Cultural Profile - Japan

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Cultural Profile: Japan

Alejandra Valencia-Gomez Student ID: 958609

Cross Cultural Communication, Section B Professor Gibson Tuesday 15 November, 2011

When entering a guest country, customs are not exactly, or nowhere near, the same as what they are back home. However, there are always general guidelines to aid your time in your welcoming country. For example, in Japan avoiding confrontation is essential. The Japanese will often withhold from expressing their true feelings in order to maintain harmony. Secondly, relationships are vital, although they may take years to develop. The foundation of relationships, mainly in business, is trust. When doing business, it is good to have some kind of general knowledge about the culture and the people you intend to do business with. It is said that communication is seen as an obstacle, more often, when non-Japanese is doing business with a Japanese. This essay will focus largely on business in analysing Japanese culture as the work ethic is very pronounced within the society. The Japanese culture is in fact very polite. For business communications, they use formal politeness, while informal politeness is used for socialising. Manners and politeness are a key aspect of Japanese business culture in order to keep customers, or potential customers, happy. Japanese meetings commence with a ritual, meishi kokna, which involve an exchange of business cards. This is a manner of expressing the importance of the event. An important note is never to put a business card, which has been exchanged, in your pocket immediately as it is considered disrespectful. Many surviving rituals, like the example provided, are derived from the Shinto religion although most may not be aware of these religious heritage. Business cards allow the other person to determine your rank in order to know how to relate to you. During meetings, eye-contact, most importantly that which is prolonged, is considered aggressive. During a meeting or...
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