Japanese Culture Analysis

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An examination of Japanese culture, and where it stands on Kluckholn and Strodbeck’s Value Orientation, Hall’s cultural dimensions, and what America needs to know in order to communicate properly with Japan. Researches Florence Kluckholn and Frederick Strodbeck developed a value orientation that can be used to identify cultural patterns in 1961 (Cooper, 21). Their research suggests that all humans, regardless of culture, face similar problems that must be faced (Cooper, 22). These problems are addressed in a variety of different ways; Kluckholn and Strodbeck’s value orientation is designed to evaluate the response of various cultures, and place them on a continuum. The evaluation is based on five basic problems presented by the researchers:…show more content…
In a study by Rieko Murta Richardson and Sandi W. Smitth, a study was devised to test the validity of the claim that Japan is indeed a high-context culture. Richardson and Smith cited Hall, who hypothesized that a culture can be defined as high or low context based on the messages communicators sent (Richardson). The study utilized students from universities in Central Japan, and the Midwest in America and consisted of four parts (Richardson). All conclusions were drawn from surveys completed by the students. Results showed that Japanese students respected the authority of their professors, and valued modes of communication that allowed more direct contact with the professor, like face-to-face interactions or phone calls (Richardson). Valuing more direct contact with an individual, although not specified in Hall’s list of qualifications for a High or Low Context culture, offer a reasonable sign that a culture is high-context. Methods of communication like email, which were valued more by American students, require individuals to say exactly what they mean because there is no room for subtlety or subtext (Robinson). It is necessary to explicitly state the purpose of the message, which goes against the values of a low context culture (Cooper,…show more content…
Japan’s particular high-context style can be characterized by its formalized communication structures and codes (Kowner). As the island nation was isolated from 1640 to 1854, the communication structures became deeply ingrained in Japanese culture (Kowner). After more than two-hundred years of isolation, each individual has had the opportunity to grow and develop a high-context language, and in turn teach it to their own

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