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  • Why are Japanese people such conformist

    I have been watching the news and the big topic in Japan and in part on the BBC has been gCool Bizh. gCool Bizh is the retread of old Japanese policy to have all the local government, federal government, and business wear gNo Neck tiesh and gNo Jacketh during the summer monthsh. This new policy (retread of 1979 policy that failed) was created for government office and business across the country to save energy in accordance with the Kyoto Accord. I think the policy is a small, but a good idea will again be a giant failure in Japan. Japanese are giant conformance and will not change. I had a good laugh watch T.V. and see the members of the Diet show up one after another wearing suit and saying they did not want to be the first to be wearing a non-suit. In addition, the one who were wearing the gCool Bizh cloth were wearing long sleeve. My favorite member of the Diet for laugh is the head of the DPJ he said it best. gWe must look professional and this will not make a big difference for Japanh. He said this to DPJ members and members of the pressh (I love the head of the DPJ if Koizumi created world peace tomorrow the head of the DPJ would be screaming how many Japanese Koizumi had put out of work).

    I live in Osaka. Osaka has had a similar policy as gCool Bizh for about the past ten years. What suppressed me is how much the Japanese Employee are conformist that the people. In the ward office I work in the employees all wear black suits with either white shirt or light blue shirts. The ward office told us last week we could wear gCool Bizh or gpolo shirth in the summer. Of course the polo shirt must only be white. As for the gCool Bizh I went to work on the first day of gCool Bizh it was 30 degree in Osaka. It was the hot day in Osaka for the year. In addition, as recommend by the federal government the a/c was set at 28. Not much help in feeling comfortable on a hot with a/c so high. I walk around wear my gCool Bizh no tie, no jacket, with a white polo shirt, and Khaki paints. I was the only person in the ward office wearing the gCool Bizh. The ward office has about 200 employees in it. When I asked people why they were not wearing the gCool Bizh the answer were almost all the same. gIfm a new employee and donft want to be disrespect by my seniors workerh or gI donft want to look differenth, or gWe should all dress the sameh, or g I will not wear the gCool Bizh until I see other senior people wearing ith. Nobody want to change, because they did not want to be see as individualist they just want to conform.

    A senior employee told me that when the prefecture changed from Uniforms to suit it was the same. He told me it took about 10 years to get people out of the uniforms and into suits. After he told me this I took another walk around the ward office and saw 10 senior employees were still wearing their uniforms. When I ask one senior employee why he and his co-works were still wearing their uniforms in answer like this: I was told there job had a lot authority and responsibility. That the uniforms told other of there importance in their job and that the general public would better respect them. The men in question check water meters.

    So here is my question to you all gWill Japan ever become a country of individuals or are they doomed to be mind numb robots for eternityh?
    Last edited by california84; 2005-06-03, 11:27 AM. Reason: WRONG SPELLING

  • #2
    Originally posted by california84
    So here is my question to you all gWill Japan ever become country of individual or are they doomed to be mind num robot for eternityh?
    Well, my opinion is that the conformaty comes mostly from the educational system and is reinforced by television and other mass media in Japan. Unless the primary education system in Japan gets a bit of an overhaul, the answer is probably no-they are doomed!!! Many of the Japanese that really want to escape the conformity leave Japan. That's one reason there are rapidly growing Japanese populations in many parts of N.A., Europe, Australia, etc.

    And on a side note... if it were relevent to me (if I were in an office) I would definately wear the "Cool Biz" outfits. Much better than sweating it out in a suit. Especially as a gaijin, I don't think it would really change how they looked at me.

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    • #3
      Look who's tockin'

      Originally posted by california84

      So here is my question to you all gWill Japan ever become country of individual or are they doomed to be mind num robot for eternityh?
      Well, judging from their role models, The Markans, I would say they are doomed.

      PS what is your native language, btw?

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      • #4
        I work at an elementary school and alot of the times the teachers come in wearing fairly casual clothes. I usually come in wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt, never a T-shirt. Today I'm wearing a Hawiian shirt, and noone even bats an eye. During the summer vacation it's all casual.

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        • #5
          No man is an island

          Originally posted by california84
          So here is my question to you all gWill Japan ever become country of individual or are they doomed to be mind num robot for eternityh?
          And will the West ever understand the concepts of group interdependence and social consideration or are they doomed to be selfish culturally imperialist ignoramuses with an inflated sense of originality for all eternity?

          Anyway, it's amusing to me how major an undertaking this Cool Biz is. You'd think it's the biggest social movement in the last 50 years, like Civil Rights in America or something. Next thing you know they'll have to call in the SDF to make sure all the prefectures are wearing their Okinawan shirts. It's pretty awesome they're trying to change though. Nobody in my office has gotten rid of the tie yet. They're waiting for the official announcement by the local higher-ups to come in mid-June. In the meantime, as much as I'm sure they'd like to prove to california84 how not "mind num robot" they are, I guess in the end the dress code is pretty low on their list of things that are worth getting in trouble over at work.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by california84
            I have been watching the news and the big topic in Japan and in part on the BBC has been gCool Bizh. gCool Bizh blahblahblah....
            I live in Osaka. Osaka has had a similar policy as gCool Bizh for about the past ten years. What suppressed me is how much the Japanese Employee are conformist that the people.
            So here is my question to you all gWill Japan ever become country of individual or are they doomed to be mind num robot for eternityh?
            never mind the num robots.......... you should really thing about fighting that suppression people and num robots should be allowed to live a life free of suppression.....

            sign up now

            free willy too while you are at it

            Comment


            • #7
              My Native hands

              My native language is American Sign Language. My father lost his hearing after the War. My father did a great job hiding his deafness from most people. Only closes friend and family knew. Not even his students knew. Even though he could speak very well he and my mom most spoke to each other in Sign Language. Sometime when I write I write in Sign Language order. Sign Language is spoken very much the same way as Japanese order. Except there are no gish, gtheh, and so on. In addition, there are no endings to words and so on.

              Cali

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              • #8
                Neat.

                Originally posted by california84
                My native language is American Sign Language. My father lost his hearing after the War. My father did a great job hiding his deafness from most people. Only closes friend and family knew. Not even his students knew. Even though he could speak very well he and my mom most spoke to each other in Sign Language. Sometime when I write I write in Sign Language order. Sign Language is spoken very much the same way as Japanese order. Except there are no gish, gtheh, and so on. In addition, there are no endings to words and so on.

                Cali
                Cool. That explains it. Thanks.

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                • #9
                  the upside of the conformity is this is still one of the safest countries in the world but of course "There will never be a Japanese James Brown"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aha yes
                    And will the West ever understand the concepts of group interdependence and social consideration or are they doomed to be selfish culturally imperialist ignoramuses with an inflated sense of originality for all eternity?

                    Anyway, it's amusing to me how major an undertaking this Cool Biz is. You'd think it's the biggest social movement in the last 50 years, like Civil Rights in America or something. Next thing you know they'll have to call in the SDF to make sure all the prefectures are wearing their Okinawan shirts. It's pretty awesome they're trying to change though. Nobody in my office has gotten rid of the tie yet. They're waiting for the official announcement by the local higher-ups to come in mid-June. In the meantime, as much as I'm sure they'd like to prove to california84 how not "mind num robot" they are, I guess in the end the dress code is pretty low on their list of things that are worth getting
                    in trouble over at work.
                    Hey, now...I really like the idea of group interdependence and responsibility. I would say that it tops my list of useful things I've learned in Japan. But I really don't think that wearing the same clothes is more than a shallow feature of this nakamae-ishikii. That stuff comes from the heart.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Janken King
                      the upside of the conformity is this is still one of the safest countries in the world but of course "There will never be a Japanese James Brown"
                      Still... but at this rate how long will that last. Crime is going up, and maybe it'll be a long time before it has any effect on foreigners (especially non-Asian foreigners), but I'm pretty sure that if the police force and justice system here need work, or the trend will continue to get worse.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by limitsnot
                        Hey, now...I really like the idea of group interdependence and responsibility. I would say that it tops my list of useful things I've learned in Japan. But I really don't think that wearing the same clothes is more than a shallow feature of this nakamae-ishikii. That stuff comes from the heart.
                        And likewise I wouldn't say that NOT wearing a tie at work is more than a shallow feature of individualism.

                        As for coming from the heart, you mean J-people are born with it? I'd say it's a learned behavior. So is following a dress code. They come from the same place. Anyway, cali84's the one who started 'tying' the cravat thing to deep cultural values. Just responding in like.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, your right.

                          Aha Yes, I think you are very much right. From my own observations at the schools I see the younger students are very energetic, fast learns, and ask great culture and language questions. Then those same students go to the Jr. High. They are taken out of their regular clothes, put into uniforms taught everyone will learn at the same pass. If you are a slow student we will all go your speed. If you are fast student you must slow down for everyone else. Students that take English as an Elective are not taught new materials or harder material then the regular English classes, but instead review the previes years materials. It is truly sad to see the individualism sucked right out of their souls. Last night on the News they said that suicide is at a record high in Japan. 30,000 people killed themselves last year. This is nothing new. It has been 30,000 for the past seven years according to todayfs Daily Yomiuri. I think a lot of these suicides have to do with people filling confused about trying to be individual and still trying to be part of the group too.

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                          • #14
                            Japanese can be very sheep-like in their behaviours, there's absolutely no doubt about it.
                            Note the tour groups that frequently pass through our home countries, with a (usually) rather shaggable tour guide leading holding a flag, with everyone following behind.
                            Following the leader is always the safest strategy.

                            Nanpa'ed a J-tour guide the other day. Was good, but the whole muff-fuji problem was in evidence.

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                            • #15
                              One of the major reasons for the conformist aspects of Japan has to do with the fact that is a small island (size of Montana) with a population of 120 million souls.
                              If everyone ran around as an individual it would be chaos !

                              Another nice thing is that if you make a rule at your school, people adhere to it. Try making a rule in the states... someone will ALWAYS try to get around it. on a daily basis.

                              It has its downsides certainly, but I can understand the need for it.

                              Of course how we teach (if we are teachers) can affect this situation. Don't know about the rest of you but the student who guesses wrong is still encouraged in my school. The ones who don't say anything are encouraged to talk.

                              Its a conservative country with a top down management style with deep roots. Change doesn't occur overnight, but the Japanese people are in general very resourceful. Mr Koizumi is a good example of this

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