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What is MISJ? What is Japanese? For the Prospective Teachers
Fundamental Features
Cultural Background
Japanese Pronunciation
Japanese Numbers

Cultural Background

Japanese Human Relationships
Human relationships have a big effect on Japanese conversations. Vocabulary and expressions should be carefully chosen according to whom you are talking to or whom you are talking about. Key points are:

Age and Status
  Because of the importance of seniority, "status" is usually proportional to a person's "age" in Japan. The concepts are explained with the words "ELDER/SUPERIOR" and "YOUNGER/INFERIOR" in the MISJ programs.

age and status

Mental Distance
  Speaker's feelings towards the counterpart are reflected. The concept is explained by the following words in the MISJ programs.

INSIDER: Person who is mentally close to the speaker.
You and your family should always be treated as "INSIDER".

OUTSIDER: Person who is mentally far from the speaker.
Adults whom you have met for the first time should be always treated as "OUTSIDER".

NEUTRAL: Person who has no special relation with either the speaker or the counterpart.
People in general are usually treated as "NEUTRAL".


Basic Rule
You are expected to use polite vocabulary and expressions when you speak to ELDERS, SUPERIORS and OUTSIDERS.