Kuuki Wo Yomu: Power of the JapaneseAir Reading Technique

Kuuki Wo Yomu: Power of the JapaneseAir Reading Technique
  • PublishedOctober 26, 2023

Have you ever walked into a room and just known that something was off? Maybe you couldn’t put your finger on it, but you felt a palpable tension or discomfort in the air.

Well, trust your senses as this is the phenomenon known as “kuuki wo yomu,” which means “reading the air,” and it’s a crucial aspect of communication in Japanese culture.

From Samurai to Society: The Origin and the Evolution of Kuuki Wo Yomu

Kuuki Wo Yomu was a skill developed during the samurai era of Japan. Samurai were trained in the art of “kenbu”, which included heightened senses of observation and awareness.

Over time, it has become a crucial aspect of Japanese social etiquette and communication, influencing business interactions, personal relationships, and even everyday conversations.

Reading the Unspoken: How Politicians Use Kuuki Wo Yomu to Influence Public Opinion?

Kuuki wo yomu involves paying close attention to nonverbal communication cues such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. It also involves being aware of the overall mood and atmosphere of a situation.

It is commonly used by Japanese politicians to understand the unspoken feelings and thoughts of their audience or to sway public opinion. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is known to be skilled in this technique, as well as former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who was particularly known for his ability to connect with the public using this technique. 

How to Apply Kuuki Wo Yomu in Business?

Although it can be difficult to master, this is a skill that can only be developed through practice and experience. The ability to “smell the air” and understand the current circumstances can also lead to finding clever business ideas. This concept is highly applicable in the business world, especially when it comes to client interactions and team dynamics.

In the Covid-19 era, people’s priorities have shifted to focus on health and safety, which has opened up opportunities for businesses in the health and wellness industry. For example, a company could develop an online platform for at-home workouts or provide immune-boosting supplements. By understanding the current needs and concerns of people, a business can find ways to provide value and benefit from the changing circumstances.

A great example of adapting to the current circumstances and applying Kuuki Wo Yomu is the popular app Clubhouse. With the Covid-19 pandemic pushing people into isolation and remote work, virtual communication became essential.

Clubhouse, a live-audio app, took advantage of this opportunity by providing a new way for people to interact and communicate. By reading the air and understanding the current need for alternative forms of communication, Clubhouse was able to quickly gain popularity and connect people from around the world.

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