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Understanding Japanese Culture Through American Eyes

Ratings:
177 pages1 hour

Summary

“Kamo is a type of especially tasty wild duck that makes the thousands of marshes and literally millions of ponds of rural Japan its home every winter, where it feeds on rich wild grains and grasses. It quickly gets very fat and slow to move or fly, and becomes very easy to hunt. In Japanese business circles, a Kamo is someone worth taking advantage of, who is inexperienced, a sucker or pushover, easy prey.


There is a special type of Kamo, very much appreciated in business as you can imagine, who "brings his own onions" for cooking. Overly friendly Americans, who are trying so hard to be culturally sensitive that they forget they are facing shrewd business people, can find themselves being welcomed to the table as the main course.”


“The concept of Face, which is Confucian rather than strictly Japanese in origin, is fundamental to understanding and being effective working with Japanese people. Face has been given many different explanations by Westerners trying to understand why it is such a powerful force in Japanese relationships, even among strangers.


Face has been compared with concepts such as personal dignity, self-esteem and pride, but these concepts are centered on a very Western, and especially American set of ideas. All of these Western analogies are centered on the individual and how they feel and are being affected, whereas for Japanese people Face is all about others.


Face doesn't "belong" to Japanese individuals in the same way that Americans mean when they refer to "myself". A Japanese individual's Face "belongs" to the people who make up that individual's web of relationships, obligations, and attachments.”

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