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The power of neglecting and acknowledging (村八分の英語説明あり)

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Since the Edo era until not so long ago in Japan, there was a habit called "Mura-Hachibu 村八分." It originally was a way to punish people who did things against the rules. In modern Japanese, the word is more often used to mean discrimination.

"Mura 村" means "village" and "Hachibu 八分" means "eight out of ten." They used to say there were ten significant events in people's lives: Birth, adulthood, marriage, owning a home, illness, death, memorial services, travel, flood and fire.

As a way to punish people, Mura-Hachibu stated not to help the punished in the events other than their death and fire: Death because their sins end and they smell when they are left. Fire because neighbors are in danger of catching fire. So the punished were basically neglected all throughout their lives. The fear of being neglected is so strong that it was used as a tool for punishment, or even became psychological torture.

On the other hand, the message "I care about you" gives a strong positive effect. It is like mothers taking care of infants, making them feel safe by being acknowledged. Knowing that someone cares about you and sees you makes you behave well and motivates you to be a better person.

Acknowledging is an effective tool, but if you see someone's unfavorable actions or attitude and you don't give them feedback, they might assume their actions or attitude is permitted. Let's take an example. There is a policeman standing in a police box near a train station, and a person who was seen jay walking the street in front of the police box doesn't get any warning. They would think it was permitted to jay walk.

So, if you care about a person, you should acknowledge them and give them your feedback. It will be an effective tool to motivate them. It is important to realize that the strength of neglecting someone is an effective tool for punishment. By understanding the power of both, I chose to keep watching and giving feedback to everyone in order to create an ideal organization.

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