the best way i can explain the relationship among people in japan is the phrase, “together everyone achieves more.” this is good because it means that everyone has a job to do and they do it extremely well. i will give several examples.
1) a senpai, the senior, leads the new kohai into the drills of a basketball practice. it is the duty of the kohai, the freshman, is to take care of the cleaning of the court and balls.
2) a group of men and women work hard in the general area of the office. the senpai-like position awaits for their work to be complete, checks it over, and then, hands it over to the boss for stamp of approval.
3) in my upcoming summer festival, i am in charge of the children’s tent. there are many different jobs and responsibilities. it is mine to make sure that we have the water yo-yo pool blown up and with water as well as the making of the balloons. i wanted there to be origami, so there will be someone demonstrating this as well. the story of tanabata will be told, so myself or another will present this story.
in this way, i am reminded of a story of why an american did not get his contract signed. all day he could not understand why the boss would not sign. he tried numerous times, but failed. by the end of the business day, and the contract was still not signed, the man was discouraged. when he was invited to karaoke he accepted. however during the after work “party” he could not relax and kept not understanding on why the contract was still unsigned. he did not even sing one song.
you see, the japanese wanted him to be part of their team and sing, even if it had been out of tune, but the american did not. as a result, the contract went back to america…yes, unsigned. to use the phrase that is most appropriate: “when in rome, do as the romans do.” in other words, in japan, be a team player, and not look out selfishly for oneself.