Nihonjinron literature is said “premordialist” by the continuities between modern Japanese social values and traditional Japanese culture. It involves different areas such as Japanese geography, topography and agriculture. Nippon Steel published a book in 1984 in both English and Japanese says that Japanese tend to avoid the possible frictions and would notice others’ comments and is very careful and serious to social relationship under culture heading about Japanese Character.
Wa is a Japanese word that literally translated as “harmony”. The people in Japan will keep the wa atmosphere of the society. Who do not obey the rule and maintain the wa sense are considered immature and comdemned. Under the wa theory, Japanese believe that team is more important than individuals. The Nippon Steel volume associates the group spirit in Japan with its wet rice culture because people have to work in some system to survive. The group work also causes Japan’s isolation from the rest of the world and its “homogeneity”.
The frame and attribute are distinct by Nakane. Frame, which is ba in Japanese means the group of a person. Nakane’s statement is that the individual’s personality comes from their belongingness of the group they are in. She provides an example that Japanese tend to care about where others belong to, like school, company or university. Japanese feel their company as “my company” which extent their feeling of the company to a place they belonging to. Thus for a person, being inside and outside the company makes a lot of difference.
The well known concept of Nakane is tateshakai. It is saying that all Japanese relationship can be understood by the parent-child roles. The workers play child part and the leader is the parent part and take all the responsibilities for any member in the whole group. For example, headers in many Japanese corporations would take responsibility for their workers even they are not direct managed by the headers. The low level workers only need to do whatever their manager told them.
The concept amae is used to holds all of Nakane’s theories. The term amae is hard to translate into English because it could be a positive term in Japanese while the translation in English is negative. Amae is a positive term in Japanese because it means people realized that they rely on others and they need teamwork to achieve the goal.