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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.

Thursday, April 02, 2015


Almost No Show of Hands in Japan

Almost No Show of Hands in Japan

The founder of the Panasonic corporation claimed that the reason why putting things to a vote was unpopular in Japan, and the emphasis on consensus, is not because the Japanese are sheep who feel the need to move in a heard, but conversely there are always so many big egos that would be offended if their faction lost the vote (Tanisawa, 1995, p60). Vote made visible, by a show of hands or by standing up, are only very rarely used, and never in any Japanese committee meeting that I have attended. To lose, and lose visibly in this way would be for the Japanese extra specially painful and ego-damaging because the Japanese are who they see themselves to be.

パナソニック株式会社の創業者・松下幸之助は、欧米人と比較して日本人の方は自尊心があまりにも高いとする稀な見解を示した。松下によれば、欧米と違って民主主義的な多数決が日本人に馴染まない理由は、「全員の自尊心を満足させなければならない。自尊心が日本人ほど強いと、多数決は絶対に成立しない」(谷沢永一, 1995, p60)。ましてや、挙手投票や起立投票は私が参加した日本の会議では使われたことがない。自分が自分を見る存在は自分自身ですので、目に見えてまけるというのは特に痛くて「顔がつぶれる」と感じられるであろう。

MEPs vote by show of hands by European Parliament, on Flickr

谷沢永一. (1995). 松下幸之助の智恵. PHP研究所.

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