Friday, January 20, 2012

Will Miss #409 -orderliness

I have spent a long time pondering what it is that essentially makes American culture different from Japanese culture. While I do not flatter myself sufficiently to believe I have anything resembling a full understanding, I think that one essential aspect of Japanese culture is that there is a very high valuation of order. This is why there are so many rules and relatively rigid thinking. It's why people are trained to follow the same pattern and perform their jobs like automatons sometimes and seem incapable of using their own judgment to deal with a novel situation. The desire to predict what is to come is a product of a need to make sure all is following the expected order. Violations are essentially the introduction of chaos into the situation and that does not sit well with the Japanese psyche.

The way in which order is valued means that people tend to behave in expected ways. This offers a sense of security when dealing with people and I will miss the way in which valuing order creates comfortable and comforting predictability.