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Turning Un-Japanese - article


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#31 ananag112

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

Same thing happens everywhere. I went to India 2 years back to see my cousins (I go there around once every two-three years) and I was amazed how "American" India is now. My cousins go to Pizza Hut, TGIFridays, and other "American" food stores. They play the latest computer games and use the computer a lot. They wear Tommy Hilfiger, Ecko, and other "american" clothing as well. The entire world is becoming like America for better or for worse.
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#32 Duo_Maxwell

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:14 PM

Japanese culture is quite young compared to many other cultures. Japanese culture is also a Hodge Podge of surrounding countries (most notably, CHinese influences, but also Korean and others). What seems to separate Japanese culture is the sense of "honor". Even then, their sense of honor is quite bizarre, as it seemed to be treated almost like a commodity that could be traded, bought, sold, etc.

While the patriarchy of Japan isn't exactly uncommon throughout the world, the thing that separates Japan's patriarchy from the rest of the world is that the older you get, the more respect you automatically get. Regardless of accomplishments, an elder demands more respect than a younger person. I can't really think of another culture where age is a sole determinant of respect. Typically, it's experience or merit that garnered respect.

Both of these seemingly bizarre and outdated traditions still play a large role in current day Japanese culture.


I assume you mean modern Japanese culture, becasue I'm curious as to how a country with a history of roughly 30,000 years since settlers first appeared has a very young culture. Even if you look at the fact that they really didn't keep historical records or documents in writing until the 5th century or so that's still not very young for looking to a country's culture (perhaps compared to some eastern cultures though). Also the idea of honor is not something bizarre only to be found in Japanese culture (though it may be the only one that kept it so much into modern times). Chivalry was a Europeon cultural ideal that was an honor code, and was often dealt with as a commodity in the eyes of some (I dunno that this was done in anceint Japan that much either).Ithough as the saying goes it's now dead and died a couple hundred years ago probably. Also I think you overestimate the respect for the elders thing, while as a cultrual ideal it's big (they even have a holiday, now that's bizarre), in reality it's also dwindling. Japan has had a growing homeless problem for about 4 or 5 years now, the majority of which are 50+ years old IIRC.

#33 kakomu

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:19 AM

capitalist_mao,

What is it that you do for work?

Last year of college, therefore, no work.

I assume you mean modern Japanese culture, becasue I'm curious as to how a country with a history of roughly 30,000 years since settlers first appeared has a very young culture. Even if you look at the fact that they really didn't keep historical records or documents in writing until the 5th century or so that's still not very young for looking to a country's culture (perhaps compared to some eastern cultures though). Also the idea of honor is not something bizarre only to be found in Japanese culture (though it may be the only one that kept it so much into modern times). Chivalry was a Europeon cultural ideal that was an honor code, and was often dealt with as a commodity in the eyes of some (I dunno that this was done in anceint Japan that much either).Ithough as the saying goes it's now dead and died a couple hundred years ago probably. Also I think you overestimate the respect for the elders thing, while as a cultrual ideal it's big (they even have a holiday, now that's bizarre), in reality it's also dwindling. Japan has had a growing homeless problem for about 4 or 5 years now, the majority of which are 50+ years old IIRC.

30k years ago? I looked it up. 25000BC was when cavemen appeared. Any culture that appeared that long ago certainly was swallowed up as science, culture and religion evolved. That's like attributing any culture that appeared at that time to current day residence. I'm sure that a lot of Arab Iraqis don't particularly identify with Mesopotamia, nor does a lot of the Middle East particularly identify with the Jews of ~4000BC.

So, yes, Japanese culture that I refered to was modern, insofar that the past 500 or so years isn't particularly ancient. That being said, Japanese culture is still HEAVILY borrowed from surrounding countries, like China. Honor, by itself, isn't exactly bunk (we see it in Rome, Germanic tribes, England, etc). HOweverl, Buying, selling and trading honor IS weird (which is why I made references to a veritable bartering system of trade).
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