Geek In Japan – Chapter 5

By Skyy Genies

Something about the fifth chapter of Geek In Japan that interested me was the drastic contrast between the motivations and intentions of someone working in the United States when compared to that of someone working in Japan. According to Geek In Japan, in the United States “most people do things for their own benefit, eventually bringing prosperity to consumers and society. In Japan, on the other hand…the Japanese give their utmost in their work in order to serve consumers and society, in this way they automatically obtain benefits for the society and achieve their individual aims.” Additionally, the Japanese maintain respect for people above you at work regardless of how long you have known them or worked at that company.

These work practices in themselves perfectly exhibit the way society works in both of these countries. In the US, most people worry about making themselves successful and living good, whereas in Japan, most people worry about how they can improve their community and society. The work ethic is also very different. Here in the US work is usually only done for money, if someone is working overtime they are sure to receive overtime payment. Their motivation for doing that work is bettering their financial status. However in Japan, the motivation of their hard work is simply bettering those around them; they don’t expect to be paid if they work overtime.

In terms of the interactions between the different levels of the company, I think there is also a big difference between Japan and the United States. Here in the US, it may be seen as normal for a long-time employee to casually speak to the head of their department or even the president. That is different from Japan where regardless of how long you’ve been there, you are expected to uphold a high level of respect. I think these differences are really cool, I really want to experience what society is like when everyone is working to better each other rather than only worrying about themselves.

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