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Friday, June 19

Japanese Peculiarities #8

So here’s something that after three years in Japan, I have never seen before, and yet KH tells me that it is pretty much an every day occurrence for many occupations in Japan… a line-up meeting every single morning that starts the work day. For this morning meeting, the staff apparently all line up, often in circular fashion if inside and office, and repeat a sort of mantra of polite formalities. Perhaps I was running errands earlier than I normally do on this particular morning to catch this act with my own two eyes, but this struck me as quite bizarre. It isn’t that the idea of a morning meeting was bizarre, but I just can’t imagine making everyone line up in such a particularly overly orderly fashion. It seems almost… militant… a rather old-fashioned part of Japan’s conformist ways.

Maybe they do this at every fire station in the states… but if they do… I’ve never seen it there either. I’m really thinking it doesn’t happen back home. And I really can’t imagine such a custom being accepted on American soil where we have gotten excessively lax on a great many of things.

I’m not trying to be rude or overly political here. Just a personal observation that struck me as odd between the differences of Americans and Japanese. And it was just darn funny to see them line up in a row like that, chins all raised to a precise height, chanting into the morning sun.

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