Japanese Work Ethic – Why Japan Has Such A Great Work Ethic

In business, long hours and hard work should be rewarded with higher salaries or promotions. 

However, in Japan, companies cultivate an environment that rewards employees for their dedication to the company and its goals. 

This is partly due to a strong work ethic passed down from generation to generation over centuries. 

This post will examine why the Japanese have a great work ethic and how it compares with other countries worldwide.

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Why Does Japan Have Such A Great Work Ethic

Ever wondered why Japan have such a great work ethic? Well, below are reasons why:

  • Formal Workplaces

Japanese offices are very formal; people are expected to be on time, and there’s an office dress code. 

The seniority system means salaries are based on your position in the company rather than your previous salary or performance at previous companies. 

You also have to respect your co-workers, who may be older or more experienced than you.

Here are some things that cannot be done at work:

  • No jeans or shorts unless permitted by your boss.
  • No gum chewing may create an unpleasant odour around others who don’t want to smell this type of thing all day.
  • No eating while working unless permitted by your boss as well.
  • Ho-Ren-Su

The sole objective of Ho-Ren-Su is teamwork. Even if an employee has the capacity to carry out their duty, this rule encourages workers to help other co-workers carry out their duties.

After all, the word Ho-Ren-Su means work, service, and team, which have been existing for over a century.

  • Seniority System 

The seniority system is based on age and experience, and it’s used to determine who gets promoted, gets the best jobs, and even how much you get paid. 

The higher your age at a company or organization, the better your chance of getting the most desirable position within the organization.

The Japanese work ethic is rooted in this age-based system where older workers are often promoted over younger ones because they’ve earned their stripes through experience rather than potential. 

This can lead to employee inequality but also creates an environment where everyone has an equal opportunity for success regardless of their personality traits or preferences, which makes sense since this isn’t just about money.

  • Open Plan Offices

Open-plan offices allow for better communication between employees and managers because no walls separate them. 

Other people believe that open-plan offices can be distracting when focusing on something important, like writing an important email or finishing up an essential report before deadline day arrives tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

There are also some financial considerations involved with having an open-concept office space. 

Maintaining such spaces requires more maintenance than traditional models, which means higher costs for running these kinds of businesses or organizations.

Where Does Japan’s Work Ethic Come From?

The Japanese work ethic is deeply rooted in Confucianism, an ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. 

The core values of Confucianism are based on five virtues such as benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and faithfulness. 

These virtues encourage people to be respectful, responsible and loyal towards one another.

As a result of this solid moral code, many Japanese businesses emphasize employee loyalty, even at the expense of profits or efficiency. 

Read More: Michigan Unemployment Work Search Requirements

How Does Japan’s Work Ethic Compare To Other Countries?

The Japanese work ethic is much better than most other countries. 

The average person in Japan works about 2,000 hours annually and gets paid for only about 900. 

The rest is unpaid overtime they do out of pride or because they feel it’s part of their job description. 

This is one reason so many companies locate their offices in Tokyo.

It’s cheaper to hire someone who will work for free than somewhere else where people expect to get paid for all their hours on the clock or at least part of them.

The Japanese Have A Culture That Fosters A Strong Work Ethic That Is Second To None.

The Japanese have a culture that fosters a strong work ethic that is second to none. The foundation of this ethic is respect, politeness and loyalty. 

These values are instilled in children from an early age and carried on through generations. 

The Japanese value hard work because it’s part of their culture. You need to work hard at something to help your family and society.

The Japanese culture has been passed down through tradition and rituals.


1 What Is The Japanese Work Ethic?

The traditional work culture in Japan emphasizes extreme dedication to one’s work.

2. What Is The Japanese Work Culture Called?


3. Why Is The Japanese Work Culture So Intense?

Japan has a rich history with longstanding cultural norms, including politeness, discipline and efficiency. As a result, these social norms strongly influence the country’s workforce, leading to undue pressure on workers.

4. What Motivates Japanese People To Work Such Long Hours?

Long working hours in Japan are attributed to the Japanese-style employment system, people’s attitudes, and industry practices.

5. How Is Work Life In Japan?

Unfortunately, Japan is notoriously notorious for having one of the worst work-life balances in the world: early starts, late-night overtime, and forced attendance at after-work drinking parties with colleagues are not unusual. 

6. Are Japanese People Hardworking?

Japan has had a reputation for being a hardworking country. Extreme care and diligence are the things that Americans often associate with Japanese people.

7. What Motivates Workers In Japan?

With their strong group orientation, Japanese are highly motivated by feeling included in a group. The more you can structure work as team projects and reward teams for their accomplishments, the better.

8. Why Is Japan So Amazing?

Japan is among the oldest civilizations and has a beautiful and diverse history.

9. What Is The Japanese Method Of Working?

Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that focuses on gradually improving productivity and streamlining the work environment, and Kaizen supports changes from any employee at any time.


Japan’s emphasis on employee loyalty and group harmony has made it difficult for businesses to hire foreign workers due to their lack of experience in these areas. 

At this point in time, though, there are signs that things may be starting to change as many companies begin training foreigners in teamwork skills that will allow them to make an impact on their new workplaces while learning how they fit into them too.

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