The foundation of our project is set in the exploration of differences between the United States and Japan. Keying off the “Onion Model” outlined in the Hofstede reading, we zeroed in on the heroes layer and identified a representative archetype for both countries: the cowboy for the United States, and the samurai for Japan. We examine these icons under the lenses of individualism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. In an effort to draw out the differences along these dimensions, we’ve portrayed three pairs of contrasting scenes from the lives of both a cowboy and a samurai.

Hofstede defines heroes as “persons, alive or dead, real or imaginary, who possess characteristics that are highly prized in a culture and thus serve as models for behavior.”

Our study of the archetypes of cowboys and samurai helped us to understand and appreciate some of the significant cultural differences between the United States and Japan through the behavior of their heroes.