The road to effective Japanese fluency is a long one, and while there are no shortcuts to real mastery, a few targeted phrases can not only help you communicate more smoothly, but also make a good impression on your colleagues and superiors. One basic principle is that office Japanese tends toward the formal. Obviously, in […]
I was in a unique position in Japanese offices. I worked in offices at three different Japanese companies, but not for them. I was a business skills instructor for several years, and I spent all day in the offices where I taught. I attended meetings, had my own desk and computer, and sat next to […]
If you’ve researched living and working in Japan much at all, you’re sure to have come across the terms honne 本音 (true feelings) and tatemae建前 (façade). The terms seem to haunt people’s interactions, with some foreigners describing the concepts as the ultimate barrier to understanding.
Reputations are weird things. Japan has a reputation for extreme punctuality, where everything runs like a well-oiled machine and the train companies apologize for being a minute late, and this is generally true.