Internal Management Culture Profile
Japan has a population of about 130 million people. This makes it one of most populated countries world over. This island country also has the largest urban area globally. It has 6852 islands that form a large conglomerate. This conglomerate includes islands like Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido. These are the largest islands in Japan. The islands are found in Pacific Ocean and at the boarder of this country with other mainland states.
Politically, Japan has a constitutional monarchy that governs it. The emperor is the traditional head of state. He symbolizes the state and unity of this country. Therefore, political power lies with the Premier and Diet-elected members. There are 722 National Diet members. Universal suffrage is applied in voting for 480 of these members of the Japan House of Representatives. Japan House of Councilors votes for the other 242 members. Members of both houses have a term of 4 and 6 years respectively. One member of the National Diet is designated by the members to serve as the premier. The prime minister is then appointed by the monarch. Currently, Akihito is the monarch. Yoshihiko Noda is the Premier.
Japan has one of the largest global economies. It is one of the countries with the lowest rates of unemployment. Its unemployment rate is currently at 4%. Japan imports include vehicles and electronics. It is also the home of the largest vehicle manufacturer, Toyota. Although the economy of Japan has remained stable for a long time, the earthquake and Tsunami that hit this country in 2011 combined with the global recession of 2008 and 2009 slowed it down. Their effects left this country with a large budget shortfall as well as government liability.
Japanese culture is diverse and it incorporates music, visual arts, dance, paintings, unique cultural beliefs and traditional practices that include funerals and weddings. The notion of non-verbal gestures and time are all included in the Japanese cultural framework. Japanese culture includes traditional and contemporary music. The music industry in Japan is highly ranked across the world. Local artists dominate the music industry. Traditional music in Japan is either Gagaku or shomyo. Gagaku is influenced by Chinese music and it involves instrumentals and dance. Most contemporary music genres are also common in Japan and they include electro pop, club music, rock and hippop. Modern music has large western influence in terms of delivery and nature.
The values and beliefs of the Japanese originate from the traditional culture of the people. However, it is influenced by the other cultures more so the Chinese culture. The black cat’s misfortune and four, the number, are among the common superstitions and beliefs of the Japanese. In the Japanese language, death and four sound the same. Therefore, it is believed that this number causes death. The superstitions and beliefs also have an animalistic nature in the traditional religion in Japan. This ties animals to bad or good fortunes. In addition, objects and numbers signify luck or misfortune in the culture of the Japanese people. This is usually the case when objects or numbers are homophonic to words that signify suffering, happiness, luck or death.
For values, the belief of the Japanese is that harmony and class are important for a peaceful coexistence. As such, harmonious coexistence is taught to children once they start going to school. Emphasis is put on how they address the seniors (senpai) as well as the juniors (Kohai). For this reason, members of the society are taught interdependence. This is different from the culture of the western countries where individualism is emphasized. Therefore, the old are revered in the Japanese community. They are honored and always given first priority more so in the social functions. In addition, emphasis is put on responsibility and politeness. Everybody in the society works towards the realization of the society’s greater good instead of individual’s good. Additionally, controversial matters are presented in an indirect and temperate manner in Japan. This is because people belief that harmony is a vital pivot for any successful coexistence.
The current trends in Japanese marriages where women and men refuse to marry go against the traditional norms in which men are required to be the only providers of their families as women serve as mothers and wives who take care of the children born by the couples. In Japan, weddings are western or traditional. Both cases require the couple to file their marriage with the relevant office of the government. Usually, the bride is painted white to indicate a maiden status. Weddings take place in Shinto shrines. Western marriages are held in customary chapels.
Conversely, funnels include cremation. This occurs after the issuance of a death certificate by the authorities. Those attending the funeral are expected to pitch black clothing. Males have black ensembles and females black kimonos or black garb. Funerals are held the day that follows the wake. After the funeral, the deceased person’s bones are picked by family members using chopsticks once cremation is completed. These bones are put in urns.
In the cultural dimension of Hofstede, Japan power distance is given 54 scores (Clearly Cultural, 2014). Nevertheless, despite having cultural hierarchy, the Japanese believe that it is possible for an individual to advance through the hierarchy. This is because one is not placed above others by the hierarchy. Decisions about business dealings must be agreed on by hierarchy’s members. Top members do not make unilateral decisions.
In regards to individualism, the score of Japan is 46 (Clearly Cultural, 2014). As a collectivist country, more emphasis is put on harmony as well as people’s interdependence. Japan has a paternalistic society. Eldest sons get parents’ inheritance. The others look for ways of surviving. Therefore, Japan is not an entirely collectivist society.
In terms of masculinity, Japan has 95 scores (Clearly Cultural, 2014). However, the amazing fact about Japan is that males do not compete as individuals. Instead, they compete in groups due to the collective aspect of the Japanese society. Therefore, women are successful in terms of life quality rather than financial success.
Uncertainty avoidance is high in Japan. This is due to the natural disasters’ susceptibility in this country. Its score stands at 92 (Clearly Cultural, 2014). This makes this country one of the states with high uncertainty avoidance levels. As such, people plan for events exquisitely. Ceremonies and rituals are performed for most life events.
In terms of planning, Japanese are pragmatic yet pessimistic and cynical. In pragmatic, the score of this country is 88 and for indulgence, 42 (Clearly Cultural, 2014). The Japanese make long-term plans but they still observe caution in their indulgence. They are guided by societal norms. Therefore, Japan is considered a high-context society that depends on non-verbal communication and personal relationships that are established in groups. Considering the high-context nature of Japan, time is considered a fluid and people do not emphasize on it. This includes beating deadlines.
Clearly Cultural (2014). Masculinity. http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/masculinity/