India-Japan Cultural Distance on the Mottainai Ethics
The mottainai ethics were originally based on one’s modesty and subjective ideals, respecting the virtues of thrift, moderation and self-realization. This chapter aims to shed light on a dimension of the cultural or perception gap between the Japanese and the Indians, mainly with reference to the concept of mottainai in the Japanese language. This research uses an analytic induction framework of qualitative and narrative type analysis on a strategy of collecting data through relatively unstructured interviews with the Japanese expatriates who manage joint-ventures in India. We find those Japanese expatriates feel that Indian business people and workers are less concerned with training and enhancing themselves to achieve a better quality of life. The Japanese investors perceive wastefulness or opportunity loss in business in India, which may create a potential, mutual mind barrier to entry.
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