Take a Hint, Tough Even for the Japanese People

Japan is basically a monolingual country. People can communicate only in Japanese anywhere in Japan, with one exception: Kyoto. As most of you may know, it’s the ancient capital of Japan. Kyoto people are snobbish. I believe this is a stereotypical idea of many Japanese people outside of Kyoto. Making matters worse, their language is too difficult. It’s not about their accent or dialect. In Kyoto, we’re always required to understand the implication of their words. Let me give you some examples.

If your kids are running around in a restaurant, the restaurant staff might smile at you and say “They are so cheerful.” Don’t you ever reply like “Yeah, they’re so excited about coming here in Kyoto.” The staff means “Shut them up!” Even if you wear a cheesy shirt, Kyoto people would smile gently and say “You look good no matter what you wear.” I’m not blaming Kyoto people but respect their culture. I don’t think I can survive there, though. The long history of Kyoto has created such a profound culture. According to a theory of historical science, concealing true intentions is ancient wisdom for Kyoto people to survive through many struggles that had repeated over time in the power center of Japan.

It's a scene of our final product inspection. An inspector is seriously checking a dining chair.

Kyoto language is an extreme example, but it’s true we are required to read between the lines in communication. That may be difficult in many other countries but possible in Japan, an almost mono-cultural country. The good point of this high-context communication here is we can convey detailed nuances more easily. That also contributes to a technique transmission in the furniture making industry, I’m guessing.

2020/09/02 By Shungo Ijima

Source: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/things-to-do-in-kyoto-japan/