Publication Details

Thomson, EA and Sano, M, Mapping the factual genres of the Japanese workplace, in Proceedings of 16th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Assoiction of Australia, Wollongong, 26 - 29 June 2006.


This paper reports on the research project, Mapping the written genres of the Japanese workplace which set out to identify, taxonomise and describe the kinds of factual genres used in the Japanese-speaking workplace. The motivation behind this study originates from a desire to know, understand and ultimately, teach authentic genres which have vocational significance for students of Japanese as a second and or foreign language. The study interviewed and surveyed 21 non-Japanese speaking background employees in Japanese speaking workplaces both in Japan and Australia and collected over 127 workplace documents. This paper will report on the kinds of Japanese language skills these employees are expected to use in their day-to-day working life and the kinds of Japanese documents they read and write. The documents are organised as a taxonomy based on a framework of administrative text types. This framework has three main genres: specifically genres of Records; Provisions and Directives (Disadvantaged Schools' Program 1995).