US perspectives of Japan tend to see-saw with whatever is in fashion. Rising Sun by Michael Crighton tapped into a US fear of imminent "Japanese take-over". Since 1993 there's been a reversal of thinking: now pundits proclaim that Japan is adrift on a stormy sea of economic ills (see Yamaichi Securities). I've often wondered what it is about the US-Japan relationship that sparks such extreme emotions. I don't pretend to have any answers, but by drawing on my experience I hope to explore some facets of what it is like to work and live in this fascinating country.
First things first. Here are a few general observations about going to, visiting and working in Japan.
The Worldweave List of Business Practices for Japan. If you're determined to set up shop in Japan, here are a few thoughts to help you along.
Foreigners working for Japanese companies might find echoes of their experiences described here. These are some "slice of life" scenarios gathered from my year working in a Japanese company (and based on another nine years of living in Japan). There are also some pointers in the sections above that may prove helpful.
Have you been in Japan too long? Check this list and find out!