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Loving living back in Tokyo. Here are 12 big things I have learned during my 10 or so years in Japan. Something for all of your here I think.
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My daughter in law is Japanese. Her and my grand daughter travel to Japan frequently, indeed they've just arrived back. We have a lot of family in Japan. The aftermath of the Tsunami effected us in most unexpected ways. It really was one of those defining moments in history.
Great article Michael! I thought I knew a lot about Japan but I learned some new things. 
Wow, really nice article. Makes me want to move to Japan, haha.
Living in Japan I know that's how it is. Very good and informative article! Thank you very much!
One of the things that amazed me at first is the level of customer service. It's related to the overall politeness of the culture, I guess, but it really is shocking if you've been raised in the US. You get the same level of service from a local FamilyMart or McD's that you do at high end department stores.

As an example, shortly after arriving in Tokyo, I asked the clerk in a downtown 7-11 for directions to a museum, and even though I understood the basic directions she gave me, nothing I could do prevented her from locking the store up(she was working alone) and walking me two blocks up the street to the turn.

The most astounding thing about it was that none of the other customers in the store at the time even cared. They were perfectly content to wait until she got back to ring up. Try that in any metro area in the US.
Safety and respect!
When I travelled around Japan in subways, trains or just passing crowded places, it never happened that someone would bump in me. It was really nice feeling. Nobody bumping or touching you in crowd!!! Imagine that!!! And on subways, you could see people sleeping while driving to work. That tells you how safe it is.
Dear Michael,

Thank you so much for your great list!

Kaizen, the concept of continual, regular improvement, was introduced to Japan in the 1950′s by William Edwards Deming < >

Kaizen < > : For the pioneering, introduction, and implementation of Kaizen in Japan, the Emperor of Japan awarded the 2nd Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure to Dr. Deming in 1960.

Consequently, the Union of Japanese Science and Engineering (JUSE) instituted the annual Deming Prizes for achievement in quality and dependability of products.

On October 18, 1989, JUSE awarded the Deming Prize to Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), based in the US, for its exceptional accomplishments in process and quality control management. FPL was the first company outside Japan to win the Deming Prize.

It wasn't a Ford Motors executive, but Deming who introduced the PDCA or Plan-Do-Check-Act as well as the TPS or Toyota Production System, known for kaizen, where all line personnel are expected to stop their moving production line in case of any abnormality and, along with their supervisor, suggest an improvement to resolve the abnormality which may initiate a kaizen.
Have a great Tuesday!


Lucas +Swiss Business Club +Future Power Generation
I liked the automatic beer pouring machines at the airport, the wide range of restaurants, the friendly people and seeing the Sunflowers unexpectedly during an impromptu walk near Shinjuko.
Most of those also apply to Swiss society, and it is probably why we get so many flippin Japanese Tourists here :)
Quite agree with this list (except for beer for kids - didn't know about this).
In spite of not knowing language, I never felt stressed out living there.
Great post Michael! I haven't been to Japan yet but this definitely makes me want to go there. :-)
It really is so cool here. I could actually very easily come up with 12 more things!
Thanks a lot Michael for your good list.
That was exactly how it was when I was working in Japan years ago. Loved it... Thanks for the refresh...Cheers
One of my freind live in Japan , he had maried and have a son .
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