What is it about Japanese culture that fascinates us so much? From delicious Japanese cuisine to the country’s unique customs the list is endless. International infatuation with Japanese culture is believed to have started all the way back from the 17th century when European traders began bringing back Japanese goods from their journeys. At that moment in history, Japanese influence began to seep into art and fashion particularly, and it has yet to fade. Nowadays, Japan is known more for their scientific and technological contributions.
Japanese is a language spoken by approximately 128 million, mostly in Japan, where it is the official language. The ancient version of the Japanese language is known as “Kanbun.” Three separate alphabets are used in the modern Japanese language. Katakan is a phonetic alphabet used for foreign vocabulary that has been influenced by Western civilizations. It is one of the most popular alphabets.
The kimono comes to mind when you think about Japanese fashion. But delve deeper and you’ll discover that Japan has made a significant contribution to the fashion world. Kimonos are available in a variety of styles, each of which is appropriate for a specific occasion. They’re frequently composed of fabrics like cotton and skin decorated with multi-coloured designs or flower patterns. Western designers, like Armani, were inspired by Japan’s rich tradition. While Western designers were busy drawing inspiration from Eastern countries’ traditional clothing, the Japanese were inspired beyond their roots.
Science & Technology
After WWII, Japan’s science and technology advanced quickly, affecting advancements in automobile technology, electronics, medical equipment and even space research. Engineering talent development is aided by Japan’s emphasis on extensive mathematical education and its culture’s admiration for engineers, which has resulted in advancements in electric motors, television display technology, gaming, and a variety of other industries. Japan is at the forefront of technological advancement. It is likely that we all have at least one item in our house that says, ‘made in Japan’, and I’m not mad at that.
Japanese cuisine is well-known for being a healthier alternative in comparison to other cuisines. Recently, there has been a growing awareness, enthusiasm, and admiration for the food, and noticeably it is gaining appeal among millennials. Additionally, considering that Japanese cuisine is made with fresh, minimal ingredients it is filled with a variety of flavours and textures. Its popularity was bound to grow.
When discussing Japanese cuisine, how could we not start with the dish that most people associate with Japan: sushi. Sushi is well-known throughout the world, and its preparation is unusual in that each piece of rice is seasoned with a rice vinegar mix before being mixed with a variety of fish, veggies, and nori (seaweed). When it comes to eating Japanese food, ramen is currently one of the most popular options. It can be eaten with absolutely anything, meat, egg, or more commonly in Japan seaweed. It’s fair to say that it tastes amazing!
Japanese society of today is without a doubt metropolitan. Most Japanese individuals live in cities, yet metropolitan culture is also dispersed all throughout the nation because of a mass media focused primarily on Tokyo. Young urban Japanese people, in particular, have become notorious for their ostentatious consumerism and proclivity for trends that come and go swiftly.
Specifically, regarding Japanese values, thinking of others, not quitting, performing at your best, honouring your elders, and teamwork are some of the key values of Japan. From infancy through the workplace, these principles are communicated both overtly and implicitly. Japanese children are taught omoiyari (to notice and think of others) from an early age.
Marriage & Family
Japanese values pervade all elements of life and will always have an impact on family, career, and social interactions. In Japan, family bonds are profound, standing together not only with living relatives but also generations of ancestors.
The impressionist art movement in the West was profoundly influenced by Japanese style, with painters such as Monet and Van Gogh copying techniques from Japanese artists, such as woodblock prints. As early as the nineteenth century, Japanese art was making waves in the United States, with several high-profile art collectors sourcing work from the country.
Japan’s religion is a wonderful mash-up of mainly Shinto and Buddhist beliefs. Religion is rarely preached in Japan, and it is not a dogma, as it is in the West. Instead, it is a moral code, a way of life that is nearly identical to Japanese social and cultural norms. Furthermore, except for those who feel profoundly tied to their religious identity, most people do not have or exhibit intense religious feelings.
Overall, Japan is a hugely influential country. It plays a significant role in world society. Japan is a key charity supplier as well as a global source of finance and credit. Japan has a long history of being known for its own traditions and culture, it truly is one of the world’s most distinctive and unique countries.