Why Japanese people respect cooperative mind ?

Why Japanese people respect cooperative mind ?


Japan has a long vacation called Golden week from April 29th to April 6th. Many people go out to enjoy their leisure pursuits and every place is so crowded with a full of people every year. However, this year was a little different. According to the news, because of the self-restraint request made by the Japanese government in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of people who went out in the urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka was decreasing for 80 % compared to that in usual years. Actually, many people doubted if people would follow that request before Golden week so we are really surprised by this result.  I think this came from Japanese “wa” which means harmony in English.  It’s cooperativeness in other words. Here is the definition of “wa” referred to “Japanese Values and Virtues” written by Yoji Yamakuse. 

Harmony is a basic value defined as the ability of people to cooperate and work together well. Japan is a country whose traditions developed out of an agricultural society where people were forced to work closely together on a limited amount of land. In order to maintain this type of society, the needs of the village were more important than the needs of the individual, as all labored together to plant the rice and harvest the crop. Therefore, as opposed to hunter-or immigrant-based societies, where a high value is placed on the power or actions of the individual , a society developed in Japan where the value is placed on understanding those with whom one must interact and on taking action in groups. That is the definition of Wa. Wa is at the heart of what has been necessary to nurture everything in the Japanese value system.  

People from outside Japan sometimes say that Japanese people can be indecisive, but you might be able to understand why by knowing the essence in the cultural background. I am very glad that our cooperative mind worked on their right decision this time.   




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