We vs I in Japanese culture

A concept of “us” or “we” is a hallmark of the Japanese culture. In Japan, harmony (wa) is highly valued so putting others (people in your group’s needs) ahead of yours is extremely important. Putting your needs ahead of others and asserting your opinions are considered impolite and sometimes selfish. This social norm is reinforced through the Japanese educational systems. Japanese children are usually told to be very considerate of other people and to maintain good relationships with others and harmony within the group. When I was in a middle school in Japan, my school had some camps specifically to train these areas. So it makes sense that Japanese people tend to be much more reserved than American people, and they usually refrain from asserting their individual opinions too much. Every culture has pros and cons, and this specific concept is one of the beauty Japanese culture holds. At least that is my personal opinion.


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