Japanese Culture


The Japanese do not eat a huge variety of food; mostly rice, fish, sushi, and soups. In schools, children are fed this same basic meal everyday, and Japanese children are taught to eat every bite of their food so that it may not go to waste.


In Japanese schools, responsibility and respect are of the utmost importance. Many things are expected of young learners in Japan, such as:

  • Bowing to their teacher at the door
  • Cleaning up after school (no janitors)
  • Studying independently when the teacher is absent (no substitute)
  • Only 5 weeks of summer vacation with extensive homework
  • School on Saturdays
  • Studies are number 1 priority
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Japanese dating is a lot like western dating, only slightly more formal. In Japan, PDA is considered rude and inconsiderate to those around you, not as a "showing off of your partner". Japanese custom dictates that the physical relationship wait much longer than is typical in the West. When two people are interested in one another, they engage in what is known as Gokon, or a "group blind date" with a group of friends in which they are together but not considered dating. After the relationship advances, they have a "confession of dating", or Kokohaku, in which the partners make it official that they are dating. In America, this is somewhere between the professions of "I like you" and "I love you".


When choosing a partner for marriage, there are a few commonplace roles that are upheld. In marriages, the husband tends to be more educated than the wife. A man does not want a more educated wife, nor does a wife want a less educated husband. Typically, as is similar in the West, the wife takes up household responsibilities. In the West, those roles have shifted to equal if not completely changed partners, but in Japan, these practices are still expected, which makes Japanese women unhappy to be unable to share the household responsibilities.
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In the West, 18 years of age is considered legal adulthood, with almost all freedoms and responsibilities projected upon a child. In Japan, legal adulthood age is 20, the age in which they can drink, smoke, and vote. On the second Monday of every January, the Japanese have a "coming-of-age day", in which they celebrate everyone who turned 20 that year.


Japan is obviously an isolated place, and their history would suggest that they prefer staying wholly and undeniably Japanese. The 21st century Japanese society is a bit more diverse than what it used to be, but it is not the melting pot that America claims to be. Citizens of Japan that are born a mixture of two races (Japanese and something else) are given specific names to identify their own race. People who are born a mixture of Japanese and another race are required to claim loyalty to one country or the other by their 22nd birthday. Japan bases its birth citizenship by ethnicity rather than birthplace, another way to keep Japan Japanese. Groups of nationalist-led protests have spoken out about open hatred for other Asian cultures. In short, Japan is one of the least ethnically diverse countries in the world, and continues to take political and social measures to ensure it stays that way.


The tea ceremony is one that is very important to Japanese culture. It is a system of choreographed movements of making and serving green tea. To the Japanese, this ritual shows the graciousness and consideration of one's host to their guest. Everything in the ceremony takes the guest into consideration, which shows the host's graciousness toward the guest. It is not commonly used anymore, but it is one of the most important to the Japanese culture.


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