Posted by: voyagerguide | December 18, 2007

Japanese Spirit: Honne Tatemae

Japan is not only a mountainous country, but also a small coutry. Many people live in small area. In this circumstance, it is very important to live together peacefully and harmoniously. This theory is still up and running. In Japan, when expressing honest feelings might hurt or offend others, official stance is expressed instead to keep peace in a community. Honest feelings are Japanese for “Honne(本音)” and official stance is Japanese for “Tatemae(建前)”. This Japanese spirit produced the custom avoiding expressing “Honne” and adjusting to “Tatemae”. The west often criticises the Japanese for not readily expressing their opinions because of this spirit. Peoply say that  these days the traditional custom is gradually changing in proportion to grobalization in Japan, but I think that Honne and Tatemae is a deep-rooted Japanese spirit, seeing that Japanese educational system still makes much of not encouraging to make a habit of thinking by oneself  but encouraging to imitate textbook.


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