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One way to avoid conflicts and stay ethical is to understand the religious beliefs that influence conduct. The three major religions in Japan are Confucianism, Shintoism and Buddhism. Each of these religions believes in "numen," the idea that everything, people, animals, and objects have a spirit or a soul. Many Japanese people see themselves and everything in their work environment as interconnected, a way to be in harmony with "the great life force." This idea is also known as transcendentalism.
Understanding transcendentalist thought can also help foreign companies grasp the importance of groups to the Japanese; they often privilege group work over individual pursuits. Groups are able, they believe, to more closely and accurately connect with the great life force.
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