Philosophies of Japan you should follow for success [Philosophy of WA, HONNE and TATEMAE, Philosophy of Boshido]

Philosophies of Japan you should follow for success [Philosophy of WA, HONNE and TATEMAE, Philosophy of Boshido]

Philosophies of Japan you should follow for success [Philosophy of WA, HONNE and TATEMAE, Philosophy of Boshido]

Japan is beloved by many of us. People who visited Japan and got the chance to expose to its culture will surely love Japan. This is mainly due to the various cultural exports such as anime, manga, martial arts, poetry, popular video games, technology, fashion and cuisine these exports have served as gateways to learning more about this unique culture and people and is contributing greatly to its thriving tourism industry.

Philosophies of Japan you should follow for success [Philosophy of WA, HONNE and TATEMAE, Philosophy of Boshido]

More people exposed to the Japanese culture more they realize that their culture is different from others they find positive, societal, and behavioral characteristics. And it seems loved by foreigners and everyone appreciates the philosophies of Japan.

This raises questions and makes people curious about why Japanese culture is so different and why they are so hardworking how can they achieve all the success. What is the underlying philosophy behind it all?

In this article, we will talk about a few philosophies of Japan that will help you to understand Japanese culture.

When outsiders people observe Japanese people they find them very polite especially in comparison to other country’s people.

This perception mainly stems from the observation of the fact that they customarily bow and greet each other when they meet. They don’t believe in a handshake. They think it’s rude.

Philosophy of WA

This type of behavior comes from the “philosophy of wa” meaning group harmony.

In the concept of HONNE and TATEMAE was a philosophy that refers to peaceful unity and conformity within a social group, in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over personal interest.

Philosophy of HONNE and TATEMAE

HONNE and TATEMAE are roughly translated to people’s true feelings and the face people wear in public.

These two concepts intertwined are the keys to understanding the culture of politeness in Japan.

From the Japanese perspective being polite sometimes come at the cost of being dishonest. One’s true opinions is a moral virtue because it reflects that you value the well-being of the greater society over yourself.

This is quite different from the Western perspective where being true to one’s self is seen as paramount. The difference in perspective comes from Japan’s unique history.

These philosophies can’t be traced to one individual because it stems from a combination of the values found in Shintoism is Buddhism and Confucianism.

Where respect for nature and the people that surround you is emphasized also geography is often cited as being jointly responsible for the prominence of group harmony in their society.

Japan is a very mountainous nation and most of the population and farmland are located in between the mountains not to mention Japan is currently the tenth most populated country in the world.

This makes for a very crowded society especially in metropolitan areas, therefore group harmony, and politeness is extremely essential to the function of the nation and are deeply ingrained in the mindset of its people.

Many people would take great interest in Japan often consider visiting or even moving there for a period of time.

When people want to relocate to Japan they consider some things like work conditions in general company, the culture of the companies, and eventually find out that people are hard-working in Japan. They did believe in working overtime. They don’t feel good about how people take a nap in the middle of their shifts.

You can’t help but wonder why Japanese people are so dedicated to their work and why the company culture is so intense.

Philosophy of Kaizen

There are many reasons behind this behavior but first, let’s look at the philosophy of Kaizen. For those who don’t know what is the Kaizen philosophy, you can read about it here. Kaizen is roughly translated to continuous improvement and is a long term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small incremental changes in the process.

In order to improve efficiency and quality, this philosophy rose to prominence in Japanese company culture after World War Two. And responsible for Japan’s economic boom.

Think about all of the incredible companies created in Japan in the 20th century such as Panasonic, Sony, Honda, Nintendo, Toyota, Sega, Toshiba, and the list goes on this sort of meticulous and rapid approach to work became the norm and has left a legacy in Japan.

After IKIGAI (IKIGAI is a Japanese secret of happiness you can read about it here.) and KAIZEN Japanese people focus on the philosophy of WA which gives Japanese people a unique sense of loyalty towards the country.

Philosophy of Kaizen

This leads to a great feeling of duty and integrity when it comes to one’s occupation within society. If you’ve ever considered traveling to Japan it’s likely that you’ve heard numerous stories about the Honorable nature of Japanese people.

And how that’s reflected in their incredibly low crime statistics. After hearing the stories from tourists you’ll love Japnese culture more because when by forget something in Japan during your travel don’t worry you’ll find it at the same spot where you left it.

Philosophy of Bushido

In addition to group harmony, it’s undeniable that Bushido the philosophy of Bushido code of the samurai has a lot to do with it. It is one of the many philosophies of Japan that the Japanese follow for success.

Bushido is actually two words Bushi meaning warrior and doe meaning way. His main principles are morality, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty.

In the World War two, the legacy of the samurai was brought back to popularity and its impact is still prevalent in Japanese society.

Today many Japanese people with sight bringing honor to their family as one of the main motivations behind achieving success in life, therefore, the act of committing a crime is often outweighed by the fear of bringing dishonor to one’s family which would lead to a crippling amount of authorization from the community.


So in conclusion, if you ever wondered why Japan is so unique in certain ways the answer lies within their philosophy that they follow. They are hardworking, honorable, respectful they believe in politeness. These are some philosophies of Japan people follow for success.

Philosophies of Japan you should follow for success [Philosophy of WA, HONNE and TATEMAE, Philosophy of Boshido]

They have a philosophy for anything for the happiness they follow IKIGAI. For improvement, they follow the KAIZEN way.

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