Wa (Japanese culture)
Wa (和) is a Japanese cultural concept usually translated into English as "harmony". It implies a peaceful unity and conformity within a social group in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over their personal interests. The kanji character wa (和) is also a name for "Japan; Japanese", replacing the original graphic pejorative transcription Wa 倭 "dwarf/submissive people".
Wa is considered integral to Japanese society and derives from traditional Japanese family values. Individuals who break the ideal of wa to further their own purposes are brought in line either overtly or covertly, by reprimands from a superior or by their family or colleagues' tacit disapproval. Hierarchical structures exist in Japanese society primarily to ensure the continuation of wa. Public disagreement with the party line is generally suppressed in the interests of preserving the communal harmony.
Japanese businesses encourage wa in the workplace, with employees typically given a career for life in order to foster a strong association with their colleagues and firm. Rewards and bonuses are usually given to groups, rather than individuals, further enforcing the concept of group unity.
- Christine Genzberger (1994). Japan Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business With Japan. World Trade Press. pp. 155. ISBN 978-0-9631864-2-3. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Susan C. Bauman (1 June 1994). In Search of the Japanese Spirit in Talent Education. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-87487-767-0. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Jonathan Rice (2004). Behind the Japanese Mask: How to Understand the Japanese Culture and Work Successfully with it. How To Books Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-85703-968-9. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Jason Helfer (18 December 2006). Proceedings of the 2004-2005 Midwest Philosophy of Education Society. AuthorHouse. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-1-4259-9379-5. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Ian Neary (12 October 2012). War, Revolution and Japan. Taylor & Francis. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-1-873410-08-0. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Krishnamurthy Sriramesh; Dejan Vercic (10 September 2012). The Global Public Relations Handbook, Revised Edition. Taylor & Francis. pp. 1007–. ISBN 978-0-415-99513-9. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Heinz Weihrich; Mark V Cannice (1 April 2010). Management. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-07-070072-7. Retrieved 22 October 2012.