Eastern customs and values have found their way into Western cultures during the past century or so, like Japan’s rich and ancient civilization. Even though sushi, sashimi, and pusheen cats are common Japanese cultural objects, there is so much more to learn about this Eastern island. So, join us on a trip to Japan and extend your horizons.
Exceptional Job Ethic
You’ve already read of Japanese people’s good work ethic.
And maybe this little Japanese expression encapsulates their work ethic:
In your exhausted condition, I humbly exalt you.
‘OTsukaresama Desu’ translates literally as “I humbly exalt you in your condition of fatigue.”
The very existence of such a word reveals everything concerning Japanese society.
To begin with, it is a testament not just to diligent employees – as many Japanese citizens are – but also to the fact that people value and honor the hard work they do.
The Collectivist Mentality
The Japanese way of life is a collectivist way of life. This ensures that personal interest takes a back seat to group gain. The community may apply to your actual town or city, or it may refer to your immediate family and friends.
- Being on time
Being late or disregarding plans is acceptable in certain European and South American cultures. Being on schedule, on the other hand, is a form of showing gratitude to the common whole in Japan. Being punctual is a way in Japanese culture to demonstrate that other people’s time is just as significant and precious as your own.
- Be courteous.
Politeness often takes precedence over integrity, particularly in community contexts, although this is not because people respect dishonesty or deceit. Instead, the Japanese place a premium on politeness and reverence. If you do object, it is preferable to do so privately and tactfully.
When it came to being respectful, one writer listed three helpful phrases to master when spending a year in Japan. These three sentences, she said, had “a lot more to do with being friendly than with attempting to get a meaningful mission done.”
What Were The Three Main Words in This Writer’s Japanese Experience?
- Thank you, or Arigatou
- Women nasai, or apologies
- Daijobu desk, or it’s all right
Some could say that since Japanese people are so friendly, they are false and insincere. Foreign passengers, on the other hand, believe that these exchanges are entirely sincere and just another opportunity for Japanese citizens to express reverence for others.
Depending on where you’re from, saying “Thank you” and “Sorry” all the time may or may not be normal. But it couldn’t hurt to be more aware of how your words and deeds affect others around you.
Places of Public Consumption
The collectivist ethos of Japan also affects how public places are viewed and preserved. For example, in highly individualistic cultures, people often shift guilt and accountability for garbage, rubbish, vandalism, or general tidiness to others.
Even though there are a lot of inhabitants in Japan, public places, like public transit, are kept safe.
Bowing is a common symbol of respect among people, but it is not a way to be inferior to anyone else or to encourage anyone to take a superior role. Instead, it is a method of consciously demonstrating appreciation.
Bowing occurs between partners, between a buyer and a store owner, between family members, and between company associates. Bowing expresses reverence, which is a universal characteristic of Japanese society.
Respect For The Elderly
In Western countries, it is becoming increasingly normal for aged persons to be institutionalized before they expire. This, though, is not the Japanese way of life. Older people are valued members of Japanese culture, and they are often referred to as “Sensei,” or teachers.
This demonstrates how highly they are regarded for the insight and expertise they have amassed throughout their lives.
An Incentive to Live, or “Ikigai”
Ikigai is all that follows us through life, evolving and adjusting to our various circumstances.
In Japan, there is a term known as “ikigai,” which translates to “a purpose for living.” And Japanese people agree that each of us has our distinct ikigai.
The great aspect is that it isn’t something set that never improves. In reality, ikigai is something that follows us through life, evolving and adjusting to our various circumstances. Introducing ikigai into your daily life is a perfect way to find meaning in everything you do.
Respect For Your Personal Space
Taking Off Your Shoes When Entering The Building
Indoor and outdoor rooms are similar and distinct in Japanese cultures. And this is reflected in their footwear etiquette, which citizens adhere to in their private residences and, on occasion, in historic buildings.
Before entering a home or historic house, you must first pass through genkan, a midway field. You take off your outside shoes and put on a pair of indoor shoes or slippers.
This etiquette may be superfluous, however, it demonstrates reverence and honor for the living room.
Take Pleasure in The Little Stuff in Life.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the popular cherry festivals that take place in Japan. It’s a spectacular display of cherry blossoms in the spring, but it’s so much more. This cultural festival, known as O Hanami, attracts Japanese citizens to the cherry trees, where they bask in Mother Nature’s glory.
Visitors define it as a jam-packed atmosphere, and isn’t it exciting to see so many people get enthusiastic over the easiest stuff in life?
Don’t Be Concerned, Relaxed
“Sho ga nai” is a familiar Japanese term that roughly translates to “Don’t care about what you can’t control.” In other terms, the only thing you can usually influence is yourself, so concentrate on modifying your actions and emotions and ignore the rest.
It is an excellent method for reducing tension in your life. It’s also a safe way to avoid avoiding anything and anyone that irritates you. Sho ga nai, and just concentrate on yourself.
Japan has a great deal to sell Western communities and economies. Even if you never visit Japan in person, we hope this brief visit helps you to learn more about their rituals and practices, as well as find motivation for your own life.