Recently J-List hired a new Japanese employee to oversee the shipping of packages, and on her first day the entire staff gathered in a circle, each person bowing in turn and doing jiko shokai, which means “self introduction,” although it’s actually quite a deep cultural concept for the Japanese. In almost any situation where people will be interacting, be it a classroom, a job situation or the local PTA board, a new member will always stand and make a formal self introduction, telling the others their name (including how to write it in kanji), where they’re from, what their hobbies are, and so on. Giving this information to the other members of the group allows everyone to categorize the newcomer properly, and afterwards the others will do their own jiko shokai in turn, which the J-List staff did. One interesting aspect of Japanese people is their tendency to show humility, and that always comes to the surface during formal moments like these. The new employee apologized to her new co-workers in advance, saying she’d surely cause inconvenience to them by taking a long time to learn the job properly. Do people do anything like that in your country?
Self-introductions are a big part of life in Japan.