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Multicultural Analysis of Japan: Traditions and Religions

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 903 words Published: 11th Jul 2018

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Land of the Rising Sun: Japan

Japan is a country filled with old and rich traditional history that can’t be found anywhere in the Western world. Japan and America share quite an interesting bond with one another. The bond between them seems to infer that they have most of their trust in each other, but trusting the notorious nation, China, is something that they can both get on terms with. Disagreements between the two powerful nations can form, for example, one being Japan’s role in regional security. The old nation is located in the continent of Asia, being an chain of islands, it is surrounded by the Sea of Japan ( East) and Pacific Ocean (West).

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Japan or ‘Nihon’ as it is said in Japanese, translates to ” the sun’s origin”. It is also known as, by its nickname Land of the Rising Sun. The old nation consist of a series of islands, which is close to around 6,852 islands. There are also four main islands as well, which include: Hokkaido, Honshu {largest island}, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Although there are no bordering countries since the country is a chain of islands, there are some neighboring countries by Japan, promptly consisting, but not excluding: South Korea, North Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, and the Philippines. The current size of Japan is around some 145,932 mi² and compared to the U.S. which is some 3,536,695 square miles. The country of Japan has the third-largest economy, after the United States and China, in the modern world. The country exports vital goods such as automobiles ( ex. Toyota, Honda, Mazda), computers, and other electronics. etc. Not to mention the fact that Japan natural resources that it exports items such as: fish and other seafood, gold, silver, magnesium, oil, Japan greatly depends on foreign/imported natural resources and fuels to keep manufacturing industries functioning and thriving. Some industries in Japan include: shipbuilding, textile, mining, bioindustry, processed foods, and construction. Besides noting Japan’s economy, the old nation is known for its unique physical features. The geography of the country consists of a mountainous terrain with basins, valleys, plains, and coral reefs; while also having temperate weather and consisting of four seasons.

The country has many cultural traditions and holidays throughout the year. Obon, Lantern Festival, ( August 13- 16) is a buddhist festival that is held within the month of August, it that pays tribute to ancestral spirits by lighting lanterns in from of home and on rivers to guild spirits back home and to the underworld. Cultural Day ( November 3rd ) was previously known as the day of commemorating the birthday of the Meiji Emperor, but it was renamed to Culture Day to rejoice the Japanese Constitution as well as peace and freedom. Another holiday is Marine Day (Umi no hi [ July 3rd] ) which commemorates the blessings of the oceans and its significant importance for Japan as a nation. Both Japan and America share unique cultural difference, but their main difference is concerning education, not to mention the fact that recreation among them is quite the same. Similarly Japanese and American elementary schools last for six years. The difference is the in Japan junior high last for three years, while in America it lasts for two. Another distinction is that students in Japanese high schools go to school for three years, while in American high schools students go to school for four years. Japanese and Americans typically do the same thing the same things for fun sports, shopping, hanging out with friends, and using electronics. Meals consumed by the Japanese are mainly homemade meals which may consist of a bowl of rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables, fish, and (or) meat.

Religion is a thing that sets Japan apart from most countries. Religions in Japan are Shinto, Taoist, Confucian, Buddhism, and surprisingly Christianity. As far back as historians can date, Shinto was the most popular religion and oldest among the Japanese and even today it is. Buddhism was brought by monks in the 6th century. Both religions have been coexisting with each other in harmony for quite a long time, and most classify themselves as either Shinto or Buddhist, but in some instance both. Christianity on the other hand was introduced to Japan ( 1506- 1552) by a man named Francis Xavier. Although it’s not the most popular religion in Japan it still is practiced by some individuals. Surprisingly religion doesn’t play a major role in the everyday lives of ordinary Japanese citizens. People may visit shrine or temples on New Year and participate in local festivals, all in which hav religious (historical) background.

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As an island nation, Japan has flourished and bloomed into a well known nation full of old traditional and modern ways of life. One may find that the nation is some like any other nation; a rich and old history, recreation, and important holidays/traditions. The fact that Japan is no bigger than the state of California may surprise foreigners at best and that although it’s a nation with the tenth highest population, its population is slowly decline every year. Such rural and old historical seem to be present in Japan to this day, hopefully this country’s unique history shall never fade.


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