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What is Japanese attitude?


Japanese people are known for their unique culture, social norms, and attitudes. Understanding the Japanese attitude is crucial for anyone who wishes to do business or live in Japan. This article aims to explore the various aspects of the Japanese attitude, including their values, communication style, work ethic, and social customs.

The importance of harmony

The Japanese attitude is heavily influenced by the concept of harmony or “wa.” This means that they prioritize maintaining peaceful and respectful relationships with others. This value is reflected in various aspects of their culture, such as their indirect communication style and their emphasis on group consensus instead of individual opinions.

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The role of hierarchy

Hierarchy plays a significant role in Japanese society, particularly in the workplace. Respect for authority and seniority is expected, and it’s common for people to address each other using hierarchical titles like “san” or “sensei.” This emphasis on hierarchy can sometimes lead to a lack of initiative among junior employees who defer to their superiors.

Politeness and formalities

Japanese people are known for their politeness and adherence to strict formalities in social interactions. Common phrases like “arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much) and “sumimasen” (excuse me) are used frequently. It’s also customary to bow when greeting someone or showing gratitude.

Punctuality and reliability

Japanese people place a high value on punctuality and reliability. Being late or canceling appointments without a valid reason is considered disrespectful. This attitude extends to the workplace, where employees are expected to arrive on time and complete their tasks efficiently.

Hard work and dedication

The Japanese attitude towards work is famous for its emphasis on hard work and dedication. The concept of “ganbaru” (doing one’s best) is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and employees are expected to put in long hours and show commitment to their job. This attitude has contributed to Japan’s reputation for exceptional productivity.

Respect for nature

Japan’s natural environment has had a significant impact on its culture and attitudes. The Japanese people have a deep respect for nature and its power, which is reflected in their traditional art forms like ikebana (flower arranging) and bonsai (miniature tree cultivation). This reverence for nature extends to their concern for environmental issues.

Collectivism vs. Individualism

Japan is often described as a collectivist society, meaning that group harmony takes precedence over individual needs or desires. This attitude can be seen in various aspects of Japanese life, such as the importance placed on teamwork and consensus-building. However, there are also individualistic traits present in Japanese society, particularly among younger generations who prioritize personal expression.

The importance of education

Education plays a vital role in Japanese society, with parents placing great emphasis on their children’s academic success. The education system is rigorous, with high-stakes exams determining students’ future prospects. This focus on education has contributed to Japan’s reputation as a highly skilled workforce.

Love for technology

Japan is known for being at the forefront of technological innovation, with companies like Sony and Nintendo leading the way in consumer electronics. The Japanese people have a love for technology that can be seen in their adoption of cutting-edge gadgets like smartphones and robots.

Cultural preservation

Despite being an advanced technological society, Japan places great importance on preserving its cultural heritage. Traditional arts like kabuki theater and tea ceremonies are still popular today, and many historical sites like temples and shrines attract visitors from all over the world. The Japanese government also supports cultural preservation efforts through funding and promotion.

The concept of “omotenashi”

Finally, the concept of “omotenashi” (hospitality) is an essential aspect of the Japanese attitude. It refers to the idea of providing excellent service to guests or customers through anticipating their needs and going above and beyond expectations. This attitude can be seen in various industries, such as tourism and hospitality.


In conclusion, understanding the Japanese attitude is crucial for anyone wishing to interact with Japan or live there. The values of harmony, hierarchy, politeness, punctuality, hard work, respect for nature, collectivism vs. individualism, love for technology, cultural preservation, and omotenashi shape the way that Japanese people navigate the world around them. By respecting these values and adapting to them where necessary, outsiders can establish positive relationships with Japanese people both personally and professionally.

What is the Japanese personality?

In Japan, being polite and kind is highly prized, and punctuality and hard work are also greatly valued. Japanese people may come across as shy, but they excel in group work.

What is typical Japanese behavior?

Japanese culture places a strong emphasis on respect and consideration for others, with an emphasis on maintaining harmonious relationships and avoiding conflict whenever possible. The concept of “Giri and Ninjo” is a well-known expression of compassion and empathy towards others in Japanese society.

What are 3 main cultural values in Japan?

In Japanese culture, values of harmony, order, and self-improvement play a vital role in social interaction. These concepts are influenced by various religious and philosophical beliefs concerning the nature of the self and society.

Are Japanese very respectful?

In Japan, it is customary to show respect to everyone by bowing. The depth of the bow signifies the level of respect, particularly towards high-ranking officials. People bow when greeting and leaving as a sign of respect, which is highly valued in Japanese culture.

What is considered attractive to Japanese?

Modern Japanese beauty standards typically prioritize having fair and unblemished skin, a slim and petite physique, thin legs, and a reserved personality. However, it is important to note that these standards are subject to change over time and may not necessarily be embraced by future generations.

Are Japanese people shy?

Contrary to popular belief, Japanese individuals are not as reserved as they are often portrayed. In Japanese culture, being reserved and peaceful is valued and has roots in the Samurai era. Therefore, it is not uncommon for Japanese individuals to avoid being overly friendly, particularly when communicating with strangers.

Another important aspect of the Japanese attitude is their approach to conflict resolution. Japanese people tend to avoid open confrontation, preferring instead to find a compromise that preserves harmony. This approach can sometimes lead to indirect communication or a lack of clear feedback, which can be challenging for outsiders to navigate.

The Japanese attitude towards social relationships is also unique. Group membership is highly valued, and individuals often prioritize the needs of the group over their own interests. This can be seen in the practice of “nemawashi,” which refers to the process of seeking consensus among group members before making a decision.

Hospitality is also an essential aspect of Japanese culture, with hosts going to great lengths to ensure that their guests feel welcome and comfortable. This can manifest in various ways, such as serving traditional Japanese food and drinks, providing thoughtful amenities like slippers and robes, or arranging cultural experiences like tea ceremonies or flower arrangements.

Japanese people also place great importance on cleanliness and orderliness. This can be seen in the immaculate state of public spaces like parks and train stations and the careful attention paid to personal hygiene and grooming. Visitors to Japan are often struck by the cleanliness and organization of the country’s cities.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Japanese attitude is not monolithic. There are regional variations in attitudes and customs, with people from different parts of Japan having distinct dialects, traditions, and ways of life. Additionally, younger generations are increasingly adopting more individualistic values and attitudes that differ from those of their parents and grandparents. As with any culture, it’s important to approach the Japanese attitude with nuance and an open mind.

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