You've Just Got to Laugh
Not long ago you'd have had a tough time convincing anyone outside Japan that "funny" had any relevance to the Japanese mindset. The tendency for the legions of white-collar representatives of Japan Inc. working abroad to wear a collective poker face didn’t help. Countless YouTube videos of seriously wacky local TV shows have proven, however, that Japanese are just as nutty as the rest of us. From storytelling to standup to mimicry to wordplay and the kind of loopy physical comedy that would do Monty Python proud, plenty of funny stuff has been going on in Japan for centuries. And the current owarai (laugh) boom is proving to be the biggest yet.
Working with Japan
By Patricia Pringle
The Project Is a "Go"
Fred is an American engineering manager at the US subsidiary of a successful Japanese manufacturing company. He is faced with the challenge of kicking off a new project. “We had all worked hard on the concept phase, and were happy to hear that the project had passed through the decision-making process on the Japan side and was now a ‘Go.’ We were eager to start development. But then my boss, Egawa-san, showed me the PowerPoint slides from the headquarters that he planned to present at an all-hands meeting. I was shocked and dismayed to see a very ambitious timeline of deliverables and deadlines. Did the Japan side not look at our feasibility data? How could I motivate my team to work hard toward milestones that seemed out of touch with our capability and resources? When I told Egawa-san that I would find it hard to sell the schedule to my team, Egawa-san said he was surprised to hear that the engineers were not fully committed to the project.”
Products Of The Month
A Real Earful
Panasonic recently released its "Moon Jewel" series of stereophonic earphones, which are claimed to be the first audio-visual product designed exclusively for women. The compact earphones are inlaid with cubic zirconia, a high-quality synthetic gem praised for its radiance. Models are available in 12 different colors made to represent the 12 signs of the Zodiac.
2009 September Contents
Contents of the month
Why did you choose your current company?
Source: Macromill (Conducted among new male employees)