Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Spot the Japanese Culture
When you think of Japanese culture what comes to mind? First of all, you probably think of the traditional Japanese arts and religions such as flower arrangement, karate, or the New Years’ Festival. Alternatively, you may imagine the culture of clothing , food and housing. The Japanese house has are many unique features to such as tatami mats, sliding paper doors, and front halls with a step up into the house. While you would probably have to explain Japanese clogs, kimonos are well known worldwide and so are the loincloths worn by sumo wrestlers. Japanese food is also world famous, so that words such as sushi, tempura, and yakitori have become part of the English language.
All these things are “Japanese Culture” with a capital “C,” the sort of things that you can learn about at a “Culture Centre.” While These things are also very obvious, or visible, they are not all that common in the everyday lives of Japanese people. How often do you wear the clothes that these girls are wearing?
On the other hand, when it comes to things like primary school children's rucksacks, 'melon bread', heated coffee tables, the bidets inside toilet seats, and the "peace poses" of the girls in this image, then it is less obvious that these things represent Japanese culture. In fact, it is claimed that the greater part of culture, with a small c, is invisible to the people that spend their lives in it. So it is often people from other cultures, or people returning to their culture after having spent a long time away, that notice what is special about that culture.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.