Analysis of Cultural Dimensions in Movie

August 6, 2017 Cultural

Analysis of Cultural Dimensions in Movie “Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya” Cross Cultural Management (MGT513) Prepared by: Andreas Sorgel Anis Houari Aswin Wiryawan Charnnarong Limlertvatee Irawati Kurniawan Jason Lee Marielle Pouilly Marion Chevalier Michelle Lam Papawee Mahasirimongkol Patcharaporn Preechamanomai Suparas Viboothanakul Summary of The Movie Yamada Nagamasa, the young Samurai of Edo period, came to be a soldier in the Japanese volunteer regiment in Ayothaya (Thai kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767).

He fought against a group of Japanese who disguised themselves as the Hongsawadee soldiers and beset Ayothaya with troubles led by Kuroda Toranaga. Yamada was critically injured and helped by a group of Thai warriors. They, later, vowed to be “bosom friends”. Yamada was taken to the priest with talisman and incantation who imparted the knowledge of Thai boxing and fencing to him.

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Later on, Yamada and his friends passed the fighting recruitment held to select the masterful combatants to be the Royal guards of King Naresuan the Great, the heroic king who declared the independence from Hongsawadee (Burma Kingdom that existed from the mid-16th century to 1752). Yamada and his friends fought bravely against the enemies, which could please the king very much. However, he never forgot to take revenge on Kuroda, who had defamed the Japanese. Finally, he could successfully kill Kuroda but in exchange for the life of his “friends”.

Being deeply grateful for the kindness of the Ayothaya king and the friendship of the Siamese, the young Samurai was resolved that “this land was not my birthplace but where my soul would rest”. Cultural Dimensions The movie that tells us about cross cultural between Thailand and Japan will be analyzed by using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions: 1. Masculinity – Femininity Thailand has the lowest Masculinity ranking among the Asian countries listed at 34, compared to the Asian average of 53 and the World average of 50 (ref: http://geert-hofstede. om/hofstede_thailand. shtml). This lower level is indicative of a society with less assertiveness and competitiveness, as compared to one where these values are considered more important and significant. This situation also reinforces more traditional male and female roles within the population. Femininity is defined by Hofstede as “a situation in which the dominant values in society are caring for others and the quality of life”.

As we can see in the movie when Yamada was critically injured and saved by a group of Thai people, who take him to their village in northern Thailand though Yamada is an unknown foreigner, and when the monk healed Yamada, he told the villagers who suspect Yamada “I even cure the wounded animals. He is a human. How can I let him die? ” Feminine country like Thailand tends to place great importance on cooperation and a friendly atmosphere. Although Thailand is in a harsh situation but Thai people are always willing to offer friendship to others as the monk said to Yamada “Feeling better?

Living here doesn’t need a blade. Thai people love peace and friendship. Whoever is your opponent or wherever you came from; but here only friends will stand beside you”. 2. Power Distance Index Power Distance is defined by Hofstede as “the extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally”. Thailand has a very high Power Distance index: 64 (ref: http://www. clearlycultural. com), less higher than Japan that has a high Power Distance index: 54 (ref: http://www. clearlycultural. com). Thus, both of them are similar to characteristic in Power Distance.

From the movie, Thai and Japanese societies are willing to accept a certain “inequality” in power, so that there will be the leaders and also the followers. Thailand has hierarchical rule orientation and Thai people adore their King. The King’s power is much greater than that specified by the constitution because of the great respect that people have for him. Furthermore, the respect of Thai people is important towards their parent, older people, their King and monk. In the movie, we can see whenever the monk talks to his students, he will always sit one level above his students.

In Thailand, decision-making depends on emotional of supervisors, no matter what is right or wrong. People don’t question the decisions of their leaders. On the movie, there’s a conversation that shows authority of Prakru, who is a monk and a teacher “I taught him about Thai boxing by myself. Suea, do u have any problem? ” Prakru said. Although Suea – his student – was not pungent with this decision, he cannot oppose and need to accept this decision. Prakru’s decision was made emotionally, it’s because he believes that Yamada is a good person. Obedience and privileges are also apparent.

Obedience is being severely affected by plentiful respect such as teacher, parents and relatives. People are taught about obedience because Thai people believe obedience is the best way for their life. In contrast, if who is not obedience, you are spoilt. “Do not disturb him” Jumpa (Actress) told Katin (Little girl). This sentence clearly shows how Power Distance in obedience quite strict. Katin imitates her elder sister. In Thailand power means privileges. Owing to Thailand (Ayothaya Era) has hierarchical rule orientation, demand for power is greater than we think.

For example, King, who has the highest authority in Thailand, has courtiers, respect from people and more. In addition, when you have power or are acquainted with someone who has authority, you have opportunity more than other people. We might say that the degree of acceptability of Power Distance among Thai people strictly depends on the way the power is conducted: individuals can be very willing to accept a strong. Subordinates are not given important work and expect clear guidance from above and the relationship between boss and subordinate is close/personal. Therefore, working is rather slow to be competing. 3.

Uncertainty Avoidance Index Uncertainty Avoidance is defined by Hofstede as “the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these”. The Uncertainty Avoidance index in Thailand is quiet high, 64. In other words, they really need rules to feel comfortable in their daily lives. Generally speaking, Thai society is regulated by rules and Thai people feel comfortable with it (ref: http://geert-hofstede. com/hofstede_thailand. shtml). Thailand has a really rich culture influenced by the Buddhism. The religion plays a big role in Thai society.

That is why people are so related to it and act according to the religious principles. In this movie, there are many scenes that show how the monk is earned great respect from Thai people. They listen, follow and took his teaching to heart. Even the king also listens and follows his words. 4. Individualism – Collectivism Collectivism is defined by Hofstede as “the tendency of people to belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty”. Thailand’s lowest Dimension is Individualism (IDV) at 20. A low score, as Thailand has, indicates the society is Collectivist as compared to Individualist.

This is manifest in a close long-term commitment to the member ‘group’, is that a family, extended family, or extended relationships. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group (ref: http://geert-hofstede. com/hofstede_thailand. shtml). As we can see in the movie, Thai people love to be with their communities. In their village, women do their housework together with other women, such as cooking and washing clothes. They tend to do the chores and have a conversation in the same time as a form of building relationship.

For men, we can see that they make swords together as a collective group. These activities give an opportunity for the people to strengthen their relationships in the community. 5. Short Term Orientation – Long Term Orientation This dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars. It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’ (ref: ttp://geert-hofstede. com/hofstede_thailand. shtml). Listed below are the scores of the 23 countries samples for the Long Term Orientation (ref: http://nwlink. com/~donclark/leader/culture2. html): * China – 118 * Hong Kong – 96 * Taiwan – 87 * Japan – 80 * South Korea – 75 * Brazil – 65 * India – 61 * Thailand – 56 * Singapore – 48 * Netherlands – 44 * Bangladesh – 40 * Sweden – 33 * Poland – 32 * Germany FR – 31 * Australia 31 * New Zealand – 30 * USA – 29 * Great Britain – 25 * Zimbabwe – 25 * Canada – 23 * Philippines – 19 * Nigeria – 16 * Pakistan – 00

As we can see that Thailand scores quiet high on 56, means that Thailand has Long Term Orientation, which is indicated by: * Persistence (perseverance) * Investment in lifelong personal networks In the movie, we can see Thai people’s persistence. When they fought with Burma soldiers, they didn’t give up even though they are outnumbered – ten of them have to fight with two hundred enemy’s soldiers. They fought bravely in order to protect Thailand and the King. When the monk offers Yamada the opportunity to be the King’s Royal Guards warriors, it isn’t only a temporary task.

Once Yamada agrees to become one of the King’s Royal Guards warriors, it means he agrees to always be loyal to the King. According to what I perceived from watching this movie, Thailand is a country with long term orientation. This movie shows how Thai people live their lives. They live their lives in sufficient ways. They grow backyard gardens or catch fish in the river to eat in their own families. Family is the basis of society in Thailand. Most of them live in quite big families which including more than 3 people approximately; father, mother, kids, grandparents, etc. They mutually depend on each other and take care of each other.

The younger people pay a lot of respect to the older. The inferior also follow what their boss say seriously. Thai people are pretty much stick to hierarchy. Moreover, Thai people are usually carry on the old tradition, for example from this movie is how to play local play of Thai Children and how the master teach Muay Thai. Appendix The Video Clip’s Translation 1. Masculinity – Femininity -“I don’t know who he is. I saw him on my way back from buying steels. He was being beaten so I went help him. Then I brought him here on a boat overnight. I thought he would have died. I’ve never thought he would be this tough. -“He’s a foreigner. Can we trust him? ” -“I even cure the wounded animals. He is a human. How can I let him die? ” 2. Power Distance Index -“Who he is isn’t important. What important is whether he’s a good person. ” -“I’m afraid that he’s the traitor because since the incident has happened, he hasn’t uttered a word. ” -“I’m not that curious. If he wants to tell, he will. And you don’t need to ask. Sometimes we have something we can’t tell anyone. When we do, others can be in trouble. If it were you, would you have said anything? ” -“Then why are other Japanese hunting him? ” -“The Japanese are killing each other.

It’s none of your business. Don’t make it more complicated. I’m confident he’s not a terrible person. What you need to concern yourself with is electing the bodyguards’ captain. ” 3. Uncertainty Avoidance Index -“What’s your business? ” -“I’d like to be your disciple. I want you to teach me boxing? ” -“Your boxing is already satisfactory. Don’t need to learn any further. ” -“to learn with a master for a day is better than to practiced by yourself for 1000 days. ” -“Any why should I teach you? Ayothaya’s boxing belongs to Ayothaya. It doesn’t belong to outsiders. Furthermore your blood isn’t the same color as mine.

Mine is Ayothaya’s, yours is Japanese’s. -“Yes, but I’m now in Ayothaya and when I die I’ll be underneath Ayothaya’s soil. Even if Ayothaya isn’t my birthplace, it will be where I die. ” -“Who taught you to say this? ” -“Everyone here taught me” -“Taught you? ” -“Taught me how to die honorably, and how to die dishonorably. If you die for the country and the king, your life isn’t wasted. At this instant, my heart does belong to Ayothaya. ” -“When Ayothaya people learn anything, they need to have their teachers. From this day forward, you’re a student mentored by a teacher. Make a stand for goodness.

Don’t abuse Ayothaya’s knowledge to bully others, only use it to defense the land and yourself. 4. Individualism – Collectivism -True friendship arises from appreciating one another’s significance, accepting and understanding their true individuality. -My family life had long gone but people here made me feel as if I was with my family. -These things brought happiness into my life and prompted me to face any dangers without fear. -I believed that it was destiny which brought and bonded people from different places together. -The bond which I felt toward people here had never happened to me before. 5.

Short Term Orientation – Long Term Orientation -“I taught him myself because I saw in him great ambition. In the future he could become an asset of this country. Seua, have you ever seen me teach boxing to any foreigner? ” -“No, you’ve never. You ought to have thought it thoroughly. ” -“And I think that he can be a candidate for the king’s bodyguard. ” – “But he’s a foreigner. Can he actually do it? ” -“Listen, Love to the country doesn’t come only from people of this land. It presents itself to anyone who wishes to die for this country. You three trust me. This Japanese man will become an important asset to Ayothaya in the future.

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