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The Culture of the Japanese - Essay Example

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Summary
Japan, a chain of islands in the Eastern Pacific, boasts one of the richest and deepest cultures of any country in the world. Through research of books and websites, denoting information found in the same, five main elements of the Japanese culture will be explored throughout this paper, including language, art, marriage, family, and religion. …
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The Culture of the Japanese
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The Culture of the Japanese

Download file to see previous pages... by Emperor Jimmu (United States Department of State, 2011). All monarchs since are believed to be his direct descendants, but scholars have questioned at least the first nine, with agreement only being reached on Emperor Sujin, who ruled in the third or fourth century (Yoshida, 2007). Emperors, for all of their title and power, really only ruled in the arena of politics, while warlords and aristocrats held the actual power in the country up until 1868; in the years up to World War II, the Emperor Hirohito was controlled by military leaders without wielding any power himself (Yoshida, 2007). Even today, the imperial family holds little to no political power and is rarely, if ever, seen in public (Yoshida, 2007). They are still held in high esteem, but unlike other monarchies, do not make regular appearances in public. Historically, there are two main events that spurred the culture of Japan. These were the introduction of the Chinese writing system in 405 A.D. and the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century (United States Department of State, 2011). It is a tribute to their introduction that both original elements can still be seen in the culture of Japanese people, even in modern times. It must be noted, however, that given its great scope it would be impossible to write on all the elements of culture, both historically and what is found in the country today; volumes have been written on these very subjects that barely scratch the surface. Therefore, five essentials will be explored in detail, including the language of Japan and the arts found in Japan, both performing and visual, how Japanese society treats and views marriages and families, and what if any religions are practiced throughout the country. Pre-World War II Japan vs. Post-World War II Japan...
While having undergone radical changes in almost every aspect since World War II, the Japanese have still managed to hold on to ancient traditions and pieces of their culture that makes them unique. Not all was lost to surrender in 1945, for as a people, they managed to pull themselves up as a culture and raise themselves from a large percentage of destroyed cities to a nation that today commands respect.
The Japanese people appear to enjoy simplicity and rigidity while adhering to complexities that would make those raised outside of the country shake their heads in wonder. Their language holds over 1,945 characters, and one small area defines the “standard” use of the language, while dialects are used freely. While moving forward in terms of equal support under constitutional law, the male is still considered the head of the household and women are expected to take on the demands of the household, including being the primary parent in raising the children and taking care of any elderly parents (from either side of the family) after marriage. Marriage in and of itself even appears to have a rigidly defined set of parameters, with men and women of eligible age declining to date freely but appearing happy to be set up with others in their network of peers, and marriages due to the woman being pregnant are becoming commonplace. Even their religions appear simple and yet complex, as two religions, with a third that is practiced but not by the majority of the country, can define major portions of life events. Again, this country appears, on the surface, to have a culture of sameness, but underneath it lays rich traditions and heritage that, while moving forward with modern times, Japanese people are not willing to let go of. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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