non-verbal media

Shou の投稿

Ishida Mitsunari : An Introduction to a Samurai Warrior 〜石田三成



Ishida Mitsunari is one of the famous Samurai warriors during the “Sengoku era”, when numerous Samurai warriors fought to take control of Japan. Ishida Mitsunari was one of the most powerful subordinates of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, however after Toyotomi’s death, he was captured in a battle and hence executed.

He was very smart, and he commenced an agricultural land reform, which gave a large influence to the country’s politics. When Toyotomi sent troops to fight the Ming dynasty, he insisted on retreating the troops, which led him to opposition against other subordinates. Despite his superior tactics, he was captured and executed during the “Battle of Sekigahara”, due to the betrayal his fellow Samurai, Kobayakawa Hideaki.



有力 – Powerful

改革 – Revolution

内政 – Politics

撤退 – Retreat

Oda Nobunaga: Introduction to a Samurai Warrior 〜織田信長


Oda Nobunaga is one of the most famous Japanese Samurai warriors who lived during the “Sengoku Era”, a time period during the 16th century when many Samurai Warriors fought over the position of the leader of the country. Oda Nobunaga was a man from Owari Province, an area that later became Aichi Prefecture. He is famous for his genius battle tactics; he had even defeated an enemy, which had seven times more manpower than his army. It is also said that he was the first warrior to effectively implement firearms in a war. Even though he was about to fulfill his dream to become the leader of Japan, he was betrayed and was assassinated by his subordinate warrior, Akechi Mitsuhide. Azuchi Castle, a fascinating castle that was built by Oda Nobunaga, was once burnt down but is now reconstructed.

織田信長(おだのぶなが)は16世紀(せいき)の戦国時代(せんごくじだい)を生(い)きた大名(だいみょう)の一人(ひとり)で、日本(にほん)の戦国大名(せんごくだいみょう)の中(なか)でも特(とく)に有名(ゆうめい)です。彼(かれ)は現在(げんざい)の愛知県(あいちけん)に位置(いち)する尾張(おはり)の武将(ぶしょう)で、7倍(ばい)の戦力(せんりょく)を有(ゆう)する敵(てき)を倒(たお)すなど、優(すぐ)れた戦術(せんじゅつ)で知(し)られています。鉄砲(てっぽう)を最初(さいしょ)に戦術(せんじゅつ)に取(と)り入(い)れたのも織田信長だと言(い)われています。多(おお)くの戦(たたか)いを経(へ)て、彼(かれ)は天下統一(てんかとういつ)目前(もくぜん)まで行(い)きましたが、部下(ぶか)の明智光秀(あけちみつひで)に裏切(うらぎ)られ、暗殺(あんさつ)されます。 彼(かれ)が建(た)てた安土城(あずちじょう)は彼(かれ)の死後(しご)焼失(しょうしつ)していますが、現在(げんざい)復元(ふくげん)されています。


Azuchi Castle




世紀(せいき): Century

特に(とくに): Especially

現在(げんざい): Now, Currently

位置(いち): Position, Located

戦力(せんりょく): Manpower

目前(もくぜん): Almost, Before your very eyes

裏切る(うらぎる): Betray

暗殺(あんさつ): Assasination

部下(ぶか): Subordinate

復元(ふくげん): Recover



Himeji Castle: A world heritage in Hyogo ~兵庫の世界遺産・姫路城

This article is an introduction to one of Japan’s most famous traditional icon: the Himeji Castle. The Himeji castle is located in The Southern part of Hyogo. It is said that it was originally built in 1936, and after several reconstructions and renovations, it was designated as a world heritage in 1993. The castle is a must-visit icon in Japan; you can learn traditional culture, and even take photos of the beautiful scenery.



象徴(しょうちょう)- Symbolize

紹介(しょうかい)- Introduce

建築(けんちく)- Build

幾度(いくど)- Several, Many

建(た)て直(なお)し – Reconstruction

改築(かいちく)- Renovation

世界遺産(せかいいさん)- World Heritage

文化(ぶんか)- Culture

風景(ふうけい)- Scenery

写真(しゃしん)- Photo

観光名所(かんこうめいしょ)- Sightseeing Spot


Low and High Context Cultures ~Why does it matter in Japan? 『ハイコンテクスト文化とローコンテクスト文化 ~何故日本で重要なのか?』

Before I came to Japan, I lived in America. One of the first things I noticed is that there was a major difference in the styles of communication between Japanese and American people. Today, I would like to think about these difference through the concept of  ‘Low-Context Culture’ and ‘High-context culture’.


What is “Low and High Context Cultures?” ~『ローコンテクスト・ハイコンテクスト文化とは?』

“A high-context culture relies on implicit communication and nonverbal cues. In high-context communication, a message cannot be understood without a great deal of background information. ~A low-context culture relies on explicit communication. In low-context communication, more of the information in a message is spelled out and defined.”  – Neese, Brian, Southeastern University, 17 Aug. 2016



The concept of High and Low Context cultures was first discussed by an American Anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1976, in his book ‘Beyond Culture’. The term ‘context’ refers to fundamental elements of communication, such as language, value, ideology and logic.

『ハイコンテクスト文化・ローコンテクスト文化』の概念は、アメリカの人類学者エドワード・T・ホール氏による1976年の著作Beyond Culture』で初めて議論されました。ここでいう『コンテクスト』とは、ある文化のコミュニケーションの基礎となる言語・価値観・イデオロギーや論理のことを指します。

In a high-context culture, one’s message is not necessarily spoken by words; they are implied through nonverbal elements such as gestures, facial expression or tone of voice. If one wants to fully understand the nuances of a conversation, he/she must have a thorough understanding of the non-verbal communication style. Therefore, this type of communication is based on trust and close relationship. On the other hand, in a low context culture, all the messages are conveyed in the verbal cues, and nonverbal cues are much less relevant compared to that of high-context culture.


Why Does It Matter in Japan?


As a tendency, Japan is referred to as a high-context culture, whereas America is referred to as a low-context culture. When one move from one culture to another, it may be challenging for them to establish a meaningful communication, because different skills are required depending on the culture. For instance, in a high-context culture, the listener must be aware of the body language and the facial expression of the speaker, and must make an effort to understand the real intention. In a low-context culture, in contrary, the speaker must structure their verbal cue clearly and logically, so that the message doesn’t need to rely on nonverbal means.

This difference in the communication culture can become an obstacle when it comes to intercultural communication. As a foreigner living in Japan, I find it quite challenging to adapt to the ‘high-context’ element of this country’s communication custom; from time to time, I fail to understand what people really intend, or even misunderstand them. It seems quite vital for us to be aware of this concept when it comes to interacting with people with different backgrounds.








・Neese, Brian. “Intercultural Communication: High and Low Context Cultures.” Southeastern University, 17 Aug. 2016, online.seu.edu/high-and-low-context-cultures/.


Self Introduction

Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Shou. I am a foreigner who recently moved to Japan. It is my first time living here, and I am finding it a very interesting place to live in. In this blog, I would like to write different articles about information I learned in Japan. My goal is to create a ‘foreigner’s guide to Japan’ from a foreigner’s point of view.




Thank You!