In recent days, I’ve become a personality junkie of sorts. What started out as just a curious visit to 16personalities.com, after having seen a friend on FaceBook share their personality results share their results to the world there, eventually led me to discover my own personality type.
Or, might I say rediscover.
I clearly remember taking this test in high school and maybe once again during a former job interview, but never did I really take it seriously—let alone care for these sorts of tests. The appeal just wasn’t there at the time and nor was I in any kind of self-discovery phase.
Fast-forward to today and now I’m like the complete opposite.
Obsessed, even? I’m highly enthusiastic about getting to know oneself, including others, on a deeper level. I don’t know what clicked, but maybe my role as a teacher may have played some part in influencing this newfound interest in personality.
As a teacher, one of the basic responsibilities we have is to connect with students effectively, otherwise they’ll just get lost and not learn anything.
I believe an effective teacher is one who strives to better their techniques and methods of teaching in order to continually connect with their students. While being engaging, enthusiastic, patient, and supportive, a teacher should also be mindful of what inspires their students to learn. This is something I believe that can only be obtained by getting to know how your students learn, what interests them, and then to make adjustments accordingly.
And so what once led me to the discovery of my personality type, led to the planning of a self-development lesson plan using the MBTI test for my high school seniors, which then led to surveying over half of my entire high school’s students.
Here, I would simply like to just share my results.
Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Age Demographic: 15yr – 18yr
173/297 (58%) Nearly sixty percent of our HS students.
7 of 12 classes took the test.
Students comprised of the entire Freshman and Sophomore classes, and only one class from the Seniors.
One of my first observations about these results were to see how similar and consistent they were when compared to the research done by the folks at 16personalities.
And boy, were they similar!
Looking at the country profile of Japan, with a sample size of 143,389, the Roles ratios were nearly identical. Explorers being the majority, Sentinels being the next largest of the group, Diplomats in third, and finally Analysts being the smallest group.
Analysts (Intuitive and Thinking [ _NT_ ] types, both Assertive and Turbulent variants) 分析家（直感的論理型[ _NT_ ]、自己主張型または慎重型の変種あり）
x2 – INTJ – Architect
x6 – INTP – Logician
x2 – ENTJ – Commander
x3 – ENTP – Debater
These personality types embrace rationality and impartiality, excelling in intellectual debates and scientific or technological fields. They are fiercely independent, open-minded, strong-willed and imaginative, approaching many things from a utilitarian perspective and being far more interested in what works than what satisfies everybody. These traits make Analysts excellent strategic thinkers, but also cause difficulties when it comes to social or romantic pursuits.
The way Japanese people approach work is definitely through a team effort. With team-based work, cooperation becomes paramount. This is not a trait of an Analyst, which explains why there are so few of them in Japan.
Diplomats (Intuitive and Feeling [ _NF_ ] types, both Assertive and Turbulent variants) 外交官（直感的道理型[ _NF_ ]、自己主張型または慎重型の変種あり）
x6 – INFJ – Advocate
x19 – INFP – Mediator
x0 – ENFJ – Protagonist
x11 – ENFP – Campaigner
Diplomats focus on empathy and cooperation, shining in diplomacy and counseling. People belonging to this type group are cooperative and imaginative, often playing the role of harmonizers in their workplace or social circles. These traits make Diplomats warm, empathic and influential individuals, but also cause issues when there is a need to rely exclusively on cold rationality or make difficult decisions.
Diplomats are an interesting group in regards to the percentage of them that exist in Japan. They’re sort of that middle group that takes traits from all sides. While embracing traditional values, they are also very much open to new approaches.
Sentinels (Observant and Judging [ _S_J ] types, both Assertive and Turbulent variants) 番人（現実的計画型[ _S_J ]、自己主張型または慎重型の変種あり）
x9 – ISTJ – Logistician
x18 – ISFJ – Defender
x2 – ESTJ – Executive
x23 – ESFJ – Consul
Sentinels are cooperative and highly practical, embracing and creating order, security and stability wherever they go. People belonging to one of these types tend to be hard working, meticulous and traditional, and excel in logistical or administrative fields, especially those that rely on clear hierarchies and rules. These personality types stick to their plans and do not shy away from difficult tasks – however, they can also be very inflexible and reluctant to accept different points of view.
Order. Security. Stability. There’s no better example that I could think of that represents these values than Japanese corporate culture.
The Japanese salaryman is the symbol of the working man in Japan.
Explorers (Observant and Prospecting [ _S_P ] types, both Assertive and Turbulent variants) 探検家（現実的調査型[ _S_P ]、自己主張型または慎重型の変種あり）
x8 – ISTP – Virtuoso
x26 – ISFP – Adventurer
x8 – ESTP – Entrepreneur
x30 – ESFP – Entertainer
These types are the most spontaneous of all and they also share the ability to connect with their surroundings in a way that is beyond reach of other types. Explorers are utilitarian and practical, shining in situations that require quick reaction and ability to think on your feet. They are masters of tools and techniques, using them in many different ways – ranging from mastering physical tools to convincing other people. Unsurprisingly, these personality types are irreplaceable in crises, crafts and sales – however, their traits can also push them towards undertaking risky endeavors or focusing solely on sensual pleasures.
If you look at the culture and history of Japan, you can start to see why the majority of its people are Explorers—practical being the keyword here.
The Japanese have also demonstrated masterful craftsmanship in almost everything they do, ranging from its exquisite cuisine (UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage status) to its even its traditional architectural design.
There is no doubt that the list can go on and on.
Anyways, what we are seeing here are the results and characteristics of an Explorer society and culture, in both older generations and new.