Chapter 1: The Other Miracle
1) Japan still has the largest foreign currency reserves in the world even after years of recession.
This fact was important because later it was explained that everyone in Japan had money and that it was more equally distributed than in the east.
2) East Asia has been extraordinarily successful. They have the safest streets, the strongest families, and the best schools in the world.
This statement was important because it showed how this country surpassed other countries especially America. It also showed how safe it was for children to walk around by themselves even when it is at nighttime and with far distance.
3) It is shameful and humiliating in Japan if a couple gets a divorce.
Shows how Japan’s high emphasis on morals impacts everyone on a daily basis.
4) Confucius was a big influence and explained the region’s low rates of crime and family breakdown and relatively high level of economic equality and social civility.
Shows how Confucius teaches individuals of both high and low birth to strive for success in their lifetime.
Chapter 2: Eastern Flavor
1) Baskin Robins in Japan is the biggest ice cream chain in Japan. Also the Thirty-one in the name is pronounced “Satay-wan” since the Th. is not pronounced in the Japanese language.
Interesting to state this because they also say San-kyu instead of Thank You. San-kyu also means 3-9, which gives them their most thankful day of the year March 9. It’s just interesting to point out.
2) Kentucky Fried Chicken was the most successful food chain in Japan.
Showed how Japan easily accepts and institutes foreign markets and ideas without hesitation or humiliation. They adapt so well to the outside world.
3) Stealing was very shameful so a mountain bike that was not locked would be considered very safe in the streets.
Showed their high standards and respect for others which has contributed to many successes in Japan.
4) There is a different language for greeting somebody who stands above you in hierarchy and a whole different language for ordinary conversation.
This shows how language plays a role in Japan by the maintenance of the hierarchical structure of the society.
Chapter 3: Pine Tree By The Rice Paddy
1) There were no names for any streets in their neighborhood (Subsection 3).
It was interesting to hear this because I could imagine how hard it was to give directions. It should also be very difficult for mailmen to mail letters.
2) Americans routinely install burglar alarms because they are afraid of thieves.
Showed how Japan lived in a harmonious and non-dangerous environment.
3) Meiwaku means causing trouble or shame for others members of a group you belong.
It was a term given to people who cause trouble or shame onto other members of their group. This showed how being part of a group is really important to Japan. It showed how being part of a group describes what kind of person you are. Also shows how Japan felt after the Pearl Harbor attack. They felt shame and apologized for their actions.
4) Japanese funerals consisted of a visitor bringing flowers and kneeling down in front of the alter while the widower whispers to the deceased to tell who the person is in front of him/her in case they have forgotten.
This was very interesting. It showed how much respect they have for the deceased. It showed that they do not treat the deceased differently than if they were alive.
Chapter 4: The Master Kung
1) The Chinese have always been fantastic record keepers.
This shows how it was possible to learn about the births, careers and deaths of people who lived long before there was written language in other parts of the world. This shows one of Japans great qualities.
2) There is no original sin in the Confucian cosmology. All humans are good, and thus any person has the potential to become a member of a ruling elite.
Shows how Japan does not discriminate and gives everyone a fair chance.
3) Confucius or Disciples that came after him came up with Five Basic Loyalties that should be entrusted onto everyone.
Showed how relationships between ruler and people came about. That the ruler should show same respect to the people and it should also be vice versa. The relationship between parent and child, older and younger siblings, and members of any groups and their juniors are also part of the relationships that need loyalty present.
4) The basic ethical lessons that Confucius taught – value of harmony and the importance of treating others decently- are immutable.
Shows that ethical values are the key to a successful society, and that it is the government’s job to exemplify those values and pass then on to the next generation.
Chapter 5: Yodobashi No. 6
1) That public school, like all Asian public schools, devoted endless time, energy, and ingenuity to the teaching of moral lessons” community virtues, proper social conduct, appropriate behavior as a member of a group.
Shows how Confucius plays an enormous role in society.
2) The entire nation of Japan, with 126 million people, averages less than one murder among school aged children each year, plus a dozen or so of these suicides due to bullying.
Shows how harsh the consequences can be if children are no quite fitting in with cultural expectancies.
3) All classrooms in Japan have the word Doroku framed on the walls. It means “ effort”.
Shows how much success relies on the amount of effort you put, into what it is you are trying to accomplish.
4) These moral lessons, in fact, are so important in Japan- and to every other Confucian society- that they don’t stop when school ends.
Shows how essential it is to work hard, follow rules, respect authority, taking responsibility, and getting along with the group, everyday in their society.
Chapter 6: Continuing Education
1) A job in Japan is a means of identification with a larger entity.
This means of identity brings a sense of security and also pride in loyalty to the firm.
The bigger the firm the more pride one has.
2) April 1st in the day where new members of society first start to work.
They celebrate this day by selling packages of clothing to new comers of society. They will know what it means to dress for success. This will help in there future endeavors.
3) There are many public signs and notices in Japan such as the ones in the classrooms.
This was important because the signs in public areas have signs that give explanations for what is said. Such as instead of “No Dogs” they say “ To keep things clean for others using the park, let’s leave our dogs home when we come here.”
4) People in East Asian societies know what the rules are – even the unwritten rules- and feel obliged to follow them.
This shows that all the ceremonies, signs, banners, posters, ads, and exhortations that color daily like in Asian countries are doing their jobs.
Chapter 7: The Secret Weapon
1) Ronald Regean came up with a plan to incorporate a plan called the Plaza Accords.
This was important because this is when the US started to spend more on purchases from other countries. Japan also changed their way of spending but they spent less on what they purchased. The US Dollar lost value while the Jen gained value.
2) Japan does not fire their workers if the economy changes or the market goes down.
Japan felt that if people were fired from their jobs because of economic reasons, it would result in the violation of the WA. This would undermine the principles of the way Japan is organized. It would impair the overall harmony of the nation. It would destroy group commitment. In other words there is “Lifetime Employment.”
3) The NKK (the largest steel company in the east) built the perfect beaches and mountains.
In response to the Plaza Accords they built their man-made beaches which everyone loved and enjoyed going to.
4) If their country gets richer, all the citizens- not just the select few in the Prime Minister’s office or executive suite- will get richer along with it.
This shows how society has an equal obligation to take care of each of its individual members.
Chapter 8: “Too Much Freedom”
1) An American bumps into a Japanese tourist so that a bottle of wine breaks during the impact, and takes advantage of his loyalty by yelling that it cost $300.
This shows how easily they can get taken advantage of the Japanese culture. It was a cheap bottle of wine but out of respect the gentleman gave him the $300 that it supposedly cost. Shows how America can be a terrifying place for Asians.
2) There was a depiction of Americans as dirty, dangerous and dishonest in Asia.
There was a generalization of Americans in Japan because of the way some Americans had treated some Japanese people in America, by taking advantage of them and stealing their money.
3) Michael Fay was convicted of vandalism and sentenced to jail and 6 lashes on the buttocks with a rattan cane.
The US disagreed with the corporal punishment. The only problem is that Singapore had a minimal amount of crime. The US surpassed everyone in the East with the amount of crime present in the United States. How can a nation with leading amounts of crime, give a nation with minimal crime advice?
4) The United States, despite its vibrant economy, is a decaying society caught in a downward spiral.
The idea that America should become more like Asia is being argued everyday. They should turn to Confucius teachings and start a new revolution of ideas.