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Images of Japan Within and Without - Term Paper Example

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Japan is an island in the Pacific Ocean in East Asia. Archeological research shows that people lived in Japan from the early Paleolithic period. Its history is characterized by its long periods of isolation and influence from other countries…
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Images of Japan Within and Without
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Download file to see previous pages It is characterized by rudimentary agriculture and pit dwellings (Walt, 1980). Decorated clay vessels are examples of the oldest surviving world pottery. Japan was also characterized by Neolithic and Mesolithic culture of semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer. Japanese culture has evolved from its origin. This study is aimed at examining the images of Japan within and without. These include Japan and Japanese images in the western world. The primary objective is to determine the kinds of images, and how Japan has been seen by the outside world - western images and western myths. The other area of interest is the nationalism of Japan together with key aspects of change in the country; home and family in Japan’s continuity and transformation. Japan as Seen by the Outside World- Western Images and Myths Japan is seen by the western world as a country of cherry trees and volcanoes. Japan’s icons are cherry blossoms and volcano Fudzijama. This makes Japan to be viewed as a loyal, honorable and brave country. Samurai traditions demand that profits to Japanese only be second to prestige and honor. The virtues of old warriors were courage, loyalty and endurance, which smoothly translated into managerial skills (Black, 1999). Japan is also an isolated country with great contradictions. It has booming cities in the south, which are beautiful and peaceful (Escola & Rikkinen, 1976). This is an indication that Japanese people are hard working and group oriented. According to Totman (2005), the tradition of Japan has been working together by discussion and agreement. Japanese people are hardworking and highly skilled. Japan is also clean and neat. The garden has little stream, waterfall and small bridges. There are also manicured paths shrubs, rocks and flowers. It therefore, has the image of being very neat and cleans (Clavell, 1998). Japan is also seen as unique and different for many years remaining an unresolved riddle and enigma. Though it is in Asia, it is so westernized, unlike any other country of Asia. It is uniquely adaptable countries where modernity and traditions are consisting of one continuum (Whitney, 1967). In the entire world, Japanese are known to be polite and courteous people (Clement, 1906). Littlewoods (1996) says that Japan’s idea on western images and myths is that different western countries have different views towards Japan. On the other hand, European images also differ from American images. The west has always been seen as an industrialized, urbanized, capitalist, modernized and highly developed. Its concept is therefore a product of 16th century historical processes as people tend to divide the world into west and non west, Japan’s position becomes confusing. The images are based on old pictures and descriptions. The historical perspective of Japanese images is mainly based on historical notes and books written by authors from the west. Historians have for a long time debated on the seclusion of Japan. Few European works in description of Japan, appeared during the period of seclusion, and were exclusively attached to the Dutch factory. Although there were several information limitations, Kaempfer formed the most popular western image in Japan (Clavell, 1998). The two compilations that were widely read were published in New York and London, two years before the expedition of Perry. Perry’s arrival in Uraga was especially felt because of his decorative fine arts. It was also conspicuous in architecture ceramics, religious studies dance, fashion, interior design, literature and landscape gardening among others. The interest of Americans and European first rose from observable images, without an intermediary aid. The popular Japanese imaginations were stirred by fans, curios, kites, parasols, combs, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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This paper saved me today. I liked the style. It was very useful for my archaeology course.
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