Does Japanese like popularity itself?

The answer is "Yes". One who want to do business in Japan should know importance of popularity. If you wanted to ignite your market and business in Japan, it could be unavoidable.
It seems very true if you think of Keywords-of-the-Year contest in Japan. It sounds absurd to select most popular word in the year even from Japanese point of view but it is an annual event and popular itself. Some of them was triggered by imported goods, like Rubic Cubes, but most of the phenomena occurred in Japan only. If your product, service or even yourself get full attention from Japanese, you will be much rewarded in a short period. Being a foreigner would attract Japanese if you had something delighting them you never know. At business meetings, it would be your advantage, too. Favorable atmosphere is always welcomed in severe negotiation.

School uniform of Japan The origin - Japanese education was to make obedient and uniform worker or soldiers before the WWII. The whole idea was reduce individuality and everyone acted as one unit to get maximum efficiency. Children in elementary schools used to have almost the same bags with the same school caps. When parents chose bags, they avoided something distinguish. If they have, the children might have trouble in school. Most of junior high and high school students still wear uniforms. After the burst of Economic bubble, Japanese were realized the system was no use to manage unusual events and routine work and it have been said that one must have one's personality for a long time. It is hard to change one's habit.

Japan had never invaded for at least 1700 years until the end of the WWII. People did not travel so often to and from the continent like English does. Japanese have been living in uniform society for a very long time. Closed policy in Edo era, from 17th to 18th century, played a great role, too. There was class system and farmers, 80% of population, had no rights of moving. People choose obedience to survive. Once one ignored by other villagers, there was no place to live.
As for Samurai, ruling class, they studied Confucianism to govern people well. It is Chinese origin philosophy, sometime considered as a religion. The Analects of Confucius, a collection of sayings and ideas attributed to him and his pupils was used as a classic text among schools until the WWII. In the book, harmony is said to be one of keys. The Japanese first constitution made in 7th century referred a part of the phrase and Japanese believed in harmony and tried to avoid any conflict as much as possible with no reason.
Note : The full text of meaning is that respecting others (at conflicts ) will lead you in harmony. In other occasion, Confucius said the phrase translated to the old saying, "One must draw the line somewhere". It seems that being always the same among them is not good policy of course harmony is preferred to.

Strategy - Resent success in Japanese cleaner market are Dyson's and iRobot's automatic cleaning robots. If you have a plan to enter Japanese market, you should check their market strategy.
Dyson have studied Japanese market and consumer well. They believed that a product loved by quality-conscious Japanese must be accepted anywhere in the world. In the other hand, the concept of automatic cleaner rang the bell of Japanese.
There must be the beginning of the popularity and one did buy the thing that no one bought before. It is the key to find such a person and persuade to buy your products. The person is minority at the beginning but once it spreads, it sweeps. Uniform society needs leader to guide all.


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