At Home in Japan: What No One Tells You
Teaching Guide

By Jane Bachnik

As a virtual textbook, or as a supplement to other readings and materials, At Home in Japan: What No One Tells You maps essential terrain of contemporary Japanese culture. It places the student in an extraordinary predicament (as a guest in a Japanese home), outlines basic problems of that predicament, summarizes the cultural roots of those problems, and details how others have managed many permutations of that predicament through real-life case studies. Taken as a whole, At Home in Japan: What No One Tells You offers a rare glimpse at the multi-layered nature of Japanese culture, as experienced by sojourners from abroad.

The tutorial can be used effectively in a variety of classes and orientation programs. Below we have compiled a thumbnail set of suggestions to assist you in utilizing the tutorial in class. The guide includes the following sections:

Who Can Use This Tutorial
1.Teaching the Tutorial: Overview discussion & summary
2.Teaching Strategies for the Tutorial
Part 1: The Cultural Child, Main Themes & Learning Points
  Modules 1-3
Module 3.3 Homestay Check Lists
Part 2: What You Have to Know to Grow, Main Themes & Learning Points
  Module 4: Tatemae/Honne
Module 5: Uchi/Soto
Module 6: Uchi
Part 3: Growing Pains. . . and Gains, Main Themes & Learning Points
  Module 7: First Steps
Module 8: Navigating Uchi
Module 9: Deepening Contact
Module 10: When the Homestay Isn't Working
Finale: Homestay Gallery

Who Can Use this Tutorial
This tutorial is designed to be used either independently by students going abroad, or in conjunction with classes, where it can be used in a variety of ways. These include:

  Orientation for Study-Abroad Programs
The tutorial provides an exceptionally good orientation for study-abroad programs, because it offers students what they need to know (but are unlikely to be told), along with a way of understanding the intercultural learning process they are involved in. It is especially useful for students participating in homestays.

Suggested Use:
(1) The tutorial should be assigned to students well before they arrive in Japan, so that they can complete it by the time they arrive. Due to the sheer size of the tutorial, we do not recommend trying to use it 'on the fly', or in an orientation program where students have no time to go through it beforehand.
(2) We highly recommend that orientation programs using this tutorial be refreshed periodically throughout the study abroad period, rather than discussing the material only at the start. The concepts presented are part of an ongoing learning process, about which student discussion should be elicited periodically. The length of the tutorial and its orientation make it appropriate for utilization as part of an ongoing course, either to assist with orientation, or as part of a course on Japanese Culture/Society. For teaching suggestions on such use, see the Teaching Guide below.
  Classes on Japanese Culture and Society
The tutorial can be used effectively as an interactive multimedia "textbook", especially for introductory classes. It presents basic organizational and communication concepts involving Japanese self and social life, including inside/outside distinctions (uchi/soto), self and in-group organization (uchi), and family organization. The tutorial invites the students to become familiar with Japanese society through participating vicariously in homestay situations with Japanese families. In this way students can understand Japanese culture as it is lived.

Suggested Use:
(1) This is the focus for the teaching guide below.
(2) Read through the teaching strategies developed below, and use the suggestions to develop an approach that best fits your own class.
  Japanese Language Classes
The tutorial enables students to situate the language and structural patterns they are learning in the broader arenas of interpersonal relationships and social dynamics. The tutorial can be used for language classes in two ways:

Suggested Use:
(1) either independently by the students;
(2) or as a complement to the classroom teaching of language and communication patterns.
  In either case, the cultural challenges illuminated by the tutorial have numerous and readily identifiable linguistic applications.

1.Teaching the Tutorial: Overview discussion & summary

The tutorial consists of three interrelated parts. All focus on teaching cultural interaction from an experience-oriented perspective. Culture is not a set of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ (manners and customs), but lived experience. The tutorial presents an interrelated series of modules, focusing on cases, along with cultural backdrops, discussions of cross-cultural communication processes, and other aspects the reader needs to understand the cases.

The modules build on each other, so they should be approached in order until the reader has completed the tutorial. At this point s/he can move back through the modules in any order. The three parts of the tutorial, summarized below, should actually be considered as an interrelated circle:

Part 1. Examines the communication breakdown in the failed homestay case of Peter and the Sasaki family, and introduces the core idea of the tutorial: How can Peter become aware of what no one thinks to tell him, but which everyone assumes he already knows, before he unknowingly violates their expectations?
Part 2. Presents the cultural elements that “No One Tells You”, but that you need to know. It explains behind-the-scenes aspects of Japanese society that are a “backdrop” to ordinary communication situations, and explains how these work.
Part 3. Depicts the trial-and-error process involved in cultural learning through 14 student cases, presented through notebooks which narrate their experiences in long-term homestays.

The students in Part 3 are learning, sometimes the hard way, the "things that no one tells you". Moreover, their trial-and-error learning exemplifies and elaborates on the communication processes introduced in Part 1 and detailed in Part 2. The three parts taken as a whole are an invitation to an intercultural learning process that transcends Japan.

2.Teaching Strategies for the Tutorial

Suggestions for facilitating discussions in each segment of the tutorial are outlined below along with additional references to text readings, films, and web links. Discussions should be conducted after students have independently worked through the relevant parts of the tutorial.

Part 1: The Cultural Child
Main Themes:

1. When a person moves into a new culture s/he becomes a “Cultural Child”. A major goal of the tutorial is to answer the question: How does the cultural child grow into a cultural adult?
2. There are “things no one tells you” when you move abroad, not because they are trying to keep you in the dark, but because they can’t imagine that anybody wouldn’t know these things. Of course this makes them crucial to know because they are very basic. The goal of this tutorial is to acquaint the reader with some of the things that “no one tells you” in Japan.
3. "Cultural bubbles" is a concept we use to explain the background of assumed cultural expectations which we all have (but are mostly unaware of) and which we assume everyone else knows too (even though this isn‘t true).

Part 1 develops the problem to which Parts 2 and 3 provide responses. This part also explains basic aspects of intercultural communication, which operate, no matter where one is, and which have contributed to the problem. Part 1 should be assigned and taught as a single unit, rather than a series of page segments which can be separately discussed (as is the case with the segments in the last two parts). Although Peter’s case is an actual homestay case, it is not meant to represent a “typical homestay”. Instead it is meant to give readers a window into the workings of “what no one tells you” in intercultural situations.

The tutorial opens with Module 1, The Cultural Child, introducing the theme of the tutorial, followed by a case segment, Peter's Homestay: Beginning, 2.1, introducing Peter Hauser and the Sasakis, his homestay family in Japan. The homestay is approached through different vantagepoints, showing that the Sasakis’ and Peter’s perspectives on the same homestay are very different. Following this a flash segment, Impasse, 2.2, begins an explanation of why they are different, which continues over two more flash segments (Comparing Viewpoints, 2.3, and Peter's Bind, 3.2). Interspersed with these segments is a follow-up on the homestay case, Peter's Homestay: after 3 Months, 3.1, to the end. Ultimately the homestay fails, as Peter and the Sasakis continue to view it from their different perspectives. Part 1 ends with "check lists" for both homestay guests and host families to think about motivations for doing a homestay.

Main Learning Points in Part 1:

1. Intercultural communication includes more than what is “said”. In fact, what is “unsaid” is more important. This makes it complex.
2. Intercultural communication involves multiple perspectives, and misunderstandings can occur—especially due to what is “unsaid”.
3. Such misunderstandings are no one’s fault, in this homestay situation. The problem is that neither side realized that they weren't understanding each other’s “unsaid”. Something is missing for Peter in his communication environment, so that he can’t pick up the signals that the Sasakis are giving him that they are upset with him. Yet the Sasakis assumed that Peter could read their signals (just as a Japanese would ordinarily be able to do).

Modules 1-3  

Teaching strategies: The above themes can be approached through discussion. Suggestions here include:

1. Cultural Child (Module 1)
1. What does it mean to be a “cultural child”? Elicit student examples on this. Have students they felt this way in their own culture or abroad?
2. What kinds of situations make them feel like a cultural child?
2. Cultural Bubbles (Module 2.2 Impasse, and 2.3 Comparing Viewpoints) This concept needs to be brought into the discussion of Peter’s Homestay (Module 2.1). The double set of bubbles marked as “said” and “unsaid” in “Impasse” is a crucial concept of the tutorial. The “unsaid” aspects of culture are much larger than the “said”. Yet people (not only Japanese but elsewhere as well) are largely unaware of them. They are assumed to be “things that everybody knows”. Work through 2.2 Impasse, checking out whether students understand the meaning of both “said” and “unsaid" bubbles, and how these work in the examples given. Then move back to 2.1.
3. “What No One Tells You”. Peter and his host family differ quite markedly on their assessments of the homestay. In fact, Peter thinks the homestay has succeeded, while the Sasakis regard it as a disappointing failure. (Module 3.1)
1. How does this discrepancy between the guest and host family arise? How is it that Peter fails to realize that he is not doing well in his homestay, when he has upset his host family on numerous occasions?
2. Whose fault is this? Is it anybody’s fault? Can students relate the "said" and "unsaid" bubbles to the situations in the case? How much is Peter aware of the Sasaki's perspectives? (shown on right side of page) How much are they aware of his? (on left side of page)
3. Discuss Quiz Q. 2, Module 3.2 (Peter’s Bind): Whose fault is the miscommunication in this situation? Why is the answer “no one’s fault”? The point here is that communication can fail, even though both sides mean well and are trying their best. But the situation does not result from Peter's “mistakes” (because he had no idea he wasn’t doing things correctly). Something else is going on.
4. Discuss the answer given for “Advising Peter” (No. 3, Peter’s Bind). Why isn’t it adequate to give Peter a list of do’s and don’t’s, e.g., telling Peter to bathe instead of taking showers, etc.? Discuss the answer for “Advising the Sasakis”? (No. 9, Peter’s Bind) in the same way.

Additional References:

1. Barry, Dave. “Failing to learn Japanese in Only Five Minutes", in Dave Barry Does Japan. Ballantine Books, 1992. (The entire book is useful.)
2. Hess, Daniel J. The Whole World Guide to Culture Learning. Intercultural Press, 1994. A very readable book about cultural-learning abroad, filled with examples, practical advice, and questions to think about.
3. Yoshikawa Muneo. “Some Japanese and American Characteristics”, in Prosser, Michael H. The Cultural Dialogue: An Introduction to Intercultural Communication. SIETAR International, 1985.
4. Seelye, H. Ned. Teaching Culture: Strategies for Intercultural Communication. NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company, 1984. A guide for teaching approaches to culture, especially useful in language classes.
5. Crosstalk, produced by John J. Gumperz, first broadcast on BBC television, in May 1, 1979. A great classic on language and social miscommunication. From a series entitled Multi-Racial Britain, which confronted the issue of workplace miscommunication. Segment available at:

3.3 Homestay Check Lists
These provide opportunities for students to think about their own motivations for doing a homestay (even if these are hypothetical) and also to find out what commonly motivates host families to invite a homestay guest. Discussion can look for common threads in the student (and host family) motivations, and think about what these mean in terms of mutual expectations for the homestay.

Additional References:

1. Host Family Questionnaire, Compiled by IES, Tokyo Center, 2001-2002. The content of the Host Family Check List was largely compiled from this collection of host family questionnaire responses. The questionnaires were administered to all the host families who participated in the IES homestay program during the academic year 2001-2002. (Most ofthe study abroad students at this Center participated in homestays). The questionnaire results were then analyzed and summarized in this format. (unpublished)
2. Hansel, Bettina. The Exchange Student Survival Kit. Intercultural Press, Inc., 1993. This book was compiled for high school exchange students by the American Field Service (AFS). It is a very readable and valuable guide.

Part 2: What You Have to Know to Grow  

Main Themes:
Part 2 details the issues raised as Core Concepts in Part 1:

1. How can the “cultural child” grow into a cultural adult?
2. How can Peter become aware of what no one thinks to tell him, but which everyone assumes he already knows, before he unknowingly violates their expectations?

These two issues are closely linked. What the cultural child needs to know to grow is precisely what no one thinks to tell her. This means that she needs to learn how to infer the things that are “unsaid” (but expected to be understood) in Japanese communication.

Part 2 focuses on 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. Both of these two sets of terms differentiate between what is “exposed” or “said,” and what is kept “hidden” or “unsaid”. Part 2 consists of three modules:

4. Tatemae/Honne (4 pages, including “Wrapping” and “Being a Guest”)
5. Uchi/Soto (4 pages, including “Being Outside”)
6. Uchi (2 pages, including “Being Inside”)

Module 4: Tatemae/Honne  

The four sections of Module 4 define and explore various facets of tatemae/honne. There is much here to discuss with students, including:

4.1 Wrapping
The focus here is the ubiquitous wrapping that occurs in manufactured products, gifts, clothing (such as kimono), architecture, curtains, fences & walls, shrouding of new buildings, religion, language (politeness), and social interaction (deference).
Assignments: Students (in Japan) can be assigned to find examples of wrapping they encounter in their school, neighborhood, or other environments. These can then be discussed.

Additional References:

1. Hendry, Joy. Wrapping Culture: Politeness, Presentation and Power in Japan and Other Societies. Oxford University Press, 1993. A comprehensive and readable discussion of the dimensions of wrapping presented in Modules 4, 5.
2. A shorter treatment of wrapping, also by Joy Hendry is “Humidity, Hygiene, or Ritual Care: Some Thoughts on Wrapping as a Social Phenomenon“, in Ben-Ari, Eyal, Brian Moeran, and James Valentine, eds. Unwrapping Japan: Society and Culture in Anthropological Perspective. University of Hawaii Press, 1990.

4.2 Being a Guest
Wrapping is related to treatment of guests, who are cushioned, or “wrapped” in Japan. This subject is also closely linked to the homestay context, and also addressed in Module 7.1, Being a 'Good Guest'. (The modules should be read in chronological order, however, and the link made back from Module 7.1.)

Discussion Suggestions: Students can look again at Peter’s Homestay, Beginning, Module 2.1 and relate the different perspectives to Peter’s being wrapped in tatemae versus his lack of awareness of the family’s honne.

Additional Resources:

1. Befu, Harumi. "An Ethnography of Dinner Entertainment in Japan", in Lebra, Japanese Culture and Behavior. University of Hawaii Press, 1986.
2. Hamabata, Matthews M.. “Boundaries”, (Chapter 1) in Crested Kimono: Power and Love in the Japanese Business Family. Cornell University Press, 1991.
3. Bernstein, Gail Lee. “Entering the Community“, in Haruko’s World. Stanford University Press, 1983.

4.3 Watch Out for That...!, plus 4.4 Avoiding Hazards Quiz
Tatemae is often hard to recognize, and it is especially easy for newcomers to Japan not to be able to read what is behind the words, and to mistake tatemae for honne. This puts the newcomer in a hazardous situation, where the ground (which appeared to be solid) can suddenly open up beneath you, or you can encounter a variety of hazards of which you were perfectly unaware.

Discussion Suggestion: Go through Module 4.4, Avoiding Hazards Quiz, and discuss the reasons why the answers are right (or wrong) in the quiz. Many of the “wrong” answers are educational as well, as they are linked in various ways to the “right answer”.

Additional Resources:

1. Collins, Robert J. Max Danger: The Adventures of an Expat in Tokyo. Tuttle Publishing, 1987.
2. Doi, Takeo. "Tatemae and Honne", (Chapter 2) in The Anatomy of Self. Kodansha International, 1986. All of this book, by a well-known psychiatrist, is relevant.

Module 5: Uchi/Soto  

The four sections explain and define uchi/soto (inside/outside distinctions). These distinctions can be linked to the tatemae/honne distinctions of Module 4, which they expand upon.

5.1 Being Outside: Uchi/Soto Distinctions
This section explores “wrapping” or deference distinctions in language, and shows the difference between language use to a guest and between members of the same “inside” group. The two clips are meant to present a contrast, showing that different words are used in Japanese for what would be the same word in English (for example, ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘is’). The selection of these words indexes the relationships between the participants in the conversation (for example, as insider speaking to outsider/guest, or between insiders speaking among themselves).

Assignments and Discussion Suggestions: Look at the video clips in class and discuss the three “clues” in the text which ask for comparisons of a various communication modes indicating uchi versus soto in the clips. These are very valuable tools to alert students to non-verbal communication in Japan that might otherwise elude them. If your students are in Japan, ask them to listen to conversations of people they can overhear (in trains, restaurants, for example). How much can they tell about the relationship between the people conversing? What communication modes gave them clues about the relationships? If students abroad have access to Japanese TV programs, orfilms, they can do this exercise as well.

Additional Resources:

1. The video clips in Module 5.1 are from the CD-ROM Japanese: The Spoken Language, an Interactive CD-ROM Program by Mari Noda, from Yale University Press, 1998. This is based on the first volume of a 3 volume series under the same title by Eleanor Harz Jorden and Mari Noda, (Yale University Press, 1987-1990). The language approach in JSP pays considerable attention to the social and cultural context of Japanese.
2. Patricia J. Wetzel. Keigo in Modern Japan: Polite Language from Meiji to the Present. University of Hawaii Press, 2004.
3. Mizutani, Osamu and Nobuko Mizutani. How to Be Polite in Japanese. The Japan Times, 1987.

5.2 Country House, 5.3 City House, 5.4 Where to Put the Guests?
These segments take up uchi/soto distinctions which are designed and built into the use of space in the family house. Two different houses are compared: a country house and a city house. Although the country house is very old and has far more space available, the family members of the new suburban city house use their space in a remarkably similar way.

Discussion Suggestions:

(1) The important point to discuss here is that nobody (not even the house members themselves) has access to the whole house. Japanese families do not take their visitors on a “tour” through their houses. The house is divided into “uchi” and “soto” sections. “Soto” visitors (guests) have access only to certain sections; moreover, a house will usually have a range of possible spaces to invite guests into. Each space comes with access limitations, marked on the maps. Discuss the various spaces. If students are in Japan, (and in homestays) ask them to make a plan of their host family's house. How does this compare with students’ own homes? (e.g., living room vs. family room, etc.)
(2) Discuss the implications for students. (This module section is usually eye opening, for students didn’t realize they shouldn’t expect to have access to an entire Japanese house).
(3) Even though LDK (Living, Dining, Kitchen) in the modern city house seem like the same rooms we speak of in English, is their usage the same? From host/guest perspectives, who has access to the “L”? Is it a guest room? (Usually it is). Do the family members use it? (If they do, they usually sit on the floor, rather than the sofa, which is a “guest” item). Who has access to the “D”? The “K”? Who doesn't?
(4) Discuss the game “Where to Put the Guests?”. On what basis is the choice made? What exactly defines whether a guest is put into one room, rather than another? There is much possibility for discussion in these sections.

Additional Resources:

1. Hendry, Joy. “The Wrapping of Space”, (Chapter 6) in Wrapping Culture, (cited in Module 4.1) also discusses this subject.
2. Ueda, Atsushi. The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House. Kodansha International, 1990.
3. Suzuki, Koichi. Tokyo: A Certain Style. Chronicle Books LLC, 1999. (U.S.) Kyoto Shoin Co. Ltd, 1997. (Japan) gives a photographic tour of Tokyo apartments, including the clutter.
4. Egenter, Nold. "The Japanese House".

Module 6: Uchi  

The two sections in this module focus on being “inside” a Japanese group, and are usually the most difficult in the tutorial for students to grasp. But this only underscores their importance. The reasons for their difficulty (at least for U.S. and European students) are basic differences that exist in the relationship of the individual to the group in Japan versus the U.S. and European countries. This module can be taken up following module 5. If it is not fully understood, continue to Part 3. Then return to this module in conjunction with the relevant sections in Part 3 sections (especially Module 8).

6.1 From ‘I’ to ‘Uchi’
From ‘I’ to ‘uchi’ continues the discussion of language use that was begun in Module 5.1. The main point of 6.1 is that a speaker’s anchorpoint in English conversation is ‘I’, and that a conversation shifts constantly between the speaker (who becomes ‘I’) and the listener (who becomes ‘you’). Japanese conversations, on the other hand, are not anchored by ‘I’ (in spite of the fact that a number of words exist for ‘I’), but rather by uchiUchi is an anchorpoint that is occupied by more than one person; uchi is my group, and a homestay family is also an uchi. The shift that occurs in English between ‘I’ and ‘you’ occurs in Japanese at the boundary between uchi and soto. Making correct anchorpoint distinctions is crucially important in speaking and interacting appropriately in Japan. But because these are very basic (and largely unaware) it requires a conscious effort to leearn the correct use of uchi. Homestay guests share the anchorpoint of their hosts as well, and they are expected to understand the social expectations of uchi (which are most confounding to the students in Part 3).

Discussion Suggestions: The correct use of anchorpoint is very important in speaking Japanese and students who simply carry over their use of 'I' in English into Japanese (or their counterparts in other languages) are speaking Japanese badly. For example, starting every sentence with 'watashi' (as a counterpart to 'I') is not natural Japanese. Japanese use ‘I’ words (such as ‘watashi’) quite rarely.
Assignment: (for students in Japan) Pay attention to Japanese conversing around you (on the train, in a coffee shop, on the street). Count how many times two people in a conversation use any word for ‘I’ (watashi, boku, ore, etc.) during the course of 10 minutes of eavesdropping. Students not in Japan could watch film or TV segments and do the same exercise.

Additional Resources:

1. I am grateful to Charles J. Quinn, Jr., a professor of Japanese at The Ohio State University, for contributing to the discussion about 'I', and especially the idea of 'I 'as working like a baseball diamond.
2. Jorden, Eleanor H. "Linguistic Fraternization: A guide for the gaijin", in Proceedings of the Symposium on Japanese Sociolinguistics, 103-23. University of Hawaii, 1977.
3. Stephen P. Nussbaum made these observations during a personal conversation in the fall of 1996.
4. Wetzel, Patricia J. “A Movable Self: The Linguistic Indexing of Uchi and Soto”, in Situated Meaning: Inside and Outside in Japanese Self, Society and Language, Jane Bachnik and Charles J. Quinn, Jr., eds. Princeton University Press, 1994. This article discusses uchi as a conversation anchorpoint, including the use of 'I'-words in Japanese versus English. It is valuable for anyone who is serious about learning Japanese.
5. Hendry, Joy. “The World View Presented to the Child”, in Becoming Japanese: The World of the Preschool Child. University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

6.2 Being Inside: Uchi Dynamics
This page discusses social dynamics inside uchi, focusing especially on relationships between husband and wife to each other and the rest of the family.

Discussion Suggestions: This section is closely linked to gender issues, and to the okaasan (mother’s) role in the family. It is important (especially for the homestay guest) to understand her family role within the context of uchi, and this section is crucial for grasping Module 7.3 Understanding Family Dynamics.

Additional Resources:Other readings that shed light on uchi dynamics:

1. The quotation in this section is from Rosenberger, Nancy. “Indexing Hierarchy through Japanese Gender Relations”, in Situated Meaning: Inside and Outside in Japanese Self, Society, and Language, Jane Bachnik and Charles J. Quinn, Jr., eds. Princeton University Press, 1994. As this book focuses on uchi/soto, other chapters may be useful as well.
2. Doi, Takeo. The Anatomy of Dependence. Kodansha 1971. A classic on Japanese interpersonal relationships by a well-known psychiatrist.
3. Hamabata, Matthews M. “Marriage” (Chapter 6) in Crested Kimono: Power and Love in the Japanese Business Family. Cornell University Press, 1991.
4. Taketeru Yoshitaka . "Taciturnity". In Japan from the Driver's Seat. (under "Guest Essays")

Part 3: Growing Pains. . . and Gains  

Main Themes:
Part 3 responds to the two major questions posed by the tutorial:

1. How does the cultural child “grow up”?
2. How does she learn the cultural things she needs to know, but which no one tells her?

Part 3 consists of 4 modules, which trace out a trajectory of becoming familiar with Japan, illustrated through the process of the homestay student’s encounter with the host family. Those living and working in Japan, will likely encounter these same kinds of cultural hurdles, whether or not they are in homestays.

The homestay notebook entries speak especially to the second question, by laying out the process of cultural learning that happens over the course of a homestay where guest and host are both working at understanding each other. Here the organization of the modules is set up to illustrate the progression of the learning process. Thus, Module 7.1 takes up the cultural issues that one encounters first, and so on through Module 9. This progression assumes that guest and hosts manage to learn what is necessary to overcome each cultural hurdle, so that the learning process is cumulative. (For example, a guest needs to understands what “being a guest” involves, in Module 7.1), in order to be able to begin to understand the family and shift beyond the guest role (7.2 and 7.3) The cumulative nature of the process also makes the rewards much greater, so that the guest entries in Module 9 portray very different relationships with their host families than the entries in Module 7. All of these points about the cultural learning process offer wonderful material for discussion.

The Module sections in Part 3 are also linked to the sections of Part 2. In fact, the Part 2 sections are organized to provide explanations for the Part 3 case segments. They can be accessed again when students are working through the case modules, to aid students in understanding the notebook entries. In this way the study process can work like real life experiences, where a person experiencing something (or being told about the experience) then tries to make sense of it.

Outline of the Content Organization in Part 3
Modules 7-9 portray the cultural learning process for students abroad over the course of a one-semester homestay in Japan. The diary entries generally portray students (and host families) who are managing to survive the cultural learning process, although not all the students manage to form close relationships with their families, and some don’t get very far at all. This too, is a topic for discussion. Module 10 takes up the subject of homestay cases that fail (meaning that the guest leaves before the homestay period is over), including how a guest can assess the homestay, and what to do if one needs to leave.

Following Module 10 all of the cases are assembled in the ‘Homestay Gallery” so students can reference each student’s learning experience over the course of his or her homestay.

Teaching Suggestions for Part 3 Modules
Part 3 is already set up to facilitate teaching in the following ways:

The theme of each section is set out under the title
All of the students’ notebook entries are related to this theme
Discussion questions follow each cluster of student entries
The questions at the end assist in putting the pieces together

Suggested teaching strategies: Have students read the cases on their own and answer the discussion questions themselves. Then use class time to hold discussions on these same questions. This helps students put together a subject that can't be learned by simple “right” and “wrong” answers. (The task is more like having to put together the pieces of a live puzzle, sometimes while one is living in it). The questions at the end of each segment are set up to facilitate students in building cumulative knowledge, as well as in linking the issues in Part 3 to the Part 2 Modules.

Below are the module sections, and their content subjects for Part 3. Content links to Part 2 are spelled out as well.

Module 7: First Steps  

Takes up with the process of entry into a Japanese relationship context (here a homestay) and the first steps involved in relating to one's new context.

7.1 Being a “Good Guest”
deals with guesthood, a very important subject in Japanese society. What does being a “good guest” involve? What is negotiable (and what is not) for a guest? 7.1 brings up issues that relate back to Part 2, especially Modules 4.1 and 4.2. In fact, all the segments in Modules 4 and 5 are necessary to understand the issues—and the cases—in 7.1

7.2 Beyond the Entry Point
takes up the initial steps the longterm guest must take in adjusting to the new situation. How does one begin to accommodate oneself to the family? How much of this is negotiated mutually between guest and family? For 7.2 not only are modules 4 & 5 necessary to understand the cases, but Module 6 (both segments) as well.

7.3 Understanding the Family
Another initial step in adjusting is becoming aware of the new situation, especially the relationships in the family. What does one need to know about a Japanese family to be successful in a homestay? This segment focuses particularly on the roles of otoosan and okaasan (father and mother). It links especially to Module 6.2, although it also requires comprehension of all the other Part 2 modules as well. (If students haven’t managed to grasp the previous modules, they can be revisited and related to the discussions on the cases during Part 3). The issues in these modules can be included in the Part 3 discussions as well.

Module 7 Additional Readings:

7.1 Being a Good Guest
(See Module 4.2 readings)
7.3 Understanding the Family
1. Hamabata, Matthews M. Crested Kimono: Power and Love in the Japanese Business Family. Cornell University Press, 1991. A very human, extended-case focus on elite Japanese business-family households.
2. Van de Wetering, Jan. Inspector Saito’s Small Satori. Ballantine Books, 1986. A series of linked mystery stories depicting family settings.
3. Whispers of the Heart (Mimi o Sumaseba, lit. If you listen closely). screenplay by Miyazaki, Hayao. Studio Ghibli / Tokuma Shoten Publishing / NTV Broadcasting, 1995. This VHS/DVD Anime shows the family life of a 13 year old girl, who is writing a novel.

Module 8: Navigating Uchi

Takes up the guest’s further accommodations to the family and revolves around understanding uchi, one of the most important things that no one explains to you, but everyone expects you will already know. The 4 sections in Module 8 each delineate various facets of this hazard.

8.1 Shifting to Uchi
details encounters which produce sudden shifts whereupon the soto guest suddenly moves much farther into uchi. These shifts are not fortuitous, but require specific circumstances to take place. This segment links especially to those in module 6.

8.2 Uchi Hazards
details situations where guests encounter hazards of which they were unaware, and which run contrary to their own cultural bubbles. This module also links to Module 6.

8.3 You Can’t Escape Uchi
is closely linked to 6.1 and the Module 5 segments, and deals with the pervasiveness of uchi as an anchorpont. Uchi is crucial for understanding relationships with soto people (outside uchi) as well. Nor can one escape uchi; for example, by making relationships outside one’s host family. Even relationships with friends include aspects of uchi, as the cases in this section make clear.

8.4 Messages You Can Rely on
presents a seemingly bizarre facet of uchi communication, which is nonetheless useful. Although direct communication is difficult in Japan, even within uchi; on certain occasions, public situations (in front of others) can be used as a venue to speak directly about private matters that would otherwise be difficult to communicate. These are honne messages that one can rely on. This module is linked especially to 4.3, 4.4, and both segments of Module 6.

Module 8 Additional Readings

8.2 Uchi Hazards
1. “Disciplined Selves”, (Chapter 3) in Kondo, Dorinne K. Crafting Selves. University of Chicago Press, 1990.
2. Oh, Sadaharu and David Falkner. Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball. Times Books, 1984.
3. Cash, Mike. "Freezing in Hirosaki". Japan from the Driver's Seat. (under "Essays")This essay may relate to other modules besides this one. Don't miss it.
4. Mr. Baseball, Universal Pictures, 1992, stars Tom Selleck as a baseball player who joins the Chunichi Dragons in Japan and discovers he has to change his ways. 1992. (DVD)
8.3 You Can’t Escape Uchi
1. Hamabata, Matthews M. “Marriage”, (Chapter 6) in Crested Kimono: Power and Love in the Japanese Business Family. Cornell University Press, 1991.
2. Kondo, Dorinne K. “Circles of Attachment”, (Chapter 4) in Crafting Selves. University of Chicago Press, 1990. Other chapters are also useful, especially 6 and 8.
8.4 Messages You Can Rely On
1. Brenneis, Donald L. and Fred R. Myers, eds. Dangerous Words: Language and Politics in the Pacific. New York University Press, 1984. A collection of articles which show that "wrapping", formality, and indirect speech are common in languages across Asia and the Pacific.

Module 9: Deepening Contact  

presents developments in cultural learning that happen when one has been accepted enough by the family to have created close relationships, and become something of a family"member".

9.1 Getting into Gear
Pivotal situations, in which a conflict or barrier is overcome, whose resolution brings the guest into a close, sustained relationship with the family. This module requires a grasp of the issues in Modules 4-8.

9.2 Meeting the “Rest of the Family”
Meeting elusive, but important members of the family—the ancestors. It takes awhile to get to the point where one can “meet” the ancestors.

9.3 Good-bye is not Farewell
Making close relationships has consequences:they endure after the homestay ends.

Module 9 Additional Readings

9.2 Meeting the "Rest of the Family" focuses on the family ancestors.
1. Hamabata, Matthews M. "Death", (Chapter 4) in Crested Kimono: Power and Love in the Japanese Business Family. Cornell University Press, 1991. This chapter makes the ancestors a very approachable subject.

Module 10: When the Homestay Isn't Working page top

Module 10 takes up the subject of homestay cases that fail (meaning that the guest leaves before the homestay period is over). Here the guest needs to check out whether the homestay is going badly. How does s/he assess the homestay accurately? At what point can the situation involve problems that are beyond cultural understanding? And at this point what should the guest do?

10.1 It Sometimes Happens
discusses how a guest can assess when things aren't going well in a homestay, includes cases and discussion points on cases that didn't go well, and includes a set of safeguards to look for in a well-set-up homestay. There are many good discussion points on differentiating a potential learning situation from one which has genuine problems. This section can also be related to the check lists in Module 3.3.

10.2 If All Else Fails
Concrete directions for what to do if one needs to leave the homestay, moving from warning signs to going out the door.

Finale: Homestay Gallery
The Gallery is a page where all the case segments have been collected for each student, so the reader can follow out each student’s experiences over the course of his or her homestay. The Gallery ends with a list of questions for the learner, which bring the issues back to the themes introduced in Part 1, posed earlier. The learner is urged to think about the “cultural child” at the end of Part 3:

1. Has the child now “grown up” in any sense? And if so, how?
2. Has the child learned any of the things you need to know but no one tells you? What kinds of things are these?
3. And finally, is there any relationship between "growing up" and learning the things no one tells you? All of these are important discussion issues.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5