Understanding the Japanese Perspective

1630 Words7 Pages
Americans that take the time to consider the Japanese perspective understand that they are products of a distinctive civilization and that their principles and ideals are the results of several thousand years of dominant pious conditioning that is completely different from those that shaped the nature, behavior and practice s of Westerners. To appreciate the Japanese, it is essential to have a comprehension of their religious and theoretical backgrounds. Fundamental moral values in Japanese business systems are influenced by three theoretical and spiritual traditions: the Shinto Ethic, The Confucian Ethic, and the Buddhist Ethic. The head deity of Shinto is Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess from whom the Imperial Family of Japan traces its origin. Less significant clans, in turn, claim descent from the lesser Shinto deities. Shinto’s only command is to be loyal to one's ancestors. This principle binds all Japanese in a bond of unity to a degree unknown in rest of the world. Shintoism emphasizes that harmony is necessary to keep man and things right with the cosmos. Every individual is obligated to do whatever is expected of him whatever the cost as long as honor is brought to his family. Individuals in superior positions are obligated to take care of those who serve. Self-sacrifice, kindness, helpfulness, loyalty, will bring trust, honor, confidence, and respect from others. (Cowles, p. 623) Confucius was adamant about respect for superior persons and things. His five basic relationships are between leader and lesser, father and son, older and younger brother, husband and wife, and friend and friend. The younger or lesser was to obey the older or superior but simultaneously the superior has duties to the inferior. (Cowles, p.1507). A... ... middle of paper ... ...everything within its means to obtain employment in another place for it’s laid off employees. As we have seen, when the market shifts in the United States, employees are laid off generally with little notice and with little account for their capability to secure new employment. In Japan no one is laid off. If the company feels that they have made a poor selection, they will send that person back through training and place him in a situation where he will receive encouragement and aid. In the United States, however, the lacking employee is fired. Very seldom is any thought given to retraining the individual or placing him/her in a more supportive setting. In brief, although these two cultures often find it tasking to comprehend and support each other’s differing corporate goals and management styles, human decency is universal so respect is shown to both ideals.
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