Omotenashi in Japan
Japan is considered one of the most polite cultures in the world. This reputation stems from the concept of omotenashi which translated means “Spirit of Service.” It goes farther than just being of service, in practice it means to anticipate a guests’ every need without expectation of anything in return. It is grounded in the very ritualistic sado or tea ceremony where the host is attentive to the guests needs and the guest, knowing the effort and respect put forth by the host, is demonstrably grateful, almost to the point of revering their host. The Japanese people extend omotenashi to their neighbours and community members as well. For example, before starting renovations or constructions they would bring their neighbours laundry detergent as a way of acknowledging the inconvenience of the excess dust and dirt that the construction will cause. If one is suffering from a cough or a cold, they will wear a mask to protect others from getting sick. The service and hospitality industry is one of the best in the world as a result of this ancient tradition of anticipating the needs of others in the name of service.