Over the years I have had quite a few people say to me unsolicited: “I admire the Japanese people and nation very much.” And yes, there have been those – myself included at times – who have said without blinking: Japan sucks.”
Like every idea that has a morsel of truth, the truth lies somewhere between the extremes. Japanese can be diligent, conscientious, and unquestionably loyal. Those attributes are a part of why this country went from an economic breadbasket at the end of the Pacific War to a paragon of business by the mid 1980s.
Since then, Japan has been tirelessly trying to redefine itself economically and politically in a sustainable way. It is my firm belief that Japan will thrive despite depopulation, despite a wave of narcissism, despite its inclination to follow the crowd and avoid risk-taking.
I am a perhaps misplaced American with 29 years of living and working experience in Japan. I like to believe that I get from my days at this stage of life more often than just getting through them. I enjoy them with my three-nurse family, two daughters and a Japanese wife.
For a majority of my years here I have been an English trainer at major corporations, a researcher, a writer, and even an occasional actor or model. Now I am a serious netrepreneur.
There is an understated resiliency in these island-people that is to be admired and emulated. That is why I have endured the feeling of being an outsider for all these years. They can miniaturize or super-size or free-size without letting their cultural norms get in the way. The ugly American persona doesn’t hold with these mainly gentle people.
Japan Success Strategies for Life and Business is a thinking person’s blog. It is designed – in conjunction with my portal – to help foreigners see the niche markets and emerging trends in Japan before the multinationals step in and bully the small players out of the marketplace.
I truly believe an entrepreneurial renaissance is quietly emerging here. The Japanese are ready and willing to listen to soft-spoken marketing strategy from the West…and that’s where you and I can get a toe-hold on building a presence here. Out-of-the-box thinkers are still a rarity in Japan, but they DO exist and the entrepreneurial flair is bubbling beneath the surface.
Japan is a place you want to put on your platter beginning in the year 2015. Let’s work together. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for chances to collaborate.