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What is Omotenashi? A Comparative Analysis with Service and Hospitality in the Japanese Lodging Industry

Shunichiro Morishita
Kyushu Sangyo University, Fukuoka, Japan
Abstract—Omotenashi, which is defined as a warm reception reflecting Japanese culture and courtesy, is perceived and practiced differently depending on the hosts and providers. Therefore, the views on omotenashi vary among researchers and practitioners, and it has been regarded as an ambiguous term. This study reviewed previous studies that discussed the definition and characteristics of omotenashi in recent years and has attempted academic conceptualization by comparing omotenashi with its synonyms, service and hospitality, as well as by conducting a case study analysis. As a result, the unique characteristics of omotenashi were identified: 1) being rooted in traditional Japanese culture, 2) understanding the implicit request of the guests (thoughtfulness), 3) the host and guests working together as one (equality), and 4) being offered in a casual manner. This paper proposes a new concept.

Index Terms—Omotenashi, hospitality, service, Yamashiroya, Sawanoya, FujiHakone Guest House

Cite: Shunichiro Morishita, "What is Omotenashi? A Comparative Analysis with Service and Hospitality in the Japanese Lodging Industry," Journal of Advanced Management Science, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 88-95, December 2021. doi: 10.18178/joams.9.4.88-95
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