Living and Working in Japan
A Foreigner’s Perspective
- by Stuart Miller and Robert Early
Stuart Miller
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Japan Nagoya
Mission 1995-97
University of Chicago – East Asian Languages & Civilizations – 2000
Pioneer Language School – Shizuoka, Japan 2000-03
Seiryo Senior High School – Fujinomiya, Japan 2003-04
Japan is safe, clean, and orderly
What a beautiful country!
The Golden Pavilion
Mt. Fuji
How can I relax or have fun in Japan?
Hot Springs
Karaoke
Festivals
What kind of food do people eat?
Kaiseki
Yakiniku
Curry
You have access to everything you need.
A few minuses to living in Japan:
Cost
of Living
Language
Barrier (?)
Work
Hours
Crowds
Hierarchy
Office
Politics
Robert Early
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Physics Major at Carleton College
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Intensive Japanese in Tokyo
Advanced Energy, University of Tokyo
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Two and a half years of Japanese language classes
Research in magnetic levitation
Project Engineer at Toshiba Corporation
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Electrical equipment on trains
My Wife and I
Business Community in Japan
- Important Principles 
Decision Making Process

Nemawashi
Social Hierarchy
 Corporate Loyalty
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Business Community in Japan
Decision Making
Decision is Made
Issue Arises
Time to Make Decision
The “Japanese” business ethic is geared
towards completely understanding why a
decision is needed.
Understanding of Problem
Understanding of Problem
The “American” business ethic is geared
towards rapid and decisive decision
making.
Decision is Made
Issue Arises
Time to Make Decision
Business Community in Japan
Nemawashi

Multiple sets of informal meetings with all
those involved in decision making
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Dinner, Drinking, Hot Springs, Golf
Real decision making and negotiating
Formal meetings are formalities
Business Community in Japan
相手の目を見る
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Social Hierarchy
Highly Defined with any
organization
Applies to social events:
seating, eating, drinking,
singing.
Applies to language.
背筋を
伸ばす
頭・首・背筋が
一直線
1 5 ~4 5
よ腰
うか
にら
倒折
する
両手は
肩の力を
抜いて軽く
下げる
指先を伸ばす
ひざを伸ばす
足をそろえる
Business Cards
Japan: The Moral of the Story
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Japanese society is changing and adapting.
Differences may work to your advantage.
Foreigners are often hired for their outside
perspective, or to facilitate change.
The similarities will surprise you more than
the differences.
Life in Japan 日本 as a Gaijin 外人

Questions???
Taxis

Where does everyone sit?
B
Dr ive r
C
A
D
1. Safety
2. Comfort
Exceptions:
Woman in dresses,
Elderly,
Large People
ALWAYS ASK
Worst A<D<C<B Best
Seating
sid e
tab le
Worst to Best
B<C<A<D<G<F<E
A
do o r
G
F
B
tab le
E
C
D
応接室
1. Furthest from door
2. Quality of chair
a. Sofas
b. Chair with arm rests
c. Stools
3. Opposing chairs
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Working in Japan