If we have ever had close contact with Japan, we have probably loved its culture, being a very wide territory in customs and traditions to offer the tourist in general. To speak of Japanese culture is to extend into many important areas in which its society excels, be it in music, architecture, gastronomy or clothing..
The emergence of Japan as a cultural current is due to all the immigrations that occurred in the Asian continent. Despite the fact that the entire transition that occurred in such a geographic space, it has very clear references to Chinese culture. Interpersonal relationships are considered one of the most respectful, because this nation is interested in leaving high the word and honor above all things.
General characteristics of Japanese culture
The Axial Era is the starting point to understand the culture of this territory. Did you know that conflicting ideas have always coexisted between the spiritual and the secular? It is so, because in Japan we do not speak of the inseparable dichotomy of body / soul, nor state / society or God / man. All these entities are separated from each other, even leading to Japanese culture as a “non-axis” according to Alan Macfarlanes.
The country is ruled by influences such as the Buddhism and Confucianism, with the arrival of other currents from the West. Thanks to this transmission of knowledge, Macfarlanes teaches us that Japan is totally different from other cultures around the world, for setting the standard in the separation of dichotomies that seem inseparable.
Absolutely all the general characteristics act separately: gastronomy, clothing, art, politics and religion are not related to each other, in the case of the same nation. However, if they are present frequently, without the consequences of their application affecting the other branches.
Japan does not put God above all things, as Western cultures do in their desire to worship a universal figure that governs our destinies. For them it is more important to maintain an unshakable harmony with interpersonal relationships among their citizens. They also don’t believe in karma or reincarnation, much in the soul / body separation process.
Japan is at the top in the plastic arts especially for painting. If we are in front of any pictorial representation, we will realize that the technique is quite simple and natural. In the Heian period they only produced paintings of a decorative nature in the infrastructures of the country. What we managed to highlight about the drawings is their narrative aspect, that is, each image contains a sequential story.
The Muromachi period emphasized romantic painting. Are you a fan of Japan and its art? Perhaps each painting of this style will make a pleasant impression, with allegories of nature with a great approach to reality. The Japanese did not skimp on complementary accessories such as gold or silver to enhance their creations..
It is a detached manifestation of Buddhism, with the ability to create objects similar to horses, people or very tall buildings. Buddhist thought had its heyday in the 5th century and, for this reason, the sculptures began to be famous throughout the Asian continent..
By then, the sculptures are simple with primary materials such as bronze or varnish. From the 7th century on, they stylized the work more to allow more originality in their creations. From bronze we move on to wood as a fundamental base to raise Japanese symbolism.
The Japanese are well aware that wood is a very strong building material. Its use is ideal to build large columns that at the end of the day overcome any earthquake by a superlative percentage. The façade of the houses is not what catches our attention, but the ceilings, due to their great rectangular symmetry.
It is influenced by Chinese architecture, but this time it is not as decorative as the one mentioned. Japanese society focused its effort on making the ceilings more attractive than the walls, because it provides more elegance if we observe a home from a considerable distance.
Customs and traditions
The culture of Japan is different from the rest, being the main reason why it draws our attention. Not being tied to any other cultural source, every feature found in this nation is truly attractive to tourists. The country concerned with beauty, aesthetics and good gastronomy has a lot to offer.
We have been surprised by the family communication that most of the members of any house in Japan have, however, it is important to highlight the role of men and women. The female is in charge of the care of the children, the maintenance of the residence, with limited work opportunities. The man is the economic support of the family, the provider with great responsibilities to get ahead together.
Japanese society is very formal in its way of greeting, bowing to each person who crosses its path. If we see this act as something too formal, for them it is extremely basic to do so, because it is synonymous with respect for the other. Do not be surprised if a citizen of this place greets you in the middle of the airport, because it is a custom ingrained from its origins.
The kimono and yukata are two of the typical costumes of Japan, with vibrantly colored figures to highlight the clothes that its citizens are wearing. Depending on the season of the year, women walk around in kimonos of all kinds of designs. The first garment mentioned is cheaper because it is made of cotton. Meanwhile, the yukata is shorter, revealing the legs of those who wear it.
One of its strengths comes through our palate. Rice is undoubtedly the base for many typical Japanese recipes. We have sushi, under an excellent combination of rice with fish or seafood in the company of vegetables that offer an additional flavor to what we are trying. This dish has traveled the whole world, so it is not surprising that we find restaurants dedicated to its production.
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