Japanese Culture - The Truth

The preconceptions

From an outside view, the Japanese society has many images associated with it, begining with the culture, ranging and Samurai's, Ninja's, Geisha, adult anime and state of the art technology. Once living in Japan you will realize that many of the culture aspects are true but there are a large number of proconceptions with can even offend many Japanese.

The Geisha

Not simply a prostitute as a lot of westerners may imagine, but women who would traditional perform, sing, dance and keep samurai entertained in the Edo period. If you go to Kyoto (very traditional part of Japan) you will see many Maiko-san (similar to geisha) around the towns. Geisha's have been know to accept money for sex, but this is not the standard practice. You can even get your photos taken with them in Kyoto.

Harakiri (self dissembowlment)

When the samurai was bought to trial for a dishourable act, this was the method of execution. But note, the doomed samurai would very rarely cut himself in the abdomen. In most cases a skilled swordsman would decapitate the samurai has soon as he even moves the knife towards his stomach to avoid any dishonorable cries of pain.

Japanese are good at martial arts

This only goes for the ones who are actualy interested in it. The average Japanese has no interest in Karate, Jude, Aikido etc. Sports such as Baseball, Soccer, tennis are more popular which the Japanese.

However the Japanese who do do Martial art really put everything into it and do excel.

Japanese and Chinese can understand one another

Not at all, unless they learn one anothers language. Chinese is a completely different language and is completly unintelligable for a Japanese person unless they study the language in depth. The writing system does have some similarities since its from the same origin. Japanese people may be able to get the gist from small short sentences but the pronunciation is completely different.

The Japanese love video games

 Japanese probably does have more video gamers than any other country, but that's mainly due to the access and the environment they are in. Japanese has the biggest gaming industry in the world so it's not surprising that there are so many game lovers. I do however know many Japanese who have never touched a game console in their life and never intend to. Gaming in Japan seems to be more of a culture then other countries and is more socially acceptable.

Japanese Eat Sushi

 Yes, they do eat Sushi but there is a vast variety of thing which Japanese eat everyday. Sushi can be expensive and definately never a daily habbit.

If you walk through central Tokyo for even 3 minutes you will find Chinese, Korean, Indian, Italian, Mexican and even Jamaica. Rural areas of Japan may be limited to more traditional Japanese food however the cities are very diverse.

A surprisingly favourite in Japan in Curry Rice (Japanese style) this is usually made with Chicken, onions, carrots and potatoes. You can find curry rice at any resort and sight seeing place. Real curry lover however should go to an Indian restaurant for a real Indian curry. In Japan Butter Chicken Curry is a favorite amongst Japanese. It has a creamy slightly sweet flavor.

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