Traditional Shinto & Modern Japanese Business

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The nation of Japan, even more so than other countries, has a long, long history behind it. It's a country dating back as far as the B.C. Era, and that has experienced various powerful events that has shaped the country since its birth. As with other nations, an important part of their past lies in their religion. Before they were introduced to Buddhism and other outside religions, which had a large impact on their society, the Japanese followed something known as Shinto. As the one religion that can truly be called “Japanese,” it follows that its influences would still remain in the eyes of the people and only aided by a traditionally xenophobic view of the world.

Now, in modern Japan, the role of fundamental religion has, for the most part, come to an end. The country has established its relevance in an increasingly globalized world. They've proven themselves to be a powerhouse in the business sector, especially as it relates to advancement in the technological field. The first thing that comes to mind when people think of Japanese businesspeople is an unwavering politeness and sense of respect. Clearly, how one views politeness is often guided by how one's society views politeness. So, I find myself wondering to what extent, if any, their modern business ideas coincide with their original religion.

First, Shinto itself needs to be explored. As a brief history, Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan, that, as mentioned, dates back before written records. In fact, the term “Shinto” wasn't even used to identify their religion until others started infiltrating their country, as they previously had no need to distinguish something that, to their country at the time, was a universal concept. The term means “the way of the ka...

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... everything else. I would say that many of their modern concepts, if they did not arise from modernization itself, are the result of the total cultural influences that have been passed down over the generations. In the end, it's just like it is in every country: How they view things in the past and present effects how they view things in the future.

Works Cited

“Business Travel to Japan on a Budget.” CNN Business Traveller. Perf. Richard Quest. CNN, 2006. Television.

Dore, Ron. "50 Years of Observing Japan: Economics, Society and Business Education." YouTube. Global MBA, 2011. Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

Iwase, Daisuke; Terrie Lloyd, et. al. “Entrepreneurship in Japan and Asia.” G1 Global Conference 2011. GLOBIS Tokyo Campus, 2011. Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

Religions of the World: Shinto. Perf. Ben Kingsley. SCHLESSINGER VIDEO, 1998. VHS.

Return of the Gods. UFOTV, 2005. DVD.

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