Why so much drinking with colleagues in Japan?

“Large Japanese companies are political battlefields where, in the absence of clear job descriptions or standards for promotion, a man’s hopes for promotion to an executive position turn largely on his ability to attract loyal retainers. This works both ways. An ambitious junior must learn the inclinations and desires of those on whose coattails he hopes to ascend… Tsukiai provides the means. Through after-hours drinking, paid for by the boss, secrets are revealed, favours promised and mutual obligations incurred. This… may be called the bonding of lords and vassals”

About Face by Clayton Naff pgs 183/184



  1. Dan Baum said,

    June 10, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Still important today but no where near what it was back in1994. The bubble breaking, tax law revisions, salary reductions and budget reductions have all contributed to the reduction of corporate nomunication.

  2. Dan Baum said,

    June 10, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Additionally, I would rarely ever use a 17 year old book on culture for serious guidance. If people did this, cross cultural training would cease to exist.

  3. alexcase said,

    June 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    As you said, still important today so the age of the book is not really important. I think you will also find that some courses on cross cultural training still quote The Book of Five Rings! Also, this blog is all about asking “why”, and the reasons remain true long after the effects have disappeared.

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