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The Japanese Business World - Research Paper Example

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This research paper outlines a few of the main differences that a traveler from the United States can expect to find in communication with Japanese nationals in Japan. It explains how Japanese customs and habits have arisen and explains what effects they have on the business context today…
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The Japanese Business World
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Download file to see previous pages Japan has a population of about 127 million people and the main religions are Shinto and various branches of Buddhism. Both Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity are also represented, but on a much smaller scale (Japan Introduction, no date).  Shinto is an ancient religion that involves respect for ancestors and various spirit beings called kami. These can be divinities with personalities, like people, or they can be attached to natural phenomena.  Mount Fuji, for example, is revered as a holy place, and the Japanese have a strong attachment to the natural world. Festivals for the different seasons reflect ancient religious beliefs also, such as the New Year festival and the famous cherry blossom festival. Evidence of the practice of Shinto can be seen in temples which are dotted around the countryside, and occasionally in cities too, and also in Japanese homes, where there is often one corner of the house which is used as a small shrine where prayers can be said and offerings can be made. This reverence for the ancestors extends also to relations with older people in society, since Japanese generally respect older people, at home and at work, and defer to their authority more than would be usual in American society. The influence of Buddhism can be found in a tendency towards asceticism and extreme self-discipline (Bowring and Kornicki, pp. 155-156). Meditation and the philosophy of Zen come from this tradition, and this is based on older Chinese and before that, Indian, scriptures and rites passed down through the generations.  Japanese people can seem to be unemotional or impassive to Western visitors, and this is partly due to these ancient religious traditions which teach meditation and reflection. Stillness and quiet are revered in Japan, and this means that visitors should take care to avoid loud or excessively animated conversation, at least in formal contexts, because it may seem like a childish or disrespectful lack of discipline to Japanese people.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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