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Dynamis
May 27th, 2004, 19:11
I've copied this from BD. I've stripped the Japanese to save space, you can see the original here: http://bigdaikon.lunarpages.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=32775
That one still finishes in the same place. Hopefully someone will post the rest soon.

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So, either CLAIR or the Prefectural Government is handing this out to Contracting Organizations. It is in English and Japanese, and it is long! There are some good lines in there.

Enjoy!


Understanding Japanese Office Culture/Understanding the JET

JET participants work in "the Japanese workplace" of the Contracting Organization. It is important that the JET understands the Japanese workplace culture and that the Contract Organization understands the JET. The purpose of this document is to improve both the supervisor’s, and the JETs understanding of each other.


1. Tacit rules
The Japanese workplace
Various things are done as "a tacit rule" in Japan. In the Japanese workplace, workers know each other’s background fairly well and people tend to consider it unnecessarily tedious and ineffective to bind everything by rules. Another Japanese concept is “not everything can be made clear by using rules.”

The JET
Many JETs come from cultures where they consider it natural to have clear-cut rules. The moment the JET hears "A rule isn't definite," or “every situation is different”, they may think that this is an ineffective system, and that there has to be a better way. Many JETs will probably ask their Contracting Organizations for clarifications of the rules.

2. Authority and Hierarchy
The Japanese workplace
Authority and hierarchy exists in the Japanese workplace. However, Japanese tend to avoid speaking clearly about this. To clarify authority and hierarchy means to emphasize the difference in each other's positions and thus destroys the atmosphere of "people are in unity- working together." Or perhaps people may think, "This is no democracy!" This is a part of the tendency Japanese have to avoid clarifying individual responsibility, authority and achievement. There seem to be many cases where the JETs are not clearly told about the differences in authority and hierarchy between themselves and the Japanese colleagues, - (to the Japanese workplace the JET is considered a mere assistant of the Japanese language teacher).

The JET
Many Westerners believe strongly in one’s own personal rights. If the limit of authority isn't clearly stated, the JET may believe, "I can make decisions myself as it is my right to do so." As for the role of "the teacher," many JETs consider themselves essentially as equal partners to their Japanese colleagues, despite the fact that the teachers may consider the JET simply as an assistant. This may create tension where one side thinks they are allowed to make decisions at their discretion, while the other feels that unspoken boundaries are being overstepped.


3. Average length of employment in a job
The Japanese workplace
Too frequent job-change is considered suspicious in Japan. Especially to highly conservative public education facilities where the idea of "life-time employment" is even now, ever present. The Japanese colleagues bound to the position for a long time are not so keen on listening to suggestions made by JETs who leave after 2 to 3 years and where there is little consistency with the successor.

The JET
It is quite common for foreigners to develop a career while changing positions a few times. The JET is a time limited job but many JETs engage in their work seriously. It is very natural for JETs to want the head of their Japanese Contracting Organization to write a “letter of recommendation", detailing their accomplishments on the Programme when they begin searching for their next job.


4. Punctuality
The Japanese workplace
You could say that Japanese people are the most mindful people in the world regarding punctuality. To be punctual and to carry out the tasks in the time allocated is common sense and a pre-requisite in the workforce.

The JET
JETs from Anglo-Saxon culture may share a high degree of punctuality, but in general non-Japanese people are less mindful about punctuality than the Japanese. In some cases the culture may not be so concerned about keeping time at all. The reason given by JETs may be, “I am doing what I can at my own pace. If this does not fit in with the set schedule, I can not help it.”


5. Learning method
The Japanese workplace
Japan has a very restricting hold over the Japanese education system. Education at Japanese schools is regulated in various ways and colleagues are not given much flexibility in regard to teaching methods. Another cultural issue is, in Japan, unless you are very confident about your capability, it is considered important not to be conspicuous and not to deviate from ordinary, already-in-place methods. So JETs, who dare propose new methods, can be considered braggers or prone to offering ill-considered opinions.

The JET
In general many non-Japanese people use games and other experiential methods and do not rely on text teaching alone. This is to relax and activate the participants. Also culturally, it is commonly required to make proposals regardless of your experience or capabilities. If you are not making any new proposals to improve your work, you may be considered, incapable, apathetic or not interested. Indeed JETs may see many Japanese colleagues in this light.


6. Student Discipline
The Japanese workplace
In Japan, it is taken for granted that parents provide love to their children. This results in a lack of clarification of the parents’ responsibilities. Within the family unit, child abuse does exist as well as a lack of discipline towards their children. The parents often seem to consider discipline the responsibility of the school.

The JET
In western countries, the parents are considered to have a public responsibility in regard to the rearing of their children. Since child abuse is considered as a failure of public duty, it is natural that public authority intervenes. Many JETs may be surprised that discipline of children here is considered the responsibility of the school.


7. Rules
The Japanese workplace
In Japan, when there is a rule, you are expected to abide by it publicly. If you want to break it, you should do it quietly. To break a rule openly means to challenge the authority of those who made the rule in the first place. If you are breaking a rule quietly, and challenging the authority clandestinely, it can be considered as “mature behavior” in Japan. An open challenge to authority is an exceptional event that should not take place often.

The JET
If a rule is not appropriate (in the JETs mind), JETs think they should not need to abide by it. JETs stay in Japan for only 1 to 3 years, so it does not make sense for them to keep to a rule which they do not consider appropriate. Unlike Japan, to ask to change a rule is a part of ordinary social behavior and not an open challenge to authority. Also JETs may be bewildered and very frustrated that they are requested to abide by the rules while many Japanese people are breaking them quietly.


8. Belonging
The Japanese workplace
In Japan your origin, such as family or education, is considered important. Generally it takes time to get accustomed to a completely new job environment and be accepted by the office. When two corporations merge it takes a long time before the employees can feel united. There would be few Japanese colleagues who consider JETs, (who stay in Japan only for 1 to 3 years), to be fully integrated, true partners in the education system.

The JET
JETs come to Japan to work as teachers. When they work, they naturally expect that they will be treated equally with other colleagues and accepted as member of the team.


9. Importance of the group and the individual
The Japanese workplace
In Japan it is considered very important that the group functions well. Group function is a pre-requisite of individual function. The effort to maintain and develop group cohesion is highly valued. If you show too much disruptive behavior and disturb the group cohesion, you will be judged negatively, which may result in a non-renewal of the contract.

The JET
For non-Japanese people, one’s career is built up individually. A JET does not want to write on their resume that their greatest accomplishment in 2 years in Japan was, ‘doing as I was told, and maintaining group harmony’. Rather, if they could write that they “introduced new ways to improve methods of teaching” or that they, “started a new project in the community,” it would be by far better. Thus, JETs would like to do things in which they can demonstrate their capabilities or achievements.


10. Ethnocentrism
The Japanese workplace
The Japanese workplace has absolutely no intention of introducing any foreign workplace culture suggested to them by the JET. The JET’s proposal would never be accepted. It is difficult worldwide, to explain the bases of culture. Therefore, the Japanese people can not often answer their JET’s questions on the reasons of rules and customs.

The JET
Among JETs there seem to be those who are willing to adjust and become accustomed to Japanese workplace culture, and those who tend to think that the “Japanese workplace culture is wrong, therefore it is justified that I act as I consider right.” When people make claims according to their cultural norms, they often make points only convenient to them. For example, JETs may say counselling is very well developed and easily available in western countries, but they do not add that they pay a fee. Such unilateral claims can do more harm than good and antagonize their Japanese colleagues.


11. Anxiety
The Japanese workplace
Many Japanese feel anxious towards their JETs. One of the main reasons for this is that they know little about their JET’s background and there is no knowing what the JET may say or do. JETs also change so frequently the Japanese colleagues must become adjusted to each JET anew. Some contracting organizations may be annoyed with having to repeatedly adjust to new JETs.

The JET
JETs have little or no idea about their job assignments and feel anxious about their job. The anxiety can cause some paranoid interpretations. One reaction to anxiety may be that the JET shows behavior considered out of the social norm, such as not paying fees due, which the JET would not normally do in their own countries.


12. Frustration
The Japanese workplace
The Japanese workplace does things for the JET according to the regulations and the guidelines as part of their duties. Many Japanese colleagues may feel that it is such a burden having to do so many things for their JETs. They didn’t ask to be a part of the JET Programme. When they receive additional complaints from their JETs, they can feel very frustrated.

The JET
There is no written material regarding how JETs should be treated except for what CLAIR has published thus far. The fact that there is a variation in how Contracting Organizations treat their JETs does not seem to be conveyed to the JETs clearly either. JETs expect to receive the best treatment among the stories they hear. When their treatment falls short to satisfy such expectations, they feel frustrated and get convinced that they are being treated wrongly.


13. Ambiguity
The Japanese workplace
In Japan some ambiguity is taken for granted and even considered helpful in that it provides flexibility to allow case by case decisions. Very frequently reasons or decision criteria are not given. Probably the JET’s job is not explained in detail either.

The JET
In a foreign culture you are faced with ambiguity. Since Japanese culture allows more ambiguity than most cultures, the JETs are faced with “double ambiguity.” In general non-Japanese people have less tolerance to ambiguity and do not think “It is all right.” “Let us wait a little longer.” ”Something will work out.” as Japanese people may do. There is likely to be a lot of trouble between the JET and the Contracting Organization regarding ambiguity. Regarding the job, in foreign countries, it is a common sense that a detailed Job Description is provided.


14. Conversing in English
The Japanese workplace
How many Japanese colleagues are willing to communicate with their JET in English? You should relinquish your pride and accept the fact that you will make mistakes. Just trying is important, even if it is simple phrases or the use of limited vocabulary in order to communicate. Older Japanese colleagues may have difficulty having direct communication with their JETs in English.

The JET
Seemingly many motivated JETs learn and speak Japanese well.


15. Workplace and out of workplace meetings
The Japanese workplace
Traditionally in Japan workplace and out of workplace meetings or get-togethers are closely connected. Drinking after work with your colleagues is common. If you do not participate in these out of work get-togethers, you may be considered unsociable or lack commitment to work well with others. Regarding JETs, in some case Japanese colleagues complain that JETs do not these join out of work get-togethers. In other cases Japanese colleagues do not consider JET participants their “partners” and do not invite them out for these get-togethers outside of work hours.

The JET
There is a wide individual variety regarding the motivation for JETs to join out of work get-togethers. JETs who would like to become immersed in the Japanese culture may want to join such parties and may feel isolated if they not invited. On the other hand for those who think of their JET position merely as temporary work or as a means to earn money to pay off student loans or go to graduate school, these type of outside of work time gatherings may be simply annoying.


16. Privacy in terms of space
The Japanese workplace
Japanese people and people from far-east Asia are accustomed to living in highly populated areas. When you live in a highly populated area, you know how each other lives, and the concept of privacy is compromised. In Japan, still many corporations provide houses where the employees live collectively. If a staff or a colleague seems to be substantially ill, you may visit their home. In the workplace as well, the current philosophy is an open system where many people work in one large room, where you can hear each others’ conversations well.

The JET
Non-Japanese people are generally accustomed to living in an environment where privacy in terms of space can be kept. If the setting at home and at the workplace is not able to provide such privacy, the JET may feel intruded upon.


17. Drinking
The Japanese workplace
In Japan people are rarely given the opportunity where they can express their opinions frankly. Drinking is used to facilitate candid communication with each other. When you drink, it provides an opportun

steelqueen
June 26th, 2004, 13:01
If you check that thread again, you'll find she posted the rest . And then you'll find that someone else spoofed it with much bitterness, and a lot of people are unhappy with it. 8O Bitter! Like, green fairy bitter!

Dynamis
June 29th, 2004, 23:37
Ah, perhaps I should, but I've been busy... yeah.... doing ....worthwhile stuff..... yeah...

Not.

Dynamis
June 30th, 2004, 00:23
OK OK, here's the rest!!

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17. Drinking
The Japanese workplace
In Japan people are rarely given the opportunity where they can express their opinions frankly. Drinking is used to facilitate candid communication with each other. When you drink, it provides an opportunity when you feel safe enough to dare to express your thoughts and feelings. In order to enhance and promote a closer relationship, it can be very effective to discuss issues just within the group or between two people after drinking. Childish or even slightly sexual behaviors can be permitted with a reason that it takes place under the influence of alcohol.

The JET
It appears there are hardly any other cultures that use drinking to facilitate candid communication like it does in Japan. Permission of ordinarily inappropriate behavior with the reason of drinking seems limited to special occasions like festivals in other cultures as well. In some cultures being seen drunk in public receives negative opinions. Touching females using the excuse of being drunk is not accepted by JETs.


18. Grading of intimacy
The Japanese workplace
There is a traditional notion of “Uchi (inside)” and “Soto (outside)” in Japan. If you are considered “Soto,” you may be nicely treated as a guest but you are not thought of as a comrade. If you are considered “Uchi,” then you are a comrade and thus united. There is little reservation with each other. Therefore to the JET, the patterns may differ rather extremely between “being treated as a guest with no candid discussions” or “being treated as a comrade and being asked questions without reservation about your boy/girl friend or about how much you weigh.”

The JET
Non-Japanese people, who are accustomed to working with those whose cultural backgrounds are not well known, usually discuss work and try get to know each other on some level. You do not ask questions regarding private issues unless you are in an intimate relationship. Questions on boy/girl friends or body weight may be taken as a form of sexual harassment.

dobharrison
June 30th, 2004, 00:28
Touching females using the excuse of being drunk is not accepted by JETs.

:cry: