A Report on Japanese Culture
For in Japan everyone has at least one. Known as Meishi , these cards are an important part of social interactions. They are used for starting conversations, for if you know what the other person you are talking with does for a living you have an idea on what to talk about. It also allows you to be remembered after you both part company. You should always be prepared with your business card in Japan.
Another custom in Japan is gift giving. Gifts are given and received at any possible occasion in Japan. It is a way to show appreciation and is viewed as the thing to do. According to etiquette; if a person visits another country, they must be sure to bring gifts back for family and friends or risk being viewed as selfish.
Different cultures have different rules, and the Japanese culture is no exception. The view on age requirements for driving in America changes from state-to-state; however the requirement for drinking is set at twenty-one years of age.
The age requirements in Japan are set for the whole country: the requirement for driving there is fifteen, while the requirement for drinking is twenty.
The rule of conduct in these cases is that you must leave your footwear at the door, and put on the slippers supplied just inside the doorway. The types of slippers often change from one season to the next. In the summer the slippers might be made of loose thin material, while in the winter wooly ones are supplied. There are also different slippers you must change into while entering the bathroom or kitchen.
This might seem tedious and useless to some, except that it not only serves as a mean for cleaner dwellings; it also gives the impression of greater size to the many small homes found in Japan.
Manga is a type of art in Japan. This drawing style is considered to be the Japanese equivalent to the American comic book. With its sometimes violent and explicit graphics it could be shrugged off as nothing more than a cheap thrill. This notion is quickly put aside when one realizes just how far the reach of Manga has stretched.
This graphic-novel is read by people of all ages in Japan. From the schoolgirl reading back copies of the popular Sailor Moon series, to the businessman reading the companies handbook portrayed in an eye-pleasing comic book like manual.
An object that is used daily by millions of Japanese people worldwide is called chopsticks, also known as Hashi.
Originally from china this eating device had been shortened and simplified in design. While some chopsticks may be crafted out of ivory, bone, or other materials; the modern chopsticks have been made in the better-known wooden snap-apart versions that are used in such abundance today.
A facet that makes up the gem of the Japanese culture is called the Yakuza. The Yakuza are close to the organized criminal-underground of Europe and America called the Mafia. Both groups make their profits by numerous illegal activities. Drug trafficking, Gambling Rings, and extortion are just a few of the illicit affairs that are rules of trade for these groups.
The Yakuza are also a part of the Japanese mythology. Within its secretive throng, the members are given numerous tattoos all their over the body to signify clan loyalty to the group, and when there is disobedience or mistake a member is supposed to cut off one of their finger digits.
Food in Japan has reached high levels. It s very important in how the food is cooked and prepared. A lot of times food is bought fresh in the morning and served for dinner that same day. This gives the food an exquisite taste that can be dulled by the preserving and canning processes used in most countries today.
The serving of a meal could be placed on only one plate, but in Japan it is often portrayed on an assortment of beautifully crafted bowls on platters often with ornamental pieces of flowers or bamboo. This gives a sense of grander to the food and is lovely to behold.
Weapons made in Japan serve not only for martial use, but also for spiritual purposes. The crafting of the Japanese long sword, Katana, is an art that takes some a lifetime to master. These crafters are honored for their works of art.
It is no wonder that these stunning weapons are passed down from one generation to the next as one of the most treasured heirlooms belonging to a family. These swords, which are centuries old, are as strong as the most finely tempered steel of the modern world.
One of these styles of theatre is called, Bunraku . Its unique not because of the brilliant actors on stage, but by the fact that its all played out by puppets up to half human size controlled by three puppeteers. Each and every individual puppet is a work of art that takes months of time and effort to create.
Published by Kodansho America, Inc.
Discover Japan Volume 1: Words, Customs, and Concepts.
Published by Harper & Row.
Discover Japan Volume 2: Words, Customs, and Concepts.
Published by Harper & Row.