There is much more depth and importance that surrounds this social system.
Leave a comment Mentorship: In Japanese business culture, a senior executive called a sempai is often paired with a junior executive called a kohai or kosai. A Sempai and a Kohai are two separate, but closely related individuals involved in a mutually re-enforcing relationship. A Sempai is the senior party in this relationship, while a Kohai is the junior party.
The Sempai is like a mentor to the Kohai; a kind of guardian-counselor whom the Kohai is expected to understudy until he comes off age; a sort of role model after whom the Kohai is expected to pattern his life.
A Sempai guides, protects and teaches his kohai as best as he can, while a Kohai must in turn, obey and respect his Sempai.
In the Sempai resides all the much revered and desired virtues of manhood in Japanese society, which the Kohai is expected to internalize as he passes through the process of socialization.
The Sempai-Kohai relationship is not a master-servant affair; not a one way relationship where the junior has an opportunity to train with a senior; not defined by the traditional superiority of the senior over the junior; but by a code of mutual respect between two individuals playing two different — but complementary — roles their society have assigned to them; roles that are performed for the benefit of the society in general, and not just for the two primary parties involved.
It is like a father-son relationship that is projected towards the betterment of the society as a whole, with the sole objective of strengthening ties between the older and younger generations: A medium for leadership training through which the younger members of the society are taught the future roles they are expected to play as members of the society.
This relationship is driven by the principles of mutual respect, honour, trust, humility, simplicity and camaraderie.
Again, the relationship between the Sempai and the Kohai is a symbiotic one. It is an interaction that benefits both parties: If both parties acknowledge and respect their roles in the society, then natural order is maintained.
The relationship benefits both parties individually. For the Kohai, it is necessary for him to be protected and trained, and for the Sempai, it is necessary that he learns what it means to lead and follow you are, even as Sempai, still Kohai to someone and to be responsible not just for yourself, but for the community as a whole.
The Sempai is a person acknowledged as having earned the privilege of a higher status by means of seniority within the organization.A kohai will not be allowed to take his dan exam before all his senpai take theirs.
Of course, if a senpai quits a dojo or his training a kohai can take a dan exam and . The Japanese's Individualism is rated to be at a medium range of (46%) due to the sempai-kohai mentor relationship between the managers and their subordinates. The managers are expected to be part of and involved in the personal life of their subordinates, this will be as a result of their close personal bond relationship.
Oct 24, · Mentorship: Sempai-Kohai – Seniority Rules in Japan Senpai (先輩?) and kōhai (後輩?) are terms applied to the mentor system in wide use in Japanese culture.
In Japanese business culture, a senior executive called a sempai is often paired with a junior executive called a kohai or kosai.
In Japan, the senpai-kohai system underlies nearly all relationships. Although there is no exact translation into English, senpai (先輩) means an upperclassman, senior employee or other older person with whom you have dealings. Conversely, kohai (後輩) is the junior or lower person.
Despite the senpai–kōhai relation's deep roots in Japanese society, there have been changes since the end of the 20th century in academic and business organizations.
Kōhais no longer show as much respect to the experience of their senpais, the relation has become more superficial, and the age factor has begun to lose importance. The sempai/kohai (senior/junior) relationship is almost a holy one in Japan. Its semi-equivalent would be the mentor/protégée relationship in the west (think “The Devil Wears Prada”).
Whether you work for a large or small company, or whether you work for an NPO or a for-profit corporation, in Japan you show respect toward your seniors.