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Old 02-24-2013, 12:16 AM   #23761
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Thanks for the explanation Stitchawl.

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The 'real' question should be; 'why do the Japanese favor 'sliding doors' rather than what we are more used to in the west?'
Isn't it because you can have the house more open than a door would to have a view and fresh air? <-- just a guess. What is the reason?

I would think the real question is why not insulation? It would save valuable resources.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:55 AM   #23762
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Originally Posted by kindlekitten View Post
because they are a more efficient use of space! one of the last install jobs I did was a new microsoft building and all of the offices had sliding doors
They are that, but it not the reason in Japan. Maybe for Microsoft, but not for the Japanese.

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Isn't it because you can have the house more open than a door would to have a view and fresh air? <-- just a guess. What is the reason?
They believe that a swinging door disturbs the harmony of the home...

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I would think the real question is why not insulation? It would save valuable resources.
My friends and I have discussed this often. The closest we can come is that they were really, really stupid. Then, as time went on, the went with the traditional Japanese thinking of "This is how we do it in Japan." The Koreans, whose temperature ranges are roughly the same, have been using Ondol heating, which is part of Korean traditional architecture, is underfloor heating. Very cozy when you step out of bed on cold mornings, stepping onto a heated floor! We've always wondered why the Japanese never did this, preferring instead to clustering around a kotatsu while wearing their 'inside coats' around their shoulders. Fortunately, in the last 15 years there has been a move towards actually using insulation in the walls and ceilings of houses, both with fiberglass and foam. But this is only in new construction. Older homes are still uninsulated, and there is no central heating. Each room will have some sort of portable kerosene heater or wall mounted heater/aircon unit. But most house will also have an electric rug, and people really do 'live' on the floor in Japan. I hate visiting the 'Family Farmhouse' in southern Japan in winter time. It's bloody freezing in there!!! Fortunately my wife will usually wake up before me and turn on the heater so it's warmer when I wake up. The Japanese will NEVER leave a heater burning at night. There are even people who walk around the neighborhoods around 10pm clacking wooden sticks together to remind people to turn off their heaters...


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Old 02-24-2013, 07:49 AM   #23763
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I am guessing they do that because in the old days of coal the threat of fire was very real

Cranberry juice.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:22 AM   #23764
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I am guessing they do that because in the old days of coal the threat of fire was very real

Cranberry juice.
Quite true! Especially in houses made of wood and paper... Fire has always been the big monster in Japan. In fact, if a fireman's home catches fire, he (there are no female firefighters in Japan) loses his job...

Time for a glass of Bombay Sapphire!


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Old 02-24-2013, 01:01 PM   #23765
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So, basically, tradition is very hard, if not impossible, to change in Japan.

Morning coffee in my cup.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #23766
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #23767
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If today was not an crooked highway
If tonight was not an crooked trail
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all

Yes and only if my own true love was waiting
If I could hear her heart softly pounding
If only she was lying by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again

I can't see my reflection in the water
I can't speak the sounds that show no pain
I can't hear the echo of my footsteps
I can't remember the sound of my own name

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq1NXeQv1io )

Good morning, everyone! Happy Monday! I have some East India Company's "Keemun Downy Bud" in my cup, a plate full of hummus, Kalamata olives and left-over Tandoori chicken on my plate, and a big list of chores to get done today. These need to be worked into a 10k walk through downtown Osaka... somehow... Then getting back and finishing up papering the fusuma and shoji. Where is the relaxation an old man is supposed to find?

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So, basically, tradition is very hard, if not impossible, to change in Japan.
Dreams... you can NOT know just how accurately you have described Japanese culture!!! Almost every facet of existence here is ruled by tradition, from clothing, law, work ethic, housing, even playing games. Due to the influence of Western music and films, and the emergence of the Internet, there have been more changes made in the past 10 years than in the past 100.

When meeting people, men will exchange business cards. This is NOT like the West, where a business card is simply a convenient way to give someone your contact information. This is used to tell the Japanese who has to bow more deeply. A business card here states what company you work for and your position in that company. So if you work for Joe Smith Mfg as a middle mgt person, you must bow more deeply when meeting John Doe, a middle mgt person working for Sony or Panasonic because those are bigger companies. It's important to know who has to bow more deeply... And business cards are NEVER just put into your pocket or purse! And God forbid you should put it into your wallet and sit on it!!! No... they are studied for 10-20 seconds, some inane question is ALWAYS asked, such as 'so is this your office phone?' (right where it says 'office phone,) then placed in a special business card holder that every man carries with him.

As they sang in 'Fiddler on the Roof,' "Tradition!!"


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Old 02-24-2013, 09:29 PM   #23768
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I watched a few videos on some of these cultural things to be aware of when visiting and interacting with Japanese. The correct way to present, accept, and study the business card was shown using the correct hand holding technique. Then how to study and ask a few questions along with how to correctly and slowly place said business card in your own special holder.

*At first, I thought I was watching one of those sections on funny videos, until I studied the site more and realized it was an actual business that made a lot of money giving these courses for business people. *

Fresh ground Decaf Sumatra (from my son and girlfriend) in my cup.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:03 PM   #23769
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People in Japan would hate me I think!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:41 AM   #23770
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Do it wrong and a Samurai might just cut off your head! Proceed at your own peril. LOL!

In fact, as a foreigner we are forgiven our faux pas. Unfortunately, the same was they forgive a 4 yr old for spilling milk when pouring... We 'just don't know any better. '

But at the business table, a simple mistake like that can cost a entire deal. Even the terms we use can make or break it. To say "I think we are on the same track' to us means we are thinking the same way. To the Japanese, it means 'we can never meet or agree.'

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Old 02-25-2013, 03:58 AM   #23771
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Late afternoon cup of 'Yorkshire' tea.



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Old 02-25-2013, 04:22 AM   #23772
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This time i have cup of tea. I am drinking Tea right now.
Hi Tasha, welcome to the thread. What kind of tea do you prefer?


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Old 02-25-2013, 04:24 AM   #23773
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Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
...
But at the business table, a simple mistake like that can cost a entire deal. Even the terms we use can make or break it. To say "I think we are on the same track' to us means we are thinking the same way. To the Japanese, it means 'we can never meet or agree.'

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I heard a similar story back in the 80s. An American jeopardized a deal when he said he was sure that their companies had "parallel goals." Parallel lines never meet.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:25 AM   #23774
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Oh. My cup.

Empty now. Just finished a small glass of Shiraz. Now to bed.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:35 AM   #23775
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I heard a similar story back in the 80s. An American jeopardized a deal when he said he was sure that their companies had "parallel goals." Parallel lines never meet.
In fact, that story was used as an example in one of my post-grad classes in International Business. Even after almost 20 years together, my wife and I often find that we are not 'communicating' on the same channel. We will both look at the same situation and see very different things. Then when we try to talk about them, the cultural language problems emerge and it often becomes a huge mix up. Add in the difficulties with Japanese hearing 'l' or 'r' and things really go askew. 'Bleeding' and 'breeding' can really change a conversation...

When asking something of a Japanese, and they say 'hmmm... that would be a bit difficult,' most American business people would say something like, 'OK, how can I make it easier, perhaps expedite it?' not realizing that what the Japanese really meant was 'There is absolutely no bloody way in hell of this EVER happening in your lifetime or mine!' He just said it in a more polite way.


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