This kinda helps understand the Japanese Work culture some:
There’s some other things that are left out. Some about the companies used to treat you like family which has changed, other parts about saving face, and various other cultural differences.
I think I’m am some where in between American and Japanese… Some parts too Japanese for some Americans and some too American for Japanese…
In any case, I think for any worker to feel engaged and feel good about their job, they have to have a sense of feeling appreciated. You can be proactive in this! http://www.coachdanfoster.com/2011/10/what-to-do-when-you-feel-unappreciated-at-work/
Personally I believe that being proactive helps cut down on the feeling of firefighting. Start weeding out stuff in the beginning has a better chance of working than trying to firefight at the end. That’s why I like looking at designs; code and ui both. You can start pinpointing spots of concerns from there.