Japan Day 2 - SOA Seminar in Japanese!

by David A. Chappell

Last night we conducted a SOA Seminar in Tokyo. Over 120 people attended! Some pretty impressive attendees as well, which included the President of the IT division of a major automaker that is headquartered here. He also brought 5 of his top people with him.

The seminar curriculum consisted of a presentation on SOA and Web Services advancement by Mr. Fujio Maruyama, President of the Wakkanai Hokusei Gakuen College, followed by a presentation on the business value of SOA and ESB from Kimihiko Iijima, a Research Director from Gartner. Then yours truly on the architectural makeup of an ESB, and how organizations are using an ESB to fulfill their enterprise wide SOA initiatives. We finished up with a presentation from a local Sonic SE, Tetsuya Takematsu, who gave a presentation and demo on the latest and greatest release of SonicESB.

All of the presentation content was in Japanese, with the exception of mine. My presentation was delivered in English, but we had two simultaneous translators in a sound booth in the back of the room. The attendees had earpieces they could put on that allowed them to listen to the translators. The idea behind having two translators is that one could be repeating what I just said while the next one was listening to what I was currently saying, and they would take turns. Pretty cool system.

The feedback I got afterward from some of the attendees was that the visuals, such as this one, really helped get over the language barriers.

Mr. Maruyama gave a presentation on Web services and SOA advancements, which included WS-BPEL, WS-Addressing, WSDL, ESB, and JBI. I have no idea what he said, but it looked like a fairly technical talk on the WS-* landscape, and how it applied to an ESB-based supply chain example.

All week I have been participating in the Japanese custom of exchanging business cards. There is a protocol to the whole thing, which includes introducing yourself with "My names is..." and holding out the card in front of you with both hands, facing the other person. Depending on the rank or status of the other person you are meeting, you are supposed to bow and hold the card above you at a 30 degree angle. During the reception that occured afterward, I got to do this with a large percentage of the crowd. I think I have that system down pretty well now.

Some photos of the event are posted here.


2005-03-02 22:20:00
Business Cards
Isn't there also a protocol about how raise the type on your business card is an indication of your importance/standing?

How high is your type?

PS. Your not coming to Australia while your in the region are you?

2005-03-03 11:22:24
Business Cards
Actually there wasn't a lot of the 30 degree angle card raising thing going on in either direction. The most important part of the custom I believe is that you actually look at the card and study it before shoving it in your pocket. This was not a difficult thing to do, since it was a fairly interesting and important set of people that I was meeting and greeting.

The Japanese as a people are overall very polite and courteous, and are very forgiving of Americans who don't understand all of their customs. They do seem to appreciate it when you try (at least the ones that I met).

Unfortunately, I won't be making it to Australia for this trip. I'm off to Europe next week.