Detail-Oriented Nature and Furniture


Detail-Oriented Nature and Furniture

I know there are individual differences and it might be a kind of pointless to generalize national characters, but still, I can’t help thinking that we Japanese people are generally (too) detail-oriented, and that the national character might be one of the reasons for the low labor productivity in Japan which actually has been least in the G7 countries for these 50 years. No worries. Today’s topic is not about Japanese working environment or structure to create such low productivity. I’m just sharing how the national character influences our furniture production.

Source: https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/saskatoon-police-make-one-of-the-largest-seizures-of-fentanyl-and-methamphetamine-we-have-ever-seen , https://www.iza.ne.jp/kiji/events/photos/171003/evt17100318310037-p1.html

Detail-Oriented Anytime, Anywhere

Drugs, guns, counterfeit goods, etc. I often displayed those kind of contraband goods neatly and carefully as per the detailed instructions of my bosses without any doubt when working as a customs officer. I recently found out that the difference of national characters can be seen even in the way of such displays. The right image is of an official display by the Canadian police; the left by the Japanese police. Did you notice that the seized stolen baseballs were placed with their seams facing the same way? No offence, Canadian friends. I didn’t mean the Canadian police is sloppy but that the Japanese are detail-oriented in nature.

A Factor of High-Quality Furniture Production

As I may have said before, we give factory tours to anyone (reservation required), and I was surprised to see many people coming from overseas were interested in and took pictures of the tools neatly aligned on the walls or shelves, like ones shown in the above images. Some even said that they would be a proof of quality. On the other hand, there have been much more Japanese visitors, but no one pays any attention, probably because it’s natural for them, I’m guessing.

It may look too detail-oriented and a factor of low productivity, but taking such small steps would enable us to realize our high-quality furniture production, I believe. Now, we can’t hold factory tours but will do after the dust of COVID is settled. I look forward to welcoming you here soon!


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


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