Japan is a country that’s globally known for its multifaceted and intriguing culture – which can be traced back thousands of years ago. What even makes it more interesting is the dynamic state of the society that involves continually and rapidly shifting fashions, fads, and technology developments to the edge of boundaries. If you are interested in knowing more about this country, perhaps before deciding to visit it, read several compelling facts about Japanese culture below.
Interesting Facts Related to Japanese Traditions, Culture, and People
Dig slightly deeper of the culture of Japan and you’ll find there’s a lot of material to explore – even from seemingly mundane everyday things. Some of them are summarized in the following list of Japanese culture facts:
You most likely have known about the Japanese language, the national and everyday language of Japanese people. It is derived from ‘Kanbun’ or old Japanese, which rooted from China and can be found in ancient Japanese text. During the 8th century, Japanese used ‘Kojiki’ – a written language that’s mainly utilized old Chinese character.
The Japanese language known today was developed throughout the Edo period (approximately at 1603 – 1868). It occupies three alphabets: The Hiragana (phonetic writing), the Katakana (phonetic writing for foreign vocabularies), and the Kanji (Chinese logographic writing). The Katakana is developed and widely used today as the country adapts Western words, ideas, and cultures in the recent decades.
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Religion is an unseparated part of Japanese culture. Two primary religions in Japan are the Shinto, an authentic religion of Japan and the Buddhism, which imported from Chine during the 6th century. A recent survey found that there are 39% Buddhist, 3.9 Shinto, and 2.3% Christian in today’s Japan.
The influence of China could be easily seen on the early Japanese culture. That being said, Japan practiced a rigid policy of isolationist against the rest of the world on the Edo era, which birthed the distinct Japan culture on its own.
The fall of Edo era in the year of 1868 led to the adaptation and practices of foreign culture by the Japanese. Nowadays, it is not hard to find Western influence on lifestyle, food, and art on Japan.
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Traditional Japanese family unit is referred as ‘Kazoku’, and it consists of father, mother, and children. The Kazoku typically live with the parents of father or mother, although this family-related tradition becomes rarer by days.
Japanese families traditionally live in a home with unique elements. Some of the traditional distinctive elements in their homes are including ‘fusuma’ or sliding door, ‘butsudan’ or ‘kamidana’ which are the shrine or altars inside the house, and ‘tatami’ mats.
Japan is a country that consumes a lot of seafood, particularly fish. Japanese consume approximately 12% of caught fish in the world and also comes as the biggest fish importer nation.
The heavy fish consumption on the cuisine side of the Japanese culture leads to ‘sushi’ being the most famous dish from this country. It is a dish that involves fresh cut fish, seasoned rice, and seaweed. Beef, pork, and poultry also play significant role in Japanese everyday diets.
The biggest celebrated holiday in Japan is the traditional New Year. However, there are a lot of other celebrations based on Japanese traditions. For example, Matsuri is a celebration to thank the gods of the land and sea which held on spring and summer.
Other widely celebrated event in Japanese culture is Omiyamairi or Hatsu Miyamairi – which roughly translates to shrine visits. It is a family tradition to express gratitude for newborn baby. The babies are brought to the shrine of Shinto by their parents or grandparents 33 days after born (for girl) and 31 days after born (for boys).
Another instance of popular celebration in Japanese culture is Coming of Age Day or Seijin no Hi. The purpose is to welcome people who have turned 20 years old as it is considered as the age where someone enters adulthood. It takes place annually on the 2nd Monday of January. This celebration has practiced since 714 AD in Japan for royal prince with customs of changing hairstyle and dressing in new robes.
Some of the famous Japanese sports are sumo, karate, and judo. As the country adapted other cultures, soccer and baseball are quite popular there as well.
Sumo is deemed as the national sport of the country. Until these days, it is practiced mainly in Japan. This branch of sport was created on Edo era and the modern version of it has been gone through several modifications.
The country of Japan is worth to visit and remains beautiful during four different seasons. Spring visit provides you with pink cherry blossom scenery, summer visit offers lush greens landscape, while you’ll enjoy the ambience and tranquility of autumn and winter. Whether you are interested in roaming through the metropolitan areas or rural regions to explore Japanese culture, you can always count on Airpaz.com, or you can use Airpaz apps to book your flight ticket or reserve a hotel room as your traveling accommodations.