?? Japanese Culture ??

?? Japanese Culture ??

Well the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony is soon and I cannot wait till the next! It has been so exciting and cool to see so many atheletes in one place! I chose Japan for my RVE project because it’s hosting the next olympics in 2020. Japanese culture is complex and interesting. It differs greatly from what we see in Australian culture. From holidays to food to clothing. Here is my page about the cultures of Japan and the interesting things they do.

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Differences:

Japanese culture is different to us because they have their main religions, which are Buddhism and Shinto, and we have mainly Christianity in Australia. Shinto is a very unique religion and is as old as Japanese culture itself. The gods are called kami. The kami are sacred spirits taking the form of things and concepts that are important/essential to life like wind, water, rain, mountains, rivers and fertility. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu is considered Shinto’s most important kami/god. Temples and shrines are placed almost everywhere and they believe in many different gods, like greek/roman ones. Christians only believe in one, which is God. If they want to do good on a test they give offering to their god of learning, if they want to get out of a money problem they give an offering to their god of fortune. Shinto shrines are places of worship and the dwellings of the kami, the Shinto “gods”. Sacred objects of worship that represent the gods are kept in the innermost chamber of the shinto shrine where they cannot be seen by anybody. Torii gates are at the entrance of the shrine, usually wood that is painted orange and black. Shimenara is a straw rope found on torii gates signifying something sacred (the shrine). Shimenara are also worn by yokozuwa (high ranked sumo wrestlers) in rituals. Ema have wooden plates on them where you write your wishes and hope they come true from the kami’s power, like getting a good grade by writing on an Ema plate in the kami of Education. Komainu are sculptures that guard the shrines. Inu means dog. They are usually dogs unless it is a Inari shrine (for the kami of rice) which there are foxes, not dogs. There are stages at some for performances of the kagura dance and noh theater. Near the entrance there is a purification trough with clean water fountains for cleaning hands and mouths before approaching the shrine. There are usually a main hall and an offering hall in a shrine building. 

Also, they address each other differently. For example:

Sama (様【さま】): 神- (Translation: God-sama) You would use this to address people superior to themselves or people they admire. It shows respect to that person. To use it on yourself in showing extreme arrogance. You also address, apart from the emperor, you can call the rest of the imperial family “___-sama“. When addressing the emperor you always use “Heika (your majesty)”. Failure to do so is very rude.

Chan (ちゃん): This is used as something to say that they think a person/animal/thing is cute but can be used in multiple ways. For example: (Hello Kaede-chan!) “こんにちは 楓 – ちゃん !”. Kaede (楓) is a unisex name (meaning maple), this could be a boy or a girl but we are implying they are cute or we are saying hello to a friend. In general, chan is used for babies, young children, grandparents and teenagers. It may also be used towards cute animals, lovers, any youthful woman, or between friends. Using chan with a superior’s name is considered to be rude. Also, if you use this on somebody you barely know it can be considered harassment and very rude. 

Kun (君【くん): This is used by people of higher/older status to younger people, or used by anybody when addressing male children/teenagers, when addressing a male they have known for a long time or emotionally attached to or by male friends in social groups.

Also their population is 147 million and Australia’s is 22 million, they have a fairly monocultural society and almost no mineral resources. Japan was not settled by Europeans and Japanese is their native language. Japan did start some wars with other countries in the past. Their main diet is fish. Australia is a democracy, Japan is a constitutional monarchy (according to my dad).

Similarities:

We are similar in the fact that we are both first world countries, have a low birthrate, an ageing population and highly urbanised societies.

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