Intelligent Businessmans Guide to Japan


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Knowing that you're supposed to pour drinks for others and not for yourself, and that you should use both hands when pouring, is unlikely to come up when doing an overseas vacation. Nor is the knowledge of funeral customs and how much to bring to a wedding. The book tries to cover all possible circumstances for all situations, and it mean that it's often more of an overview than an in-depth primer.

There's a section on formal tea ceremony, which I never attended even though several of my friends practice tea ceremony, a section on funerals something I, chas v'shalom , will never have to attend , the importance of business cards and accepting them with both hands, and how eating in public is rude, though it does clarify that this is less true now that it was thanks to fast food. One conspicuous omission I noticed was in the section on mass transit, there was no actual explanation of transit etiquette. The book says that trains are extremely crowded during commute hours and there's a complex web of buses, trains, and subways weaving any major Japanese urban area into a web, which is true.

But the book's 90s roots shine through when it doesn't point out that it's very rare for anyone to talk their mobile phones, or even have conspicuous conversations with their friends. Generally, mass transit journeys are conducted in silence. As an introvert, American mass transit is a dumpster fire of rude garbage people, is what I'm saying.

The biggest problem I found with the book is its broad brushes. There's a lot of commentary that paints the Japanese as the nearest thing to a hive mind, or traces every single custom back to the days of the samurai and inter-clan warfare. For example: In the Japanese system every action required a balancing reaction, as in the Oriental principle of ying [sic] and yang, in which opposing forces balance and bring about harmony.

This is in the section about appreciation vs. The book almost seems to step into nihonjinron territory, painting Japanese customs as some kind of innate characteristics which can only be escaped by those Japanese who are "internationalized. That's funny. I figured they'd be stressful because interacting with someone in a foreign language is almost always stressful, especially if you're not confident in your ability to speak it. This isn't bad as a survey-level review of Japanese customs, but with a little more depth and a little less editorializing it could have been a lot better.

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I don't think skipping it before we moved to Japan did us any diservice. Jun 24, Gavin rated it liked it. Some of it is dated and the author has too much of an imprint given his own strong convictions in some areas. Otherwise, it's so small, I can't complain about such flaws. Read it in a weekend. This book is very helpful for the person who will be visiting Japan for business and wants his manners to reflect the Japanese high standards of etiquette.

I read it for prepping to visit Japan for a vacation. I wanted to give a good impression of a well-mannered American Tourist. I found the Japanese to be much more relaxed and forgiving of social faux pas. This book covers many aspects of the rules, but is a little out dated. Today, the Japanese are much more relaxed and understand that foreig This book is very helpful for the person who will be visiting Japan for business and wants his manners to reflect the Japanese high standards of etiquette.

Today, the Japanese are much more relaxed and understand that foreigners are rather crude, but they treat them kindly anyway. Language skills are appreciated, quiet demeanor and patience are expected.

The Japanese want to please and they do not react negatively unless you are being discourteous, loud, aggressive and demanding. Read the book, and then relax knowing that your intentions will be read quite easily. Smile, smile, smile and nod.

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Say excuse me and thank you often. Jun 18, Sunil rated it really liked it. Perhaps no other country in the modern world would need a guide book on Etiquette than Japan. I quite enjoyed reading this book, which came across as a very comprehensive view of social customs and practices in Japan that an uninitiated visitor SHOULD know if she expects to have a cultural interaction with the residents.

Intelligent Businessman\'s Guide to Japan

The book obviously is written with a western reader in mind, so is focussed on typical western mind looking in Japanese friends found parts of the humour in book , well, humou Perhaps no other country in the modern world would need a guide book on Etiquette than Japan.

The book obviously is written with a western reader in mind, so is focussed on typical western mind looking in Japanese friends found parts of the humour in book , well, humourless Id recommend this book to anyone intending to visit Japan or anyone wanting to get acquainted with Japanese customs, which, needless to add can be banal to bizarre.

Mar 21, Fitra Rahma rated it really liked it. Each chapter is not that long but explains most of the information that we need to know. Unfortunately, not so many explanations about etiquette for someone who just travels in here or lives as a student. Overall, it gives a new light for you who just know about Japanese only from anime, drama, or movie.

Covers all the bases with respect and clarity Short but power packed, this guide covers all the bases for traveling and doing business, the latter superficially as it's worthy of entire books. Loved the detailed info on bathing, toilets, gifts, temples.


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He also does an excellent job of explaining how Japanese people think and how history explains the present. Don't travel without it. May 23, Nicola Sheridan rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , research-books. Read it on an aeroplane flight, entertaining and interesting. However, I didn't like the Japanese pronunciations in brackets, as they tend to suggest an 'ane' pronunciation for an 'an' sound which suggests a long 'a' sound rather than the short 'a' sound I have been taught.

Other than that it was a great read. Oct 16, Danielle Forward rated it liked it. Probably required for anyone seriously involved with Japan.


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Easy to read, nice succinct chapters. Wish I read the updated version! A quick and fun read! I picked it up as a visitor trying to minimize my obnoxious tourist-ness but it also had a fair amount of business-specific advice, which would make it good for anyone going to Japan for professional reasons. That alone was worth the time investment. This is very helpful! Best used on a case by case basis as you encounter new situations in Japan. For example, when you have an occasion and need gift ideas. Or how to go about commuting by train. I could readily see a difference in my experience here in Japan because I knew what to look for.

This book covers an amazingly wide range of topics in concise, informative chapters. I found it very helpful and covered topics I would never have considered. Dec 08, Hua Wang rated it liked it. A fun book to read. Japan is a very interesting country. It is probably impossible to find a second country which preserves its own traditional culture to the extreme extent. It is recommended to foreigners if you want to get the most of your trips in Japan. Mar 07, Reagan Clove rated it it was amazing. I love this book! I love Japan! This book taught me how to act Japanese!


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Whenever I go to Japan, I will use these skills! I think that this book is very helpful to those who want to go to Japan someday! I would recommend this to someone whl likes japan and who has travel plans to go there! Some good basic recommendations and decent representation of the culture. Great to have multiple chapters from various vantages of interaction, stay, etc. Mar 19, Meaghan McEntee rated it really liked it Shelves: popsugar-reading-challenge.

I bought this book because I was seeking something to help educate me about appropriate behavior under my Japanese employer. This was a good general text with foundational ideas and covered many topics. It was useful to me. May 25, KStar rated it it was amazing. Infinitely helpful to both travel and writing Thank-you for publishing this great resource, it is nice to see both modern day and historical comparisons in one book. Jan 05, Molly rated it liked it Shelves: adult-non-fiction , travel. I found some of this interesting, but it has more breadth than depth for what I was looking for.

Still- has some good insights and phrases. Nov 10, Katie rated it liked it Shelves: Very insightful and helpful guide to etiquette issues in Japan, particularly surrounding work culture and the value of harmony, teamwork, cooperation and modesty in Japanese society.

Intelligent Businessman's Guide to Japan

A very interesting and informative book! Mar 14, Brandon Barnes rated it liked it Shelves: business-and-leadership , read. I don't feel like I got what I was looking for in this book. A reasonable overview of points of difference between Japanese and "western" style cultures with some decent pointers on business and occasional mores.

Does what it says on the tin. An interesting, until a certain point, book about Japanese culture but not exactly a good guide to know every etiquette rule that you need to know when traveling in Japan. It's more focused on the business traveler so if you're just a traveler like me with the intention of traveling Japan and not doing business with the Japanese people avoid this book.

Also the images are generic, I wish it had more accurate pictures describing the rules you're supposed to abide in Japan and not some weird black An interesting, until a certain point, book about Japanese culture but not exactly a good guide to know every etiquette rule that you need to know when traveling in Japan. Also the images are generic, I wish it had more accurate pictures describing the rules you're supposed to abide in Japan and not some weird black and white generic pictures.

In short: it's okay if you want to know a little bit about the Japanese culture, but nothing else. Feb 10, Gretchen rated it did not like it. I think probably a decent very basic overview but so much adulation and editorializing. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation?

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Intelligent Businessmans Guide to Japan Intelligent Businessmans Guide to Japan
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