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Japan's Cultural Code Words: Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese [Kindle Edition]

Boye Lafayette De Mente

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"This book offers keen insights into the Japanese character and more practical advice on dealing with the Japanese than dozens of other business books on Japan combined—and it reads like a bestseller!" —Alex Kerr, Japanologist

Kurzbeschreibung

This book is a study of Japanese society through the understanding of the key terms and concepts that define their attitudes and behaviors.

Westerners have traditionally been intrigued by Japanese attitudes and behaviors which have been perceived as ranging from cute, quaint, and seductive to strange and sometimes savage. The traditional dual character of the Japanese is generally attributed to cultural conditioning—strict conformity to standards set by the ruling powers and to sanctified custom—at the expense of individuality and personal freedom. Since World War II, the traditional conditioning and orientation of the Japanese has diminished and continuing influence from the West has wrought fundamental changes in the attitudes and behavior of the Japanese. Nevertheless, Japan's traditional culture is still so powerful that it continues to be the prevailing force in molding and tuning the national character of the Japanese, with the result that they still have two faces—one modern and rational, the other traditional and emotional.

The best and fastest way to an understanding of the traditional and emotional side of Japanese attitudes and behavior is through their "business and cultural code words"—key terms that reveal, in depth, their psychology and philosophy.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  11 Rezensionen
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Travel Companion, Not a Guide 11. Februar 2010
Von Giles Gammage - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In "Japan's Cultural Code Words", American author Boye Lafayette De Mente seeks to provide businessmen dealing with Japan a primer on negotiations, by using key concepts in Japanese society and psychology as a window into their behavior. The book works as a traveling companion, one you dip into now and again, but likely fails in its mission to act as a guide.

The 200-plus expressions are arranged alphabetically, from ageashi ("tripping on your tongue") to zanrei ("breaking the molds of the past"). Mr De Mente explains the origins of each term in light of Japan's more-Orwell-than-Orwell feudal past or atomic defeat in World War II, then suggests ways foreigners can accommodate or adapt to each.

Mr De Mente's book offers a kind of cut-away diagram into the Japanese soul, and there are insights here even for experienced Japan-watchers. However, he does at times appear removed from the grittier aspect of Japanese society--for example, he claims "Freetas" (from the English for freelancer, used in Japan to describe anyone working on freelance or short-term contract work rather than in a permanent position) are envied for their freedom, when in fact the growing number of people unable to find stable employment is considered a serious social ill.

Mr De Mente is generally balanced and fair in his description of Japanese behavior. He praises their virtues, but pulls no punches with what he sees are their fundamental faults, especially their enduring parochialism and the strange mix of smugness and envy that lace their dealings with the West. Those whose exposure to Japanese culture is limited to the occasional California roll at a Korean deli will doubtless find him overly critical, but experience teaches that his criticism is usually justified. (Full disclosure: I have lived and worked for the past 10 years in Japan).

The book is aimed squarely at the business community, and Mr De Mente attempts whenever possible to proffer potential negotiators with advice on how to handle their Japanese counterparts. This raises the book above the level of mere catalogue, even if the advice often boils down to "deal with it".

Unfortunately, organizing the terms alphabetically rather undermines this effort. It's a garage sale of sociology, a dusty attic with unorganized memorabilia, a primer that is 90 percent tertiary information. There are some shiny new ideas and sparkling insights, but finding them requires considerable hunting. The books offers no bulleted list of things to do, no consistent rules to follow; nothing, in short, that your would-be entrepreneur to wrap their brain around. Some of the information is highly abstract and esoteric, and likely wouldn't be much use to negotiators even if it was put in an easier-to-digest format.

More to the point, the book begs the question why outsiders should go out of their way to accommodate the Japanese rather than vice versa. Particularly given Japan's 20 years of stagnant growth and its rapidly-disappearing lead over competitors in fields such as household electronics and automobiles, it's getting harder and harder to justify the extra effort it takes to do business with the Japanese. The demand to be treated on their own terms might have been justifiable when they lead the world; this position grows increasingly untenable the farther they fall behind their neighbors.

If a reader is patient and thorough, this reference guide will doubtless help them navigate the notoriously difficult business climate in Japan. It's harder to say why anyone should still care to try.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An essential read to understand the Japanese 30. Juli 2009
Von Stephen Filiatrault - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Having lived in Japan for over 22 years I found this book was able to give me further invaluable insight and allowed me to go much deeper into the psychology of the Japanese than without it. Anyone who has ever has anything to do with the Japanese, or are simply interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this truly unique culture will not be disappointed in this important book.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Magnificent Insight 26. Oktober 2010
Von Don Prosser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
After spending a decade in Japan, I can only say that I wish I had read De Mente's work PRIOR to moving to Japan because it simply takes the lid off the Japanese psyche and allows the reader an intimate peer within. De Mente is a true pro and Japanese expert. His deft ability to weave a startling picture of what occurs inside the Japanese mind is simply par excellence!

Not a book to be read multiple pages at a time, each section needs to be digested on its own. There is no need to read it page by page, I was thrilled to move throughout the book according to my interests.

Have a great read and enjoy trekking through the Japanese mind!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Very Useful Book 18. September 2008
Von Bill R - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
A very useful book that gives insights into Japanese business practices and cultural traditions. It explains why normal Western business behavior may put you at a disadvantage. Because the book is organized by Japanese words rather than topic, it takes a while to grasp the big picture. Well worth the money.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ignore the negative reviews written by newbies. 25. Oktober 2012
Von John Robinson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
There are several negative reviews which are unbalanced in the extreme. Not a single one of them was written by anyone with any deep experience here (in Japan). I have lived here for 20+ years, have been part of a Japanese family for 16 of those years, and can verify every insight offered in this book. The tone of the book is not negative, it is *realistic*. This means it is both laudatory and, yes, seemingly critical at times, as the subject requires. Never does the author insult or glorify. He simply tells the truth of his experience. His experience covers many decades of life in Japan. My experience covers two decades. Of those things he says which I have knowledge of, I can corroborate every word, both 'positive' and 'negative'.
This is a remarkable culture, well worth study. This book is a supremely capable introduction to many aspects of that culture. I have read and re-read it with pleasure and profit many times. Highly recommended.
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