Kodawari/Komakai: Japanese 'Uniqueness' means business

Jun 13 2014, 14:33 IST
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SummaryOut of Many Japanese business philosophies Kodawari and Komakai concepts...

[Here Kodawari means = Striving to Serve only fresh domestic grown ingredients].

Similarly, a craftsman might prefer to stay well away from machinery and continue to create items by hand while staying true to traditional techniques. These actions come from the kodawari mentality of the individuals who will steadfastly stick to their own ways in order to create something unique and exceptional.

On the other hand, komakai can be directly translated into English as “detailed”, and signifies meticulousness, an aim at perfection, as well as a persnickety individual that makes a fuss about unnecessary things. In this way, it can be used as a compliment when perhaps referring to elaborate decorations or a product that has no defects to it whatsoever, but it can also have negative connotations when used towards a person.

Thus, both the kodawari and komakai concepts have various meanings and usages, but when each of their positive aspects are infused, they have the power to potentially conceive something that can be appreciated by people from all over the world.

A sound example of the application of both kodawari and komakai is the Japanese food industry. As the food industry in Japan has continued to grow and evolve throughout past decades, it has become ever more distinguished as its own fully-established culture. In traditional Japanese cuisine, kodawari would likely refer to the fresh, seasonal ingredients that are used and changed accordingly depending on the time of year and occasion. Komakai would manifest itself in the elaborate presentation of the food, such as with vegetables and fruits cut into decorative shapes and the planned-out combinations of food and dish that are chosen depending on the colors and textures of the food and dish respectively.

The customer service at restaurants is also important to note when talking of the food industry in Japan. Some services such as getting the food out as swiftly as possible has become the norm, and while new types of service are being invented every day, what makes the dining experience exceed one’s expectations is certainly the komakai customer service where the waiters not only serve your food but take notice of who a customer is with, what his or her background might roughly be, and other information in order to cater to the needs of each individual diner.

It is true that from these concepts of kodawari and komakai in Japanese culture the Japanese have become

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