The small island country of Japan is rich in a culture that has developed over thousands of years. It is very difficult to analyze another culture without some knowledge of that culture first. During my two year residency in Japan, my eyes were opened to the culture of Japan and its people and I grew to love it as much as my own. (The ideas expressed in this essay mainly consist of my own knowledge and observations of Japan). The Japanese are a very traditional people. But this should not be confused with a primitive people, because the Japanese are not primitive by most dictionaries' definitions of the word. Japan has been changing in recent years in its view of its own economy, in its social interactions, in its thoughts about religion, and in its overall view of its place in the world and among other nations.
For the past decade, the Japanese economy has been one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world. In analyzing why it has been so successful, several factors must be considered. First, the education system of Japan is one of the highest ranked in the world. The reason for this is that Japanese children go to school and study more than students in most other countries. The school year lasts for 240 days and each school day is very long. Furthermore, most students go to "cram schools" to study even more after the regular school day is over. This is all in preparation for the college entrance exam (Morton, 251-255). Some people have also said that this prepares Japanese youth for their future in companies with jobs that require great dedication and 80 to 90 hour work weeks.
This dedication of Japanese employees to their work contributes greatly to the strength of the economy of Japan. They feel like they are part of a big family (the company). Employees work together for the benefit of the company as a whole. They truly feel that their hard work and success contribute to the company's success and growth. Companies also have special programs and classes for the employees, who are the children, to make them feel at home. There are company athletic clubs and cultural classes, such as flower arrangement and the tea ceremony. Since everyone is a member of the "family" in Japan, decisions that the company must make are circulated among the lower echelons of the work force for their opinio...
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...a well-organized priesthood. Although its view of the world is quite different than that of Shinto, the optimism that the two share causes them to mesh well.
Christianity is also present in Japan, but only about 1% of the total population is of the Christian faith. In spite of the low percentage of Japanese Christians, many people have Christian weddings in Japan now.
Finally, comparing Japanese culture to American culture is a very daunting task. Japan is a country which is thousands of years older than the United States. Although one might think the Japanese seem to be nothing like Americans, they are outwardly very much the same. For example, the Japanese listen to music, watch movies, play sports, and go to work and to school the same way Americans do. But it is the "kokoro," which is the mind and soul, of a Japanese person that is truly different than that of an American. This "kokoro" is something that can not be easily explained or understood. It is an awareness which one slowly receives as he or she is truly immersed in the culture of the rising sun of Japan.
Morton, W. Scott. Japan, Its History and Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994 Read Full Essay Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper
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