Westerners Visiting Japan Can Leave These At Home

Interesting blog. I agree that we don’t put ‘efficiency’ first in all cases. Japan is now aging rapidly. In some cases, we simply are not able to do things as before.


Enjoyed a very interesting conversation with a Japanese friend today. Here’s the takeaway:

Westerners coming to Japan needn’t pack the following two things (I’m sure there are many more):

1. Humor. Japanese have their own ideas about what constitutes funny. While you may find a few people who will laugh at your jokes they may be doing so more out of courtesy than anything else. A short, true story illustrates this point: An American businessman is delivering a speech to a Japanese audience with the help of a translator. The speaker tells a funny joke and the audience responds with laughter. In fact, the translator did not repeat the joke in Japanese but instead told the audience “This man has told a joke which does not make much sense in our culture. Out of courtesy, please laugh now.”

2. Efficiency. This may come as a surprise given the amazing manufacturing…

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