Last time I talked about how 謙遜 (ken-sohn, with a long vowel on the end), meaning humility, is considered an important quality for people to have, and group dynamics depend on it, whether members in a university circle (club) or co-workers in a company. Essentially, this just means people will generally be self-effacing and avoid boasting in social situations. One thing about humility: in keeping with the uchi/soto (in-group/out-group) system that pervades Japanese thinking, humility extends to members of your own group (your family, company etc.) when you’re talking with others (members of another group). A good example of this is Japanese middle-aged women who will praise the studiousness of their neighbor’s children when talking with other mothers while pointing out how baka (stupid) their own children or grandchildren are, reading manga all day instead of studying. I once heard my mother-in-law doing this, talking negatively about my son to other ladies in the neighborhood for reasons of self-effacing politeness, and I took her to task over it. We don’t need that kind of negativity in our house.
I looked for an image of a grandmother to put here. I found this.