Before our departure, I hope to talk at length about the work of Karyn Poupée Les japonais, that I’m finishing to read. Before setting foot in the Japan’s land, I can very warmly recommend it, so this work is complete. If very long chapters are devoted to the economy, the Japanese industry, it is because the operating companies reflect the state of mind of the inhabitants of the archipelago.
On the Japanese mindset, I wanted to offer you a quote (from the book named above):
These characteristics [moral standards and Japanese state of mind] have names: punctuality, solidarity, politeness, civility, courage, selflessness, sense of duty and an individual value, respect, loyalty. These are not the words inscribed on the pediments of public buildings, but actual practices verified every day. And if they appear immediately so incredible, vibrant and critical to the eyes of immigrants in Japanese land, perhaps they simply disappeared in their own country, if indeed they have been existed at all.
I find within this description an idea of the budo spirit (or the image I have of it) that combines respect for others, and the group itself. It has often seemed to me, through my readings, that the Japanese sin by diluting itself in the group. That seems to be exactly the opposite of the movement that strikes the West, where the individual prevail before the group.
However, I fear to idealize too much how Japanese live, which sounds great with their politeness and attention paid to the others, and that could turn into terrible straitjacket.