JAPAN

All About the Japanese Culture By: Morgan Gravely

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GEOGRAPHY

Japan is an island nation on East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, and Russia.

HEALTH

Diseases/Illnesses

Diabetes-The increasing number of diabetes in Japan is threatening the medical cost and the society. The number of diabetic patients now reached about 7 million patients.


Strokes- Strokes account for some of Japan's death. In 2011, 14.88% total deaths were due to strokes. Strokes are caused by smoking, old age, heavy drinking, etc.


Cancer- Each year, 280,000 men and 200,000 women develop cancer in Japan.

Healthcare

The Japanese healthcare system provides free screening examinations for certain diseases, infectious disease control and prenatal care. This healthcare is provided by both the local and the national governments. Payments for personal medical services are offered through an insurance system called universal healthcare.

Health Insurance

Japan has a structure of universal health coverage. How it applies to the individual will generally depend on different factors. These include whether you are visiting, working, or studying; your age, and other important factors.

ACTIVITIES

Leisure/Everyday

Anime/Manga- Japanese culture has its own unique forms of comic books and animation. Manga (comic books) and anime (animation) are extremely popular in Japan. Children and adults read manga and watch anime.


Karaoke-Karaoke (empty orchestra) is a popular social activity. There are also Karaoke "clubs", which resemble hotels in that they have private rooms for groups of people. They are immensely popular with the people of every level of social standing.


Sports- The most popular sports in Japan are sumo wrestling and baseball. Martial arts and other types like it are popular too.

FOOD

Nutrition

The Japanese are known for using very fresh ingredients in their cooking. They prefer using fresh, seasonal foods for their meals, buying it the same day it will be cooked. The Japanese are also famous for their skill in arranging food so that it looks beautiful. The people of Japan live long lives and have a low rate of heart disease because of healthy eating habits.


Rice- Rice, either boiled or steamed, is served at every meal. 8,000 pounds of rice are consumed by Japan every year.


Noodles- Noodles come in many varieties. Among the most popular are soba, thin brown noodles made from buckwheat flour; udon, thick white noodles made from wheat flour; and ramen, thin, curly noodles, also made from wheat flour .

Sushi/Sashimi- Two uniquely Japanese foods are sushi (fresh raw seafood with rice) and sashimi (fresh raw seafood with soy sauce); both rely on freshly caught fish or seafood.

Holiday Foods

New Years- Japanese New Year's food is called osechi-ryori, and colorful dishes are packed in layers of lacquer boxes, called jubako. The kinds of osechi dishes prepared at Japanese homes vary from region to region. Common dishes are kobumaki (simmered kombu rolls), kuromame (simmered black soy beans), kurikinton (mashed sweet potato with sweet chestnuts), tazukuri (candied dried sardines), and so on.


Japanese Girls Day- Common food for hina matsuri (Japanese Girls Day) are chirashizushi, sugar-flavored sushi rice vinegar with raw fish on top and a variety of other ingredients; clam soup served in the shell; and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake.

ALCOHOL DRUGS AND TOBACCO

Alcohol- Drinking plays an important role in Japanese society. Drinking parties, typically held at restaurants, are a common activity that are used to strengthen both social and business ties. A large variety of alcoholic beverages can be found in Japan. 60% of problem drinkers are salaried businessmen who claim that getting drunk with clients or coworkers is part of their job.


Drugs- In Japan they are very strict on drugs. According to statistics compiled by the health ministry in February, 0.4 percent of the Japanese population aged between 15 and 64 years old have tried stimulants at least once in their life.41.9 percent of Americans have tried marijuana at least once in their life, compared to 1.2 percent of the Japanese population.


Tobacco- There are lots of smokers in Japan. Most people smoke for leisure. Around 350 billion cigarettes are consumed every year. Per capita cigarette consumption is 2770 cigarette per year, compared to 2,350 in the United States, 1,791 in China and 2,058 in France. But smoking is in decline. The smoking rate in Japan hit an all-time low of 19.5 percent in 2010, down 3.9 percent from the preceding year according to Japan's health ministry.

FAMILY/RELATIONSHIPS

Family

Family Structure-Most families in Japan today are nuclear families, such as we have here in the United States, and in North American generally. That is to say that a married couple lives together with their children, perhaps with one grandparent. But for the most part, the Japanese family today looks much like the American family.


Family Roles- In the Japanese family today, the roles of mother, father, child, and grandparent are in some ways very much like the contemporary American family. In many families, the father goes out to a job — that is, does not work at home, though of course there are many family-owned businesses where the family may be living in the same building where their place of business is.It is common for the mother to bear the full responsibility for raising children, overseeing their education, and also managing the family's finances.

Relationships

Dating- Among Japanese teenagers the most basic way of starting to date someone is by giving them a “kokuhaku” or love confession. This sounds a bit creepy but it’s not so much telling someone you love them but rather the Japanese way of letting them know you like them and asking them out. One thing that is very different in Japan is that it is not uncommon for a woman to ask a man out.


Marriage- The average age that people get married in Japan has increased over the last sixty years. Men typically marry at age 30 and women at 28, mostly due to an increased number of young people working. Many people also opt not to marry at all for various reasons. Also, family pressure to marry has decreased and without that pressure, many people do not feel the need to support a family.


Pregnancy- The vast majority (or, approximately 99%) of women who carry pregnancies to term in Japan are married. The majority of these women stop working once they become pregnant.[7] Japanese women are required by the Maternal Child Health Act to register their pregnancies with the local government, and encouraged to be vigilant of their pregnancy by utilizing the Maternal and Child Health Handbook (boshi techo) distributed upon registration.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE JAPAN?

I chose to study the culture of Japan because I already know a lot about Japan. I know a lot about the language and popular hobbies, but I don't know a lot about the health and drug use aspects in Japan. Japan has many differences when compared to America and i wanted to find out what they were. By doing this project I have discovered and learn about the amazing culture of Japan.