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Japan - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture Paperback – 1 Jul 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Revised edition edition (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857336143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857336146
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.2 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, --Various

From the Publisher

This series represents a completely new kind of travel publishing. In answering the needs of travellers in a changing world, it leads the way in building bridges between cultures and fostering mutual understanding and respect.

It provides vital information, not only to tourists, but also to the ever-growing number of travelling businessmen and women. As business traffic increases around the globe, so the need for greater cross-cultural understanding, in order to achieve a successful outcome, becomes more pressing.

These handy digests contain essential cultural information that enables you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, to be a responsible and sympathetic visitor, and to derive the maximum benefit from your stay.

Written by the expert consultants at CultureShock!Consulting, the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and based on hands-on experience.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have pointed out, and by my own experience living in Japan, it is almost impossible to garner a totally accurate perspective on things of this nature from a book.

The only way you will ever have a true understanding, is to live amongst the Japanese. With that said, this book provides a pretty fair general introduction to the customs and etiquette of Japan.

Chapters include:

Customs/Traditions
History/Background
The Japanese at Home
Leisure/Social
Eating/Drinking
Dos/Dont's/Taboos
Business
Communication

Most books like this are written entirely for the businessperson who knows nothing about Japan, and doesn't want to offend his host, and this is no exception, providing more attention to swapping business cards and board-room no-no's than is really necessary.

Nevertheless there are some interesting bits on the history and values of Japan, if you're moving to the country, or planning on traveling there, I recommend this book, but just be polite and friendly is really all the advice you need, the Japanese don't expect foreigners to know about any of their customs, but are naturally impressed if you do!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a short, yet thoroughly fascinating look at the etiquette and cultural conventions of Japan. It is invaluable if you intend to visit Japan and don't wish to commit a social faux pas, but is also interesting to read in it's own right.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently went on a trip to Japan, I found this book very informative, it fits nicely in you back pocket, I highly recommend it
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to taking delivery of this book since it seemed to promise so much and I have, on the whole, enjoyed reading it. However I doubt I've learned anything more than I would from a good travel guide and it seemed to be mainly aimed at the businessperson. My main issue with this book are the sweeping generalisations it offers as the 'way things are' and putting ideas forward that it suggests are uniquely Japanese. For example, p42 'Face'. To paraphrase, the Japanese don't like to lose face, be embarrassed, lose prestige or worse, be shamed. Well, Westerners don't either, Brits certainly don't! It suggests that everything should be done to avoid causing embarrassing situations or ones that may cause loss of face for a Japanese person. Isn't this just the same in the UK? Page 43 has a section on tatemai (public persona) and honne (private persona) suggesting the Japanese have these characteristics and this my explain some of their perplexing behaviour. I think every Westerner would say they are just the same-the way we behave at work with our colleagues is not the same way in which we behave in the privacy of our own homes. Thus another generalisation that just doesn't hold water. I spotted a couple of inaccuracies and vagaries too which suggest there may be many more: the diakon is not the source of wasabi powder as stated, suggestions that a rice bowl can be held up in one hand when eating from it but not stating that it may not be polite to hold it up to the mouth 'Chinese' style but just up to chest level, two highlight just two.

In conclusion, this is well written and does have the odd piece of information that is useful and interesting. But I suspect its nothing exceptional and that more complete information may be obtained from ordinary travel guides.
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