Japanese think on the peculiar way, the law of cause and effect.


Japanese way of thinking

Japanese way of thinking

[014]Powerful community, "Mura"



Not me, but My community

It is often said that Japanese live and work on the powerful community or group. We don't like to act by ourselves.

Ruth Benedict, the author of "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword", said that Japan has a 'shame' culture. That description seems reasonable. We act thinking how we are thought by others. But I say it comes from deeper principle. Indeed we feel shame, that is not all.

At the huge earthquake in 2011, Japanese showed very polite and modest action. Was that caused by shame? No. That's our natural feeling. Nobody see me, but I do.

Vague responsibility

It is often said that Japanese don't clear the responsibility.

Who has taken the responsibility for the Pacific War? Nobody have the obvious responsibility like Hitler in Germany. I told in the last article that Japanese decision is done by the "air". It seems very irresponsible by Occidental people. In Japan a leader doesn't take responsibility but all members have the responsibility in common.

The responsibility is not due to one person, but to every persons. Nobody is out of the responsibility.

Inside and Outside

It is often said that Japanese distinguish the inside from the outside. We have strong feeling of solidarity. We alienate the outside people. We make the wall between the inside and the outside.

You may think Japanese are polite but not friendly. If you stay with Japanese for a while, we will suddenly become quite friendly. I describe it. At first you are in the outside, and we find you are in our inside. That is not about places, but cultures.

We have a proverb, "Going into another community, do as the way of the community" similar to "When in Rome do as the Romans do". I should not do as what I do. I should do as what they do. When I know the way of them, I can be inside.

Can be described with the law of cause and effect

I show three typical mentions about Japanese. Many people tell about Japanese behavior. But few people tell the basic principle which causes our behavior.

I think our behavior are based on the law of cause and effect. Everything is a cause and an effect at the same time. We can not think only one set of a cause and an effect. The world is ultimately complex and diverse. I am one of the diversity. I can manage nothing by myself. Japanese think so. We must do with community not by individuality.

Occidental people think human beings can do something by ourselves. Japanese think human beings can do something with the all the world. That brings us "En" and "On".

How to understand what the world is

You want to ask, "Why do Japanese have the outside in spite of the law of cause and effect?"

I suppose it depends on how to understand what the world is. We think that the world is the area where the law of cause and effect goes in the influence for us. Then we think of only the area and don't have concern with the outside.

The world is growing.

Of course the outside is the world, too. When our life and activities are closed in the limited area, we can think of only the area. Recently we cannot live in the limited area. Everything among us is related to all the world.

We, Japanese are at a loss because the world is growing. The inside becomes wider. The outside disappears. We know we should change our thinking. That doesn't mean to give up the law of cause and effect. We should give up to think of the outside. It is hard for us.

Mura is breaking.

Japanese powerful communities are said "mura". Mura is the typical characteristic of Japanese. It is exclusive. Especially young Japanese don't like it. They go to big cities which don't have mura. Nowadays the countryside have mura. Such regions become weaker.

Many Japanese think Japan has the serious problem. I think the problem is simple. We should think of the world is the world giving up the idea that our community is "inside".

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