Nemawashi (根回し) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.
Nemawashi literally translates as "going around the roots", from 根 (ne, root) and 回す (mawasu, to go around [something]). Its original meaning was literal: digging around the roots of a tree, to prepare it for a transplant.
Nemawashi is often cited as an example of a Japanese word which is difficult to translate effectively, because it is tied so closely to Japanese culture itself, although it is often translated as 'laying the groundwork.'
- Pubmed: Nemawashi essential for conducting research in Japan.
- Kirai, a geek in Japan: Nemawashiid:Nemawashi