In America–Just do it!
In Japan–The nail that sticks up gets hammered down!
At Mission Fest yesterday Dan Brannen of ISI used these two expressions to remind us of the large differences between American culture and Japanese culture. The one oozes individualism, spontaneity and assertion.
The other emphasizes the group, codes of behavior that solidify unity and conformity.
At our seminar one person shared about another Asian student who was quite resistant to talks about Jesus, but when she entered a loving, fun group of people from her country she suddenly opened her mind to Christ.
I was reminded of how helpful it is even in America to connect Japanese to a group of warm followers of Jesus.
“Just do it!” for Japanese works better when the nails are sticking up about the same height.