Business E-mail Format in Japanese

I was just issued this “staff support book” which outlines employee duties, good work practices, and various other goodies which are causing me great joy, because they are the best example of Japanese corporate stupidity and herdthink. The page below is entitled, “E-mail Manners.” The previous page is “Fax Manners,” and the next page is “The Proper Way to Give and Receive Instructions.”
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Now, in all fairness, the tips on this particular page aren’t all bad but the sample e-mail they show is just the worst example I can possibly imagine. For instance, everything from the line of slashes on down is a signature. Also, I find the lack of an “ijo” (END) on the bottom inauthentic since every other needless piece of fluff is included (what Nam refers to as “flower language.” I mean, for crying out loud, the meaningful content of the message itself is: “I’d like to see you next week regarding the calendar we discussed the other day. It should only take an hour or so, could you please let me know a convenient time?” Do you really need twenty lines of text for that?
This is an actual case of ?manners? getting in the way of work; I do receive a lot of e-mails formatted like this and I can tell you that when reading a long thread of messages in a reply, it really gets tiresome.

4 thoughts on “Business E-mail Format in Japanese”

  1. These things can be so funny but sometimes you need to know the Japanese to put them in context. (Well they might still be funny.) Any way, I’d recommend reading Extremes: Contradictions in Contemporary Japan by a chap called G M Thomas. Very insightful. You can buy it on amazon japan and several other amazons and web sites book sellers. Has some interesting places to go as well.
    Also has a bit about Japanese blogs!

  2. I think you’re right. All that fluff is superfluous. Pointless, but for kissing ass.
    The gulf b/w American business culture and Jp is pretty large.

  3. You get nar-nar points for choosing to put up with all the layers of goop over thar…it’s strange that you have such tolerance for the j-way of doing such things since you can’t stand stupidity in general!

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