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Shyness in Japan - Essay Example

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This shy syndrome was discovered in the 16th Century. According to an ancient Japanese proverb, "The nail that stands out is pounded down", does this saying justify…
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Shyness in Japan
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Shyness in Japan

ay of life because, in the ancient times, both men and women were conditioned to behave in a shy ‘Hazukashii’ or ‘Hajirai’ manner (Boye 2004). ‘Hazukashii’ was associated with morality and being Japanese. This element of Japanese being shy is apparent all the way through their culture; in fact any member who did not behave in ‘Hazukashii’ or ‘Hajirai’ manner was considered a delinquent. Shyness was required in the upbringing of young women because it implied essence of femininity. It was a clear indication of virginity, naivety, passivity, vulnerability and decency. This quality, among others, attracted both the Japanese and foreign men (Donahue, 1998). On the other hand, young men were also trained to conduct themselves in a shy manner. They were to be humble, modest, reserved and quiet especially in the presence of their superiors. Shyness among the Japanese community is linked to their social behavior and personality. This is obvious from the research conducted by Matsushima and Shiomi (2001) on the five scales about self- disclosure and loneliness; revealing feelings linked to anxiety and self disclosure which trigger hesitancy thus promoting loneliness (p. 661- 670).
In Japanese, shyness is apparent and more prevalent in the field of education. In the book, Life: Upper Intermediate, when Japanese students get in a new country i.e. America, they develop communication problems when trying to settle especially when they learn English as a second language (Dummett et al. 2012). Shyness in education may also be due to their culture. Many students are trained to value harmony with others; thus, they are likely to hesitate airing out their thoughts, opinions and ideas in public (McVeigh, 2002). This has frustrated the school learning environment since students seldom ask or answer questions. They don’t initiate conversations to make use of spoken language in class thus promoting learning via a ‘Teacher- Centered approach’. According to ... Read More
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