|You have now finished Part 1
and seen the kinds of problems that can happen, even to well-meaning people, when
they cannot understand each other's unsaid communication. But it is not enough
to try to figure out what Peter did wrong in his homestay (for example, taking
too many showers), and to act differently than he did. It is far more important
to be able to notice and overcome the kinds of gaps that prevented Peter from
learning to behave as an adult in his target culture.
Part 2 provides the first step in moving from cultural childhood to cultural adulthood.
It begins with concepts that you will need to know, but that people will not think
to tell you. You will be introduced to two sets of cultural distinctions that
are crucial for navigating human relationships in Japan: tatemae / honne
and uchi / soto. Simple translations of these terms do not suffice. They
must be pieced together from seeing how they operate in a variety of contexts.
These concepts are crucial in understanding how your family relates to you, and
how you need to relate to them. Newcomers, no matter where they are from, need
to work at grasping these concepts, because you cannot easily intuit them. Giving
you the tools to grasp these concepts will be the focus of Part 2, where we introduce
them through their relationship to everyday life.