Saturday, December 6, 2008

Politeness and Courtesy Declining in Japanese Society

A recent article in the Britain's Telegraph draws attention to fact that politeness and courtesy in Japanese society is gradually on the decline, particularly on the subways where thousands of Japanese interact with each other each day.

Japanese etiquette and courtesy, of course, is what many westerns associate with the Japanese and their culture. The subject of japanese business etiquette is very much on the mind of western businessmen who have to work with Japanese companies. Yet the Telegraph hints that the future of japanese etiquette might look quite different.

"I would have to say that levels of inconsideration have accelerated in the last five years or so," said Toshiko Marks, a professor of multicultural understanding at Shumei University. "I first saw a young woman applying her make-up on a train about five years ago but now it is an everyday sight," she said. "I even see people on trains eating food that has a strong smell, such as noodles, which means everyone has to put up with it."
Read the full article about the decline of manners in Japanese society.

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