Part 5. The Keys to Growing Up! Useful Anywhere!

The Keys to Growing Up

You have now followed each of the newcomers from their entry points, and participated in the challenges they faced in their attempts to reach cultural adulthood. Even though their situations were different, the challenges faced by all the newcomers turned out to be similar. Each moved along a series of stepping stone hazards from ‘I’ to ‘uchi’. Each stepping stone represented a cultural hazard that had to be navigated. Most of the newcomers managed to move at least part way along the pathway.

As we finish this program it is important to take the learning process one more step: Can we try to get behind the scenario shown above, to understand the process represented in the images above? What created the gaps between ‘I’ and ‘uchi’ in the first place? What was actually going on as the newcomers navigated the stepping stone hazards? Can we view the pathway between ‘I’ and ‘uchi’ in a larger perspective—one that takes us beyond Japan?    

This section focuses on giving YOU some essential keys to the newcomers’ learning process—aspects that are somewhat like the foundation of a house. Just like that of a house, this foundation isn’t visible to newcomers in Japan, but it’s still basic to their navigation from entry-point to adulthood. Getting at these basics will open up the newcomer learning process for you, so you can relate this process to yourself, and can apply it to your own situation. In fact, these keys will give you a basic GPS to help you get your social bearings even if you‘re “becoming at home” somewhere other than Japan.

Part 5 gives you a set of 3 keys to uncover what is really going on as the newcomers shift along the pathway from ‘I’ to ‘uchi’ in the flash sequences aboveKey #1, a Super Key reveals the dynamics of the initial impasse, or disconnect, faced by all the newcomers upon arrival. This disconnect is pursued through the following questions:

  1. What created the initial disconnect experienced by all the newcomers in their entry situations?
  2. How can the entry process of a newborn baby into its family help us bridge the initial disconnect faced by the newcomers and their hosts?
  3. Can this initial disconnect also lead us to basic components of the pathway above that are basic to other societies besides Japan?

Once you have a handle on the Super Keywe add two more keys that enable you to use the Super Key effectively. These will allow you to use the Super Key as a handle not only for entering Japan, but for any other new society you happen to enter as a newcomer.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5