This paper identifies some of the motivational characteristics inherent in Japanese culture. Much of Japan's strength today is derived from the diligence and dedication of its people to their country, companies, and families. The Japanese have effectively combined their above-average literacy with hard work to mold a work force that produces enormous quantities of products at high production rates. Rather than perpetuate their image as imitators, the Japanese today are emerging as an innovative people determined to establish their nation as an industrial leader. Some insights into the reasons for this determination are presented here.The author became a student of the Japanese way of life during six years of living in Japan while working for Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. The material is based upon personal observations and discussions with the Japanese and noted authorities including Howard VanZandt, vice president, ITT Far East, and Pacific Inc.