarty Japan International Cooperation Agency JICA Kansai
  2. 2. Fuji japan by Travelbusy.com, 2012, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/da5BdG
  3. 3. Geography and Climate
  4. 4. Japanese People Image and Reality
  5. 5. Japanese Society - 1 • Population structure • Family structure • Religions
  6. 6. Demographicshift, its reasons, and difficulty of solutions “Six out of 10 respondents saidthe biggest reason for having fewer children than they really want is that ‘it costs too much money to raise and educate children’.” From:https://japanforum.nbr.org/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind1307&L=list&F=&S=&P=70494
  7. 7. 伊勢神宮外宮別宮月讀宮 - Tsukiyomino miya (Gekuof IseGrand Shrine) by Tamago Moffle, 2010,CC BY-SA2.0
  8. 8. NARA: 法隆寺 Horyuji temple by ume-y, 2013, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/eSekCB
  9. 9. KYOTO spring: Kiyomizu Temple Summer: Gion Festival
  10. 10. KYOTOfall
  11. 11. Japanese Society - 2 • Traditions & new attractions • Gradually changing values • The Lonely Crowd • Difficult to meet strangers
  12. 12. OSAKA Big Issue Stall – Osaka Station by GanMed64, 2011, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/aGkhiz
  13. 13. SHIKOKUisland DSCF0752.JPG by Kazu Letokyoite, 2007, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/LcWcC
  14. 14. HIROSHIMA: Peace Memorial by Stripy T-Shirt, 2004, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/2fuzj NORTHEAST JAPAN earthquake/tsunami: Volunteer at Kesencho, Rikuzentakata by Hajime Nakano, 2011, CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/aGC8ia
  15. 15. Japanese ways of thinking • Other-oriented values • Individual and peer group • Concept of time • Environment and nature • Status and hierarchy • Male-female differences • Importance of age • Reasons for many suicides • Human relations most important
  16. 16. Social behavior & relationships • Levels of social distance • Intimate circle, face relations, strangers • Politeness, indirectness, formality • Avoiding confrontation • Inside and Outside • uchi & soto, honne & tatemae • Private self (reserve) & public self (restraint) • Many Obligations: gimu, on, giri • Balancing give & take of gifts & favors • Symbolism of gifts and objects
  17. 17. Lessons of a Japanese family • Putting others first • Pressure to assimilate • Being a professional foreigner • Child-raising, bilingual issues • Husband-wife relationship • Employment and faithfulness • Fitting in while sticking out
  18. 18. Kids in the 1990s With wife’s parents

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