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Brief Introduction of JAPANESE CULTURE.

Updated on August 16, 2013

The island nation of Japan lies off the east coast of the Asian continent.It consists of five major island; Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa, Honshu being the largest.

In addition, there are more than 6800 other islands of many different sizes.

The total land area of Japan is about 378000km², which is about the same size as Germany, Finland or Vietnam.


Japanese character lists "Hiragana"&"Katatana"
Japanese character lists "Hiragana"&"Katatana"

Language:

Japanese is the national language of Japan.There are a number of different writing system used in Japanese.These include hiragana, Katakana , kanji and Roman letters.

Kanji or Chinese characters were introduced in the 1st century.Hiragana and Katakana were developed from them by the 10th century.

Cool “Kanji Tattoo” but there are some strange meaning…

“It hurt”
“It hurt”
“I am beautiful but weird”
“I am beautiful but weird”
“I am confused”
“I am confused”
Shinto
Shinto
Buddhism
Buddhism

Religion:

The two major religions in Japan are “Shinto” and Buddhism. “Shinto” is a folk religion of Japan.

Since Buddhism was brought into Japan in the 6th century, the two religions have influenced one another and existed together in the everyday life of the Japanese. This is called the "syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism."

Most Japanese experience both Shinto and Buddhist rituals and ceremonies in their life. For example, the same person would go to a wedding at a Shinto shrine and hold a funeral at a Buddhist temple.

It is also very common to have both Shinto and Buddhist alters in a house. It is often said that Japanese tolerant attitudes towards religions were formed by the polytheistic nature of Shinto.

kimono
kimono
753festival
753festival

Clothing:

The “kimono” has been Japan’s traditional item of dress worn by both men and women since the middle of the 7th century. It is similar to an ankle-length gown with long, wide sleeves.

When you put on a “kimono”, you wrap it across the chest and secure it at the waist with cords and a broad sash called an “obi”.

These are various kinds of “kimono”, which differ in color, pattern of fabric, and sleeve-length. You need to make the right choice about which “kimono” to choose according to the traditional rules of how and when to wear your “kimono”. For instance, the “furisode” type of “kimono” is exclusively for unmarried women and the “tomesode” is for married women.

Today we wear Western clothes in our everyday life, but the “kimono” is still popular as an item of special attire at ceremonies and parties.

"Gyaru" strange fashion with girls in their teens and early twenties

Yamanba fashon
Yamanba fashon
Lolita fashion
Lolita fashion
Normal school uniform
Normal school uniform

Food:

Traditional Japanese home cooking includes rice and a couple of dishes such as baked fish or cooked vegetables with miso soup and some pickles.

Most people eat rice as a staple food at least twice a day and use products made from soy beans such as “tofu”, “shoyu” or “miso”.

But today, the Japanese diet is more varied than ever. It is influenced by Western, Chinese, and Indian-style dishes.

Eat raw foods

Off course "Sushi&Sasimi"(raw fish)
Off course "Sushi&Sasimi"(raw fish)
Even raw egg "tamagakakegohan"(rice with raw egg)
Even raw egg "tamagakakegohan"(rice with raw egg)

Alcohol:

Brewed with rice and water, “sake” has been a Japanese alcoholic beverage since ancient times.

Because it can be drunk warmed up, intoxication comes on more quickly and in winter it warms the body. When drunk cold, good “sake” has a taste similar to fine quality wine. As a result, there are some kinds of “sake” that have won prizes when submitted for exhibition at European wine competitions. Some kind of “sake” are massproducted and sold throughout Japan.

However, there are local “sake” breweries in every region across the country, which make their respective characteristic tastes based on the quality of rice and water and differences in brewing processes. This is called “jizake”(locally brewed sake) and has played the main role in the recent sake boom.

With the alcohol concentration at around 15%, it is comparatively easy to drink.

Tolerant country of drunken person

drunk and fell asleep in public train
drunk and fell asleep in public train
drunk and fell asleep in public toilet
drunk and fell asleep in public toilet
a dog drunk sake:)
a dog drunk sake:)
traditional house(outside)
traditional house(outside)
traditional house(inside)
traditional house(inside)

Housing:

It is often said that Japanese houses are made of just woods and paper. This is actually mostly true, at least for the traditional ones.

They are built by erecting wooden columns on top of a flat foundation made of packed earth. Roofs are usually covered with tiles called “kawara” and are sloped instead of flat.

The traditional methods of building houses have been changed by adopting modern and western technology. However, the old methods are again beginning to attract our attention since they are easy on our health and the environment and allow houses to last longer.

Art:

Japanese-style paintings are painted on silk or Japanese paper with a brush. Black Indian ink and mineral colors (pulverized lapis lazuli, green copper rust, and ocher) are used as paints. The paintings appear in various sizes and forms.

They are even painted on paper sliding doors, folding screens, scrolls and hanging scrolls. Japanese-style painting has its origin in Buddhist painting from china. They evolved gradually into a unique Japanese style called “Yamato-pictures” during the “Heian” period (AC794~1185).

They mainly dealt with Japanese scenes and subjects and laid the foundation of Japanese-style painting.

Performing Arts:

“Kabuki” is one of Japan’s main traditional theater forms, said to have begun around 1603 when Okuni, a shrine maiden of the “Izumo Taisha”, performed “nenbutsu odori” (Buddhist folk dances) in Kyoto.

These were very popular, but all-female “Kabuki” came to be outlawed as corrupting public morals; subsequently “Kabuki” performances came to be enacted by males only. Later, those performances gradually took on artistic standards and were perfected as a comprehensive art form that brought together theater, classical Japanese dance, and music.

It is principally characterized by such distinctive features as men also acting female roles, the use of elaborate “Kabuki stage makeup” and other inventions such as “Kabuki” stage equipment.

today's pop icon "Kyary Pamyu Pamyu"

Sports:

“Sumo” is traditional Japanese wrestling and in 1909 was established as the national sport. In ancient times, it was practiced as agricultural and “Shinto” rituals, so it still today includes many ceremonial elements.

In a “sumo” match, two wrestlers wearing only a “sumo” wrestler’s loincloth enter the ring, and they fight until one either leaves the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet.

today's popular athletes

Shinji Kagawa in Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa in Manchester United
Ichiro Suzuki in New York Yankees
Ichiro Suzuki in New York Yankees
manga
manga
anime
anime

Entertainment:

“Manga” is Japanese includes cartoons, four-frame comic strips and comic-book stories. The beginning was a series of caricature cartoons in daily newspapers and four-flame strips. After World warⅡ, comics with a storyline like a novel began to appear.

Today a tremendous numbers of comic magazines and books are published. “Manga” are popular entertainment for all ages. The pictures in comic-book stories proceed from right to left in the same way as Japanese writing.

“Anime” is abbreviation of the English word “animation”. Most children in Japan look forward watching cartoon series on TV. Also, Japanese animated films enjoy a good reputation both at home and overseas. The films employ highly sophisticated graphic techniques.

They often feature computer-assisted visualizations and combinations of live action and animation. The animated cartoons fascinate not only youngsters but adults, too. They have often originated from “manga”, so they become even more popular by having a synergetic effect on each other.

Best selling "Manga" ranking in japan

Title
written by
total sold copy
1.ONE PIECE
Eichiro Oda
about 290,000,000
2.Dragon Ball
Akira Toriyama
about 230,000,000
3.Golgo 13
Takao Saito
about 200,000,000
4.Black Jack
Osamu Tezuka
about 176,000,000
5.Doraemon
Fujiko Fujio
about 170,000,000
6.Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo
Osamu Akimoto
about 155,300,000
7.Case Closed
Gosho Aoyama
about 140,000,000
8.NARUTO
Masashi Kishimoto
about 126,500,000
9.SLAM DUNK
Takehiko Inoue
about 119,000,000
10.Oishinbo
Tetsu Kariya
about 112,000,000

© 2013 yuyoshino

Thank you for reading this to the end.

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    • profile image

      yo yo honey sing 2 years ago

      ok ok info

    • travelexpert88 profile image

      travelexpert88 4 years ago

      thank you for your introduction! Nice hub

    • shambalash profile image

      shambalash 4 years ago

      Hi Yuyoshino,

      thank you for this marvellous introduction! A friend of mine is going to study in Japan during the next 1.5 year. Could you please recommend places that are worth visiting in Japan? My friend enjoys nature, Japanese culture and food, anime and music.

    • Swinter12 profile image

      Swinter12 4 years ago from Earth

      My fascination for the Japanese culture began the first time I tried Sushi and was magnified when I first discovered Manga.

      I really learned a lot from this hub.

      I never knew about the reliigious duality that existed or how many islands compromise Japan.

      A Truly Interesting Hub !

    • sminut13 profile image

      sminut13 4 years ago from singapore

      hi, welcome to hubpages and hope you enjoy yourself here. i love everything to do with japan, with the exception of food hehe i'm not too fond of seafood. but i enjoy reading mangas and watching animes. from them, i've actually learnt some simple japanese haha not enough to talk though, keep on writing. thanks for sharing.

    • bestofeverything profile image

      Bob Miller 4 years ago from Georgia, USA

      I really liked your hub. I think that it's very interesting how we all live on the same planet but yet we are all so different. I think having a diversity in cultures makes us a better people.

    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 4 years ago from Citra Florida

      Hi Yuyoshino

      Welcome to Hubpages. Interesting Hub, voted up. Looking forward to more. I'd love to get some feedback from you on one of my Hubs Let me know if you see any mistakes. I like learning about the cuisines of other cultures.

      Lee

      https://hubpages.com/food/How-to-Read-a-Japanese-M...

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Yuyoshino, welcome to Hubpages. I look forward to reading lots more about your country. I have a fascination with Asian culture including the Japanese. Okay, the truth is I have a thing for Asian men.....and people in general....lol Sometimes I wished I lived there.

      In the Yamanba fashion photo I noticed the skin appears quite dark. Is there a reason for that?

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Thanks for sharing the information :)