Thursday, September 30, 2010


Haha! I did it! I out-Japanesed a Japanese person! Wow, this feels so good, let me just bask in this glory. Ahhh feels good.

My supervisor just came back, and he's wearing a short-sleeved work-shirt. Oh, and what's this? Cool-biz ended yesterday. He totally got asked "Aren't you cold today in that short-sleeve shirt?"

You don't understand, this is the equivalent of "Tomorrow, wear long-sleeves." The actual temperature (currently perfect, maybe high 60's) has no bearing on the comment. It's how Japanese culture works, nice and indirect.

And, who is wearing a long-sleeve shirt and tie, on this first day of non-cool biz. Why, that would be moi ;).

Actually just had a 5 minute conversation with my supervisor. He was worried that I would be getting paid for helping out at the Takko Beef and Garlic Festival this weekend. It turns out that it looks bad if civil servants are paid for helping out. Or, we are only supposed to have one job, and having another would look back upon the system. Or, something to that effect.

Either way, it doesn't matter, as I'm not getting paid, except maybe in delicious food.

Well, I have to be up for my 5:30am pickup tomorrow morning to help out. Oh, the things we do for beef and garlic.


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About Me

Hi, I'm Greg, but you can call me by my Japanese name, Gureggu, if you'd like. I'm writing this blog to explain effective ways to do business with Japan and Japanese companies. Why? Japanese companies are notoriously difficult to understand, and doing business in Japan has a unique set of hurdles.

Why I'm qualified to write about Japan: I have worked in Japan for a total of 8 years. I worked sales at a Japanese import/export company (subsidiary of a much larger corporation) as the only foreigner in the company. Before that, I taught for 2 years at High Schools and 3 years teaching elementary and middle school in Aomori Prefecture. I have lived the life of a salaryman and experienced firsthand the institutions that shape Japanese people in their most formative years.