J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


The Effect of Social Support on Americans and Japanese

The effect of social support on Americans and Japanese by timtak
The effect of social support on Americans and Japanese, adapted from Uchida, et al. 2008 on Flickr.
Uchida et. al. (2008) found that receiving emotional support, such as from a close friend, had less postive effects on Americans than Japanese, since the former wanted to see themselves as independent, while the latter know that they can never be.

I like this paper and consider it relevant to those in the hospitality industry. When I first came to Japan, being a Westerner of low self-esteem, I did not like the way that Japanese hospitality providers would provide me with English language menus, forks or disposable chopsticks, since I felt that their kindness was saying, "you can't read Japanese," "you can't use ordinary chopsticks." I felt their kindness was an attack upon my self-esteem and independence. So, beware of helping Westerners. Some of them, are hinekureteiru or twisted.

At the same time, if the Japanese tendency to try to help prior to any demand (sasshi) is explained first, Japanese style hospitality, such as that provided by traditional inns (ryokan) providing luxury but choice-less food (kaiseki) with mothering helpers (nakai) can be a very rich cultural experience.

Uchida, Y., Kitayama, S., Mesquita, B., Reyes, J. A. S., & Morling, B. (2008). Is Perceived Emotional Support Beneficial? Well-Being and Health in Independent and Interdependent Cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(6), 741–754. doi:10.1177/0146167208315157 Retrieved from faculty.washington.edu/janleu/Courses/Cultural%20Psycholo...

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.