One of my favorite Japanese words is kinben (keen-ben), which means industrious, diligent, and studious. Just as America has always had the Protestant Work Ethic to serve as a model for what hardworking people should aspire to, Japan values diligence and hard work as excellent traits for a person to adopt. By and large, this diligence is usually measured in terms of time rather than raw effort. Doing an hour or two of overtime each day is probably the norm at most Japanese companies, where employees show their effort to their colleagues and boss in a unit that everyone can easily recognize, time. The pinnacle of the kinben concept of hard work is the tetsuya, which means working all night in order to get the important project finished. If an employee in Japan pulls an all-nighter to get his important work done, he’ll probably gain a lot of respect from his boss and coworkers. This Japanese tradition of working and studying hard has rubbed off on my son, and I’m not surprised to see him cracking the books at his study desk until 11 pm or later, something that would have been unthinkable for me until I got to university
If you want to earn the respect of your co-workers, work all night long on a project.