Individuality is very important for me. You might think that this clashes with the general appreciation of collectiveness in Japan, China, or Korea. But I’m not talking about creating a distinctive and witty profile of myself. I’m talking about deciding for myself. A lot of people in Japan don’t think for themselves. They conduct their lives according to what others expect or do. Tetsuya Goto 

Notions like true democracy and human rights are rarely understood here. It’s not that Japan is less individualistic than other industrialized nation, but the pre-modern structure of classes and stakeholder groups still echoes throughout our society and mindset. […] This is a great deal of pressure to conform, and the sense of discipline provides order in Japanese society. […] There’s this cliché saying in Japan: a protruding nail must be hammered down. As I said earlier, Japanese society is not less individualistic than other industrialized nations. The mechanisms of the market and consumption are responsible for this. But there is still an appreciation for discipline, solidarity, and social control. Kiyonori Muroga

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