There are many factors in which effect one’s sense of humor in each particular region. Certain things and instances may reflect humor in a different way for each individual. Humor also varies in the sex of the individual also, because something a male would find funny a woman would find repulsive or vice versa. In Japan there are several instances in which humor is used either positively or negatively towards its own people. For instance, the Japanese are movie makers in which they convey these messages somewhat clearly in their storylines.
They also have literature that stresses some issues of harsh Japanese tradition. Some Japanese films have comic elaboration on such matters such as ethnocentrism, stereotyping, individualism/collectivism and last but not least masculinity and femininity. The way that masculinity and femininity effect Japanese culture is by having the woman take a back seat in power. According to Hofstede’s concepts, they tend to focus more on achievement and success orientated goals instead of family values.
The Japanese ratings on masculinity/femininity dimension in 1991 were -238, which indicate the country prefers masculinity over femininity. This to me tells me that because of such a high rating women in this country are under scrutiny because in high masculine cultures it is believed that men should be assertive and the women should be nurturing. Sexual inequality is regarded as beneficial and the quality of life for a woman is disregarded. (Lustig&Koesterp. 27-128) In some cases to show humor they will depict a woman in a room with men present and ask her to leave as a sign to her that it is a men-only meeting, in which case a Japanese man would find this amusing. This would show to another Japanese person that his actions are acceptable to the rigid gender roles they instill. In other cases such as in the work place, family priority isn’t of importance, for instance if a worker asked his boss for time off because his wife is sick or pregnant the boss would laugh in a condescending way and deny his request.
This would be humorous to the Japanese in the sense that it’s funny that the worker would make such an outrageous request, and for not showing any sympathy for the unfortunate. The Japanese culture believes in achievement and ambition in judging someone on their performance and results as a man, instead of having acceptance of equality for all. This in turn is the humor that the Japanese culture find amusing do to their viewpoints on masculinity and femininity.