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Global Business Cultural Analysis – Japan

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Global Business Cultural Analysis – Japan

Liberty University

Business 604


Japanese culture and practices are relatively different as opposed to American culture and practices.  Subsequently, Japan and the United States do a considerable amount of business, that it is crucial that American entrepreneurs comprehend the culture of Japan.  After thorough research it believed that the Japanese are a collectivist culture.   Japanese are very loyal, dependable, and dedicated people not just to their country, but also to their friends, and their companies, they are trained this very early on in life.  Japanese religion is also a very integral part of life.  When Americans understand the Japanese culture, it is also crucial for them to comprehend how the Japanese work their businesses and how they integrate their culture into their workplace.  Having the knowledge will assist the American’s when they do business and will benefit them when they form relationships with the Japanese.

Global Business Cultural Analysis- Japan

 Major elements and dimensions of culture in Japan

        Japan has many different elements and dimensions of culture in their region and eight of them will be examined so there is a better appreciation of the already established cultural principles that the Japanese incorporate into their everyday life.


        Communicating efficiently has remained the subject matter amongst researchers.  Communication is the way that cultures are connected; it is crucial to form and maintain strong connections with the Japanese. Japan and America’s cultures are incredibly different in numerous manners.  For one to appreciate and learn how to communicate effectively with the Japanese on must comprehend the Japanese language.  First and foremost, for someone that doesn’t speak Japanese it is vital to comprehend the language. Japanese is a language that is predominantly spoken in Japan. Because of the complexity of the language and the unique vital attributes, which make it problematic in trying to study and understand the language. The attributes of the Japanese language are vital to comprehend the enunciation of the language and its phrases. If the Japanese language is said wrong it can modify the meaning considerably.

        Formal.  Japanese is a very formal language.  The Japanese are very formal and courteous when communicating. Japanese are very considerate and humble people, especially when they are speaking to someone that is superior or senior to them.  Japanese always look from other people’s viewpoints. They circumvent any type of confrontation and avoid it at all possible.   The Japanese teach their children and students on the importance of being respectful when communicating with others.  “The Japanese standard for communicating with others is expressed in the phrase Ishin-Denshin, which literally means “from my heart to your heart” or “heart to heart.” In its Japanese context, it is a kind of cultural telepathy. Because they are products of an intensely personal and homogenized culture, Japanese often know what the other person is thinking without the use of words. It is the type of communicating they are naturally familiar with (Kameda, N., pg. 96).”  Japanese expect the same amount of reverence back.  Instead of shaking hands in Japan, Japanese will bow, and how far the bow is dependent on the relationship they have with the person they are greeting.  Japanese are very polite people.  Japanese avoid any confrontation that is aimed to be negative. 

        Written Language.  Japanese written language is predominantly symbols that can be various words or connotations that are rooted into the symbols. The Japanese symbols are not easily written, because each symbol can possess several words. With that being said, it is very normal for a Japanese person to remember their communications with people versus writing them down because it is more proficient. 


          Religion is of significance in Japan and cannot be devalued.  The Japanese have backgrounds in Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism, and Taoism, these religions have persuaded every part of their everyday lives.  The Japanese believe that everyone needs to live in harmony with every individual and the religions that Japanese follow so deeply teach that as well.  This is an additional reason why the Japanese are non-confrontational people.

        Confucianism.  Confucianism was a practice that incorporated deep-thinking and virtuous teachings and was established by Confucius. Sometimes it is viewed as the way of life and religion.  The Chinese has followed Confucianism closely for ages, and its influence has spread to Japan.  “The ‘Confucianism’ to which Japanese elites and scholars were first attracted represented fields of knowledge concerned more with ontology and divination than with social ethics and politics. Because of the priority given to birth over talent in official appointments, Confucianism in Japan remained more a gentlemanly accomplishment and never approached the status it had in China, where mastery of its teachings represented a gateway to officialdom (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy)”.  The Japanese today do not usually acknowledge now days to be Confucians.

        Buddhism.  Buddhism is another religion practiced in Japan and is one of the four religions that is predominant in this world today, more than 400,000,000 profess they are believers of Buddhism (Cophold, G).  Buddhism was introduced extremely driven political and cultural motives.  Buddhism extended ethical and scholarly benefits, which Shintoism lacked.  Buddhism inspired the Japanese culture not merely from religious viewpoints, but led to the shrines at the temples and Japanese art.

        Shintoism.  Shintoism is seen as rituals that Japanese practice, instead of something they put their faith in, it even coincides with Buddhism.  Shinto precedes the onset of Buddhism, but points towards the philosophies and rituals of the Japanese in the past. People who practice Shinto religion believe that whenever you die you come back as a Kami.  A common ritual that the Shinto practices is using water and salt as a mental and physical cleansing.  

        Taoism.  Taoism is another religion that is from way, but is not forgotten and still practiced in modern day (Minoru, S.).  Taoism has paved the way for other religions practiced in Japan and has molded the Japanese society (Minoru, S.).   Nevertheless, numerous of the political rituals that take place in modern day Japan are related to the initial Taoist philosophies.  Despite the fact that Taoism considerably influenced the older Japanese then it does today, it still however is incorporated with them today, for example the Japanese people have what we would call a good luck charm that they hang in their vehicles and it supposedly protects them from danger (Minoru, S.).



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