is made up of many layers, which are old and new, foreign
and native. The interest the Japanese people have for other
cultures and the historic process of integration, as Japanese
welcomed foreign cultural elements without throwing away tradition
customs, adds to the multi-layer of the Japanese culture.
In addition, the Japanese culture is basically uniform throughout
the country. Great importance has traditionally been placed
on the group rather than on the individual, and this custom
accounts for much of Japanese society’s homogeny. It
is a very high collectivist culture and this value has been
integral to the identity of being Japanese. The Japanese collectivist
culture encourages people to put the interest of the group
above their own and maintain strong ties and obligations to
group members. Take for example the Japanese workplace. The
workplace widens the circle of social relationship for the
Japanese and once hired an employee rarely leaves the workplace
even if he/ she is given the opportunity to leave. The Japanese
employee identifies himself as a member of his work group.
When a work group has reached its goals, no individual member
is singled-out for his achievements, rather the whole group
is recognized and rewarded.
The Japanese are also more risk adverse and future oriented.
Risk adverse, meaning their culture is uncomfortable in unstructured
situations, avoids uncertain situations and adheres to strict
laws and procedures. Future oriented, meaning their culture
believes it is important to trade off short-term gains in
the present for long-term benefits in the future, will more
likely invest and save for the future.
In addition, the Japanese have been very skilled at making
distant elements their own to create something that is uniquely
Japanese. Their culture is extremely practical, emphasizing
specific circumstances more than universal truths.