we will read and discuss Confucius Lives Next Door, by TR Reid. Throughout his stay in Japan and travels across Asia, Reid observes cultural landscapes that diverge deeply from many of those seen in the West. For this assignment, write a paper (around three-to-four pages) that addresses the following:
§ Summarize this book and the author’s aims in one paragraph.
§ Explain the second “Asian miracle” that Reid alludes to. Discuss its various
components and how these differ from the United States.
§ Using at least two examples from the book (e.g. something in Reid’s neighborhood, in his personal conversations, etc.) and tie them to the Japanese cultural axioms (e.g. wa, giri) that we have discussed in class.
§ Use a third example from the book and tie it to one of Trompenaars’ cultural dimensions.
§ In your estimation, how has this cultural environment enabled the rapid economic growth witnessed in Japan, South Korea, and other countries?
§ What are the benefits of the Japanese school system: to individuals and Japanese society? Any drawbacks?
§ Chapter 6 seems to infer that ‘continuing education’ is an important element of Japanese society and throughout much of East Asia. How does it play an integral role in the ‘second miracle’ described above?
§ In the last part of your paper, discuss your impression of Japan’s social and cultural environment. Would you feel stifled or motivated by it? Do such environments benefit society as a whole? What are the long-term ramifications? Support your positions.
The paper should be typed (double-spaced) and stapled.