Ohayo gozaimasu Week and Ohayo gozaimasu Team

Ohayo gozaimasu is the first Japanese word I learned and it is very much required and used throughout Japan in the morning. This is the word being exchanged among people in Japan when they meet frist time in the morning. Good morning is not a word to word translation for Ohayo gozaimasu, but we can say it is equivalent to good morning in English.

For the last three days I have been noticing that there are more than 10 people at the entrance of our office building in the morning along with the security staff to say ‘Ohayo gozaimasu’. When I enter the building, all of them in one voice say ‘Ohayo gozaimasu’ with a smiling face.

I used to exchange Ohayo gozaimasu with the security staff in all the working days after entering to the building. Either he say first to me or I say first to him does not matter. It is a custom in Japan to respect each other in the morning itself. When I reach to my section, many of the Japanese staff will be there started their work well before the office time officially starts. I will repeat Ohayo gozaimasu to all of them.

Ohayo gozaimasu is the polite form exchanged with senior colleagues and strangers and respectable persons. The more friendly derivative of ohayo gozaimasu is just ‘Ohayo’ or ‘Ohayos’. That is too casual and can be used between friends. The gozaimasu makes a big difference to the listener and make them happy that the other person respects him. Give respect and take respect is well practiced in Japan.

Coming to the point, I could not understand, why there are additional people infront of the reception in the morning only to exchange ‘Ohayo gozaimasu’. I asked one of my colleague and she explained that this week is “Ohayo Gozaimasu week”.

It was interesting to hear her explanation. Many people forget or overlook to say Ohayo gozaimasu to their colleagues when they enter in to the office or their work area. It is a formality which all managements in Japan wants their staff to be practiced and strictly followed for give respect and take respect. This will reduce the ego related problems between staff. Eventhough majority of people exchange this greeting in the morning, some people keep mum while they enter into the office and their work area.

The security staff standing at the reception area will say Ohayo gozaimasu to every person entering to the building. But some staff do not repeat and exchange their greeting in return. This makes the difference. The person who told Ohayo gozaimasu at first feel bad at the mind and probably the next day he may not use Ohayo gozaimasu to that person. This attitude spread throughout entire organization slowly. It will affect the culture and mannerism Japanese people followed and observed for many years and will finally leads to cultural deterioration.

Our management does not want that cultural deterioration to happen in our organization. Management want to keep all people responsive to exchange of respectable words in the moring itself so that the respect will continue throughout the work also.

In order to remind people about the imporatance of Ohayo gozaimasu and thereby respecting each other by responding the teller, management made an ‘Ohayo gozaimasu team’. The team members include respectable senior staff from many sections. Even the person who does not want to say Ohayo gozaimasu will respond when a whole team of his senior staff tell in advance the ‘Ohayo gozaimasu’ to him when he enter the office.

If he is not responding (he can’t avoid that) that should make him shy. It will transform him slowly. This is the reason for the Ohayo gozaimasu week and Ohayo gozaimasu team. It is really a nice creative idea to make people realize their duties and customs as respectable members of a respectable society – Japanese society.


Author: Jayaprakash

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