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Main/The Peoples of the East/East and Southeast Asia/Japan in Comparative Socio-cultural Studies (Abstract Collection)/

Oguro Tatsuo. You are the Germans, we are the Japanese. Comparative studies: mentality and way of thinking

The paper is based on the ethno methodological approach (that is connected with direct observation of other peoples and understanding of their historical and cultural heritage) in the cross-cultural comparison of the German and Japanese characters. It justifies reasons for similarities and differences (climate, landscape features; economic conditions, religious and moral traditions) in their mentality.

The author identifies several similar characteristics that these nations point out in each other: perseverance, hard work, diligence, efficiency (these qualities have allowed Germany and Japan to take leading positions in the global economy); love of cleanliness; militarism and aggression (during World War II); restraint and frugality; order.

The author also emphasizes some non-coincidences in the two characters. The Japanese are contemplative, they love peace and harmony, and they have strongly developed aestheticism (due to animistic attitude to things). The Japanese are significantly polite and evasive in communication. They are characterized by thought relativism. The Germans, on the contrary, have no sense of aestheticism, they appreciate durability and functionality of things. The Germans are cold, inhospitable, categorical and straightforward. Logic, schematic thinking prevail in their consciousness.

Keywords: the Japanese, the Germans, stereotypes, aestheticism, relativism, logic.

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