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Write a 2 pages paper on country research. Research about Japan Research about Japan Research about Japan Japan is an island in the Pacific Ocean rich in culture. They have their own way in believing in God, ceremonials, and vernacular way of communication. These differences in cultural values influence business and consumer’s behavior. Japan’s religious beliefs involve the practice of Shinto and Buddhism (Barber & Wells, 1999). Japanese believe that human beings should be in harmony with nature as the guardian gods are present in tree, rice fields, mountains, home, and everywhere. Amaterasu is considered their chief deity with the emperor and empress as the successors who must lead ceremonies for the welfare of the people. Buddhism is another main religion practiced by many Japanese. Buddhism set the standard where salvation is achieved when believers give up their worldly desires and without too much thought of themselves. Japanese likewise have faith in myths. They claim that Izanami, the female goddess retired into the underworld as a result of the birth of god of Fire. Izanagi, the male god created the storm god, Susano. The myth of the tallest mountain is yet another that they maintain. Mount Fuji became the highest mountain in Japan because she destroyed Mount Haku after it was known that it has the tallest peak (Piggot, 1969). Interestingly, there are many rituals practiced by Japanese. Family ritual practices involve bathing themselves in a small square tub. The tub is used by every member of the family where it requires scrubbing and soaping outside the tub before dipping. Bowing when meeting someone and departing them is observed to show respect. When entering a house, outside shoes should be removed as a sign of cleanliness. Family eats with chopstick and talking is restricted. When socializing with friends during parties, it is expected that the person filling the glass with wine should fill all glasses and should not leave the party with empty glass. A marriage ritual includes painting the bride with pure white to declare her single status to the gods. During marriage ceremony, the bride wears white kimono with elaborate headpiece of ornaments which signify good luck. When Japanese invite guests, it is expected that they eat special meal and drink green tea. The preparation of tea entails complex ritual where the tea person has to boil water, pour it into the green tea, mix it with a bamboo whisk, offer it to the Buddha first, then to the guests and finally serve herself. Japanese are known for their ivory carving, satsume pots, samurai, pottery and porcelain artifacts. When it comes to New Year’s celebration, the families go to a shrine or temple to pray for prosperity and good health for the coming year. Japanese speak the Japanese language. However, they write in Kanji, kana, Latin alphabet, and Arabic numerals (Miyagawa, 1999). Japan’s cultural values if compared to that of the United States differ very much. Japan operates in a homogenous culture. Anti social behaviors are condemned by ostracizing the offender while positive behaviors are rewarded and highly valued. On the contrary, United States is comprised of diverse culture in which each group practice own subculture mixed in a larger culture. Americans practice individual freedom to control own destiny and success while Japanese value group cooperation to be successful. Variations in cultural values can either influence business positively or negatively. Cultural value that practice cooperation is likely to succeed. Getting the consensus of the group proves helpful because the business is supported. While cultural value that supports personal interest first and consider others as competitors is observed to meet challenging difficulties. Business may suffer as a result of non cooperation especially in decision making. Consumer behavior is influenced by the way buyers feel, reason, and think in accordance with their culture and subculture. For example, Asians are brand loyal thus they buy branded products. Aside from it being a part of the subculture, brand name is a reinforcement that increases the likelihood for the product to be bought (Sigurdsson, et al, 2008). The culture of receiving gifts on certain occasion may also affect the buying behavior of the customers. If it is the practice of the family to give gifts on graduations, anniversaries, and other important occasions, members have to buy something to give the celebrant. References Barbers, N., & Wells, P., ( 1999). Japan under the shoguns. Steck-Vaughn publisher. Texas. Miyagawa, S., (1999). “The Japanese Language”. Retrieved April 9, 2011 from http://web.mit.edu/jpnet/articles/JapaneseLanguage.html. Piggot, J., (1969). Japanese mythology. Retrieved April 9, 2011 from mythencyclopedia.com. Sigurdsson, V., Saevarsson, H., & Foxall, G., (2008). Brand placement and consumer choice: An In-store experiment. Journal of Applied Behavior Anal. 42(3): 741–745.

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