Continuation of OJT lecture

During the part 1 session that I gave you, the importance of establishing the training plan as well as the points to keep in mind to establish communication with Japanese persons as well as personal management.

Culture shock

The next thing I'd like to share with you is culture shock. Have you heard this terminology, "cultural shock"? I'm sure this has nothing to do with you.

So what kind of images do you have in mind when you hear this particular term, "culture shock"? So how many of you have been to overseas countries before? Is this your first time visiting an overseas country? At least 80% are here in Japan for your first experience. So culture shock is the kind of symptom when the person is away from your own home country and there is a great possibility of happening to everyone. Whenever the person is away from your own home country, you are away from your parents, friends, brothers and sisters, and you are in a strange country with different customs. Everyone has a chance to have culture shock. This is just a symptom, not a serious disease. However, if you do not do anything and if you just leave culture shock to make a space in your heart and spirit, that might cause you to have serious damage to your heart.

We have a number of cases that we have experienced. One person every few years is so stressed out that these people are no longer able to carry out training here in Japan and they have to go home. The stress is something you should think of carefully. So important thing to hear again is to understand what culture shock is all about. Once you know it, and if you realize it is happening, you may find a way to solve the problem. Allow me to go into detail.

Here are the characteristics of culture shock. Culture shock may take place with a mixture of all these elements.

Try to utilize this page and you can evaluate your mental state. If some of them fit into your state, you may be suffering from culture shock. One of the important symptom is if you oversleep or are unable to get enough sleep, this is a particular symptom that you should realize. Since you are working in the IT business industry, you may need to work very hard during the weekdays, so you may need to obtain good sleep on weekends. However, you need to differentiate between physical fatigue and spiritual fatigue. If you are sleeping on weekends because of physical fatigue, it is okay. However, if you are sleeping because of emotional fatigue, it is important to realize something is happening to you. Advice to keep this handbook or paper with you so that you can use it as a guide or yardstick to measure your mental status. Whenever you are establishing communication with Japanese people and you begin to realize that these symptoms are starting to appear...

This is the second page of symptom of culture shock. You may use these as a guide or yardstick again.

This page contains how the culture shock process takes place in your mind. The horizontal line uses as index the day you arrived here in Japan from the left until the day you go home. At present you are in the excited period. Some people like to use this honeymood period. Since you came to Japan, your mental state is quite excited, and this is the time you try to observe so many different things. However, as soon as you are thrown into a new environment or you may be asked to live in a different atmosphere, then this honeymoon period will no longer continue. So far that you have carried out so many WBT and so that you will learn as much Japanese as possible together with your friends having good drinks or discussion with friends from the same country. However, starting from 19th, you will be thrown into new environment. Some of you have to work on your own, some of you will be paired up with old acquaintances, but you are on your own. Even though the two of you happen to be receiving the same kind of training at the same company, you may not be working on the same floor. You may be working entirely on your own. At the present moment, you think, it doesn't happen to me—because you are still in the excited period. As your environment changes, your feeling may cool down, and you may enter the depressed stage. If that happens, I advise you to refer back to these two pages as a yardstick to evaluate your emotional state.

However, this kind of process takes different by person by person. For some people, your excitement will continue to grow and you don't get depressed, but that's different from person to person. As I said, it's not necessary that everyone will go through this process, but if you establish good relationship with your teachers, your state may go up. You may believe that may be end of it, no longer need to suffer, but in actuality it doesn't happen like that. You may experience little drop of your emotional state. So some people may experience number of repetitions of recovery period and then finally reach the stable accommodation period.

Please read the remaining pages so that you will have a much better understanding of what culture shock is about. The last thing I'd like to explain is the so-called re-enter shock. Once you go back to your country, you may suffer re-enter shock. You may think "I shouldn't be back. Japan was much better." While you were in Japan, you may think you hate Japanese. Once you are back in your country, you may miss Japanese people.

So far I gave you the explanation of symptoms and what kind of process you are going to deal with in culture shock. From now on, I am going to give you how to deal with it. I'm sure that all of you have the capability and ability to cope with the culture shock. You will try your best to overcome whenever you think you get caught with it. Since each one of you have different characters and personality, you may choose to have a sense of humor to get away from the culture shock. Some avoid a quick decision. Choose the way that is best to deal with the culture shock. Last page also contains the additional informations so that you can get hint for life here so that you can escape being caught with it.

That kind of chart you just saw was not something I came up with. It was made by a professional psychologist. This particular psychologist wrote in his book that the honeymoon stage is when you ask people if they have questions and they say no... That is the honeymoon stage. However, if you fail to establish good communication with the Japanese people, you may become in such a state that you no longer react, or you over-react to Japanese people's behavior and everything will become a problem.


Allow me to repeat once again, it is very important to establish your training plan. If you have any doubt or question about the training plan, then do not hesitate to ask your teachers, on the first day or second day, to make sure you fully understand what the expectations will be. That will be one of the major keys to make your training successful. Your technical knowledge or technical skill will be determined by how much the good communication you can establish with the Japanese people from your host company. And I shared with you three important rules. First is to keep punctual time, second good manners - try to utilize greetings, and third, try to keep memos. And also, I mentioned how to carry out self-management including taking care of your own help as well as abiding with in-company rules and regulations. I also mentioned for those of you who live in company dormitory as well as company apartment, try to keep the community rules so that you can avoid unnecessary problems with your neighbors. Fourth thing I gave you explanation is the culture shock, either on big scale or small scale. Each one of you may be able to suffer culture shock, so I gave you the explanation on that. I also gave you actual expamples on how to deal with problems whenever you feel you are starting to suffer from culture shock. We AOTS staff members all wish you a good start from next week. Try to keep all of these hints and ideas in your mind. So now you will have a chance to see video on OJT. This video can be quite useful information for all of you. It takes about 30 minutes.


Looking at the video, I forgot to remind you about two things. One is the money issue. As you saw during the video, you are here in Japan as trainees. So the pocket money you will receive from the company is not a kind of payment of any form. It is not a salary or bonus. If any time, the host company will ask you for overtime work, or if the company asks you to join a development team for a bonus, you have to say no. You are a trainee, not a company employee.

The second important thing is about new friends you may make while you are living in Japan. As you saw in the video, it is kind of a bad acquaintance. People may approach you and ask if you want to be a part-timer. There are people always making up new ideas and how to involve you with crimes in Japan. One of the examples we have is forged telephone cards. For example, someone may approach you asking if you want to sell telephone cards. We have had this one incident here at YKC, there were so many forged telephone cards used at this public phone, so YKC had to ask NTT to come and make an investigation. It was very unfortunate and very sad incident we had in the past. So I must ask you to self-discipline because people always make a new trap and sweet-talk you into something illegal in Japan. In that case, you must have the guts to say no. If you think you have involved in any kind of illegal act, do not hesitate to contact us at YKC as well as AOTS in general.

So I just gave you this warning, because this kind of thing may happen.

So far I have given explanation from agenda 1 to 5. Next I am going to provide you with two different kinds of evaluation sheet. The first evaluation chart I am going to provide you now, we should have given you the first day, and I am very sorry I have to give you this one at this time. So since I am giving you this yellow sheet now, you have to remember your state when you first arrived here at YKC. You have to go all the way back to eight weeks ago, and try to fill in this chart. So either tomorrow or day after tomorrow, we will give you another version where you can put your current status, or how much you know and knowledge you gained after arriving here in Japan. So that they can make a comparison on how much improvement you made. Allow me to explain why this kind of delay took place. In order to determine the established number of the questions to be asked at the initial stage, your projects still had to be established. Until those were determined, we were unable to come up with the questions. So please come and get one each and make sure to write just like you were on the first day.