“Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya”
Cross Cultural Management
Summary of The Movie
Yamada Nagamasa, the young Samurai of Edo period, came to be a soldier in the Japanese volunteer regiment in Ayothaya (Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767). He fought against a group of Japanese who disguised themselves as the Hongsawadee soldiers and beset Ayothaya with troubles led by Kuroda Toranaga. Yamada was critically injured and helped by a group of Thai warriors. They, later, vowed to be "bosom friends". Yamada was taken to the priest with talisman and incantation who imparted the knowledge of Thai boxing and fencing to him. Later on, Yamada and his friends passed the fighting recruitment held to select the masterful combatants to be the Royal guards of King Naresuan the Great, the heroic king who declared the independence from Hongsawadee (Burma Kingdom that existed from the mid-16th century to 1752). Yamada and his friends fought bravely against the enemies, which could please the king very much. However, he never forgot to take revenge on Kuroda, who had defamed the Japanese. Finally, he could successfully kill Kuroda but in exchange for the life of his "friends". Being deeply grateful for the kindness of the Ayothaya king and the friendship of the Siamese, the young Samurai was resolved that "this land was not my birthplace but where my soul would rest". Cultural Dimensions
The movie that tells us about cross cultural between Thailand and Japan will be analyzed by using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions: 1. Masculinity - Femininity
Thailand has the lowest Masculinity ranking among the Asian countries listed at 34, compared to the Asian average of 53 and the World average of 50 (ref: http://geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_thailand.shtml). This lower level is indicative of a society with less assertiveness and competitiveness, as compared to one where these values are considered more important and significant. This situation also reinforces more traditional male and female roles within the population. Femininity is defined by Hofstede as “a situation in which the dominant values in society are caring for others and the quality of life”. As we can see in the movie when Yamada was critically injured and saved by a group of Thai people, who take him to their village in northern Thailand though Yamada is an unknown foreigner, and when the monk healed Yamada, he told the villagers who suspect Yamada “I even cure the wounded animals. He is a human. How can I let him die?” Feminine country like Thailand tends to place great importance on cooperation and a friendly atmosphere. Although Thailand is in a harsh situation but Thai people are always willing to offer friendship to others as the monk said to Yamada “Feeling better? Living here doesn’t need a blade. Thai people love peace and friendship. Whoever is your opponent or wherever you came from; but here only friends will stand beside you”. 2. Power Distance Index
Power Distance is defined by Hofstede as “the extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally”. Thailand has a very high Power Distance index: 64 (ref: http://www.clearlycultural.com), less higher than Japan that has a high Power Distance index: 54 (ref: http://www.clearlycultural.com). Thus, both of them are similar to characteristic in Power Distance. From the movie, Thai and Japanese societies are willing to accept a certain “inequality” in power, so that there will be the leaders and also the followers. Thailand has hierarchical rule orientation and Thai people adore their King. The King’s power is much greater than that specified by the...