Initial Meetings - draft


Initial Meetings

Definition= The orientation stage

The meeting at the beggining
Meeting someone new is an opportunity to start fresh and create new bonds, and diving into a new relationship is exciting.
How April/September/OYR students find themselves in situations where they have a chance to meet each other.

Time: usually noon or early night
Place: public spaaces
Participations: everybody and everyage
Language to communicate: English, Japanese and so on
The purpose:finding friends
Kind: ELP, JLP, Club, Class, Party and so on


1:Findig someone: It may be matter to find someone to talk with for some people. It needs very strong energy for them. They must have stress very much. At the first of meeting, they select the persons whom talk with carefully. On the other hand, other person do not mind that.
→ A basic characteristic of forming Japanese relationships seems to be the consideration of the benefit of the relationship beforehand, because in Japan, individuals are not so much considered for their own ability, but who they know.

2:Starting chat: When some people find suitable person to talk, they approach the person with shyly. And asking where the person lives, how old the person is, or which club the person join, they start the talking. If they find the common points (same hobby or same hometown), they are feelings rather better. However their nervous will continue. On the other hand, other people may tend to find someone to talk with easy. When they find someone to chat, they will approach with smile, and will start to talking about daily matter (weather or the impression of this meeting).

3:During conversation: During conversation, some people try to catch the content which they talk with hard. They look for the conversation. Also, they look for the timing to start or finish the conversation. It is too much warry to talk with someone for them. On the other hand , other people must be good at making conversation. They can cathch the subject with ease. They can bring out the companion characters with easy. They can improve the conversation with enjoyable. In addition, they can continue or stop conversation without consciouness.
→Japanese people are concerned about 間合いのつめかた(how to approach= which friends level they are), which means how/when to progress in a relationship, a concept that most foreigners are thoroughly unaware of. The context of a situation and the ability to "read the air" dictates the appropriate behavior in Japanese mind.

4:The latter of meeting: The latter of meeting, some people will exchage e-mail addresses. This address may be used or not. They are glad to exchange e-mail addresses. They want to feel that they do their own best to make friends. Exchanging e-mail is the best to make friends. Exchanging e-mail is the proof. Their conversation must be better, because of spending time.

5: The another day after the meeting: Some people worry about whether they become friends or not, so when they meet the persons, they hesitate what she react to him or her. On the other hand, some people must not mind that. They think that it was good time with them. 'We look like not become friends. It is just all.'
→For [Americans], personality and individual compatibility determine how the relationship will progress.

That is to say, the way of making friends is serious problem for some people, at the same time it is not serious problem for other people. Of courese, friends are the importance for both people.

Examples / Actual Cases

One of the main problems between the groups at ICU, the OYRs, the September students and the April students seems to be actually meeting one another. In Japan there are certain ways one normally makes friends, such as joining a club or living in the dorms. But many of the students do not have these opportunities. For example, many clubs do not want OYR students, who are preoccupied with traveling and are only at ICU for a year anyway. Compared to other Japanese universities, a relatively small number of people join clubs at ICU. So ICU students are already at a disadvantage when it comes to meeting people.
Relationships in Japan are therefore taken very seriously, maintained, nurtured, and sometimes extinguished. To many OYRs, this is a strange process...especially to many Americans, who make friends with anyone, anywhere, and for any reason, and rely on their own personal ability to make it in life rather than the relationships they form.
Many OYRs initially were interested in joining the Smooth Step circle, which would have been a great way to interact with Japanese students however, it turned out that the Smooth Steppers didn't want OYR students because they couldn't participate in March practices. The practice seemed to made as to completely discourage OYR participation.

(It also seems that many Japanese people feel intimidated by foreigners joining clubs! Smooth Step didn't want foreign girls because they are "too cute")

Solution / Recommendation / Suggestion etc.

Suggestion 1
It is impossible to tell Japanese people to give up on their mindset, so the best thing for a foreigner in Japan to do is understand how Japanese people approach making new relationships. Foreigners should take the initiative when it comes to making Japanese friends, and they should also be aware of "imposing" too much of their own personality on sensitive situations; ie any first meeting one has with Japanese people they hope to befriend!

Everyone consider those to have good conversation each other at initial meeting to make good friends (which is important for making friends?)

Make your contribution as informative as is required
Do not make your contribution as informative as is required

Try to make your contribution one that is true
Do not say what you believe to be false
Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence

3: Relation: Be relevant

4: Manner:
Be perspicuous
Avoid obscurity of expression
Avoid ambiguity
Be brief
Be orderly

Do not hurt companion feeling
Listen carefully what companion says