Japan has traditions that reflect aspects of life and that says so much about their culture. These traditions influence how they communicate with their families, friends, and colleagues. Each tradition is a building block that creates a foundation of politeness and good manners. The learning process for these traditions start from a very young age, by imitating parents or by being taught.
Elders and seniors pass down traditions that young children learn. These are habits and attitudes that kids pick up at home. They develop values faster by following what they see from their parents. One very important value they learn is living together in peace and harmony. In order to maintain the balance in the household, kids learn about their responsibilities. Another value they learn is to respect elders and other people, by bowing and using formalities.
A Japanese household usually consists of three generations. This means that adult children live with their parents and with their own family. Elders in the family also teach their young about their family’s expertise or skill. The youth learn from their elders by doing bonding activities like cooking together or celebrating holidays at home, around the kotatsu.
Houses in Japan are always kept clean. So when guests come to visit, it is only natural for them to help maintain the cleanliness. To keep the house clean, they make use of the different slippers they keep around the house. They have two sets of slippers, one for the house and one for the bathroom. It is a norm to leave outside shoes at the genkan or the entryway that separates outside and inside.
In schools, students must help keep it clean. Students do souji or clean their classrooms, hallways, and bathrooms at the end of their day. There are also specific days when students and teachers do o-souji or clean together for a few hours. This helps teach kids cleaning habits and good morals starting from a young age.
Working in Japan can be a bit different from what most are familiar with. They take their work with care and avoid doing other things while on their shifts. They work overtime because it implies that they are diligent and hardworking.
Just like with family members, the Japanese also aim to work with each other in peace and harmony. They make use of KAIZEN, a Japanese term that means to strive for improvement for all. It is important for them to work together and come up with a solution that benefits everyone.
Understanding Japan and their traditions make their culture inspiring. The importance and respect they give one another show their resilient nature. Together with their respect is the act of ganbaru or cheering people on and gaman or not giving up. There are a lot of things people can learn from Japanese values.