Japan’s Unique Culture, Geography, Entertainment, and Religion

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In this informative paper I will go over the intricate geography, culture, entertainment, and religion of Japan. This small introduction into Japan’s culture is only a taste of what this small country has to offer, with its traditional society becoming a hotspot for tourist activity, and for good reason.

The geography of Japan is quite a complex subject with the many forms it takes, as the majority of Japan is split into three different islands; Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. As well as nearly 4,000 smaller islands in-between them, almost four fifths of them covered in mountains. Japan’s form of government is known as a Parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy, which means that a monarch figure can have ceremonial duties and not much else while the executive branch of government has the direct or indirect support of the parliament.

For this country to run it would be imprudent not to mention the role of their language, Japanese, which contains three alphabets all to itself! They are as followed; Kanji (logographic Chinese characters), Hiragana (a phonetic Japanese alphabet), and Katakana (a phonetic alphabet used for foreign words), all of which were developed to be the modern language between the years of 1603 and 1868. Lastly, the total population of Japan is about 127,103,388 people and growing.

Japan has some of the most complex and immersive culture that the world has to offer, from its traditional ceremonies and customs to its everyday rituals that are commonplace in the lives of its inhabitants. Though these are not often known by outsiders, it is encouraged and appreciated when an effort is taken to go along with the traditions placed In front of them as a sign of respect. One such tradition is their sacred tea ceremonies, which when participated in can be considered a meditative experience.

For an outsider to be invited to such a ceremony is a great honor and not one to be taken lightly as the ceremony is taken very seriously and proper etiquette must be displayed. One such other tradition is the act of gift giving. Whenever you are meeting with a business associate it is proper to have a well wrapped gift to give to them at the end of your interaction. But be advised not to give gifts in bundles of four, it is seen as bad luck as the pronunciation of four is very similar to the word death in Japanese. Lastly, when offered a gift strongly object it as it is polite and seen as humble. Afterwards accept the gift as it would be rude to decline the gift any longer as the giver did pay for or make the gift themselves.

The entertainment that Japan produces is one of its most well known qualities, reaching as far out as America into the realm of television and video games. If one does not care a great deal about Japan itself, they can at least be appreciative of the content they produce and market to America as the popularity of some companies based in Japan have such a large standing audience for their products here that they are practically required to make an English translation for whatever they make. As many cultures do they have their own television entertainment, the most popular of which is known as anime.

The presentation is commonly in the form of a cartoon but is often not appropriate for young children as it sometimes contains adult themes and complex stories. The exceptions are popular shows that have even aired on American television programs such as Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Dragon Ball Z, all of which I myself watched as a child. To mention the gaming industry of Japan however, would an insult to its success as seen by Nintendo and Sega. While Sega has lost popularity with few strong titles besides sonic the hedgehog, Nintendo is still running strong and jumping to new heights, much likes it mascot Mario.

Religion in Japan is often one of the most overlooked features it has for show to tourist and outsider perspectives, but still has the same level of importance as anywhere else in the world. The two major religions practiced are Shinto and Buddhism, the first as old as Japanese culture itself whiles the other was imported from the mainland in the 6th century. I will do my best to explain the main ideas and differences between the two of these as we move along.

“Shinto” is a word meaning “way of the kami” which means “way of the God”. The primary beliefs focus on the power of their gods and how they shape the world and nature, mostly in and out of Japan. Buddhism is focused on the prospects of karma and rebirth, believing that there is an afterlife and that one can achieve the state of nirvana (inner peace), the final goal of Buddhism.

In conclusion, Japan’s unique culture, geography, entertainment, and religion are some of the most special and exclusive to be found in the world, one can hope that we ourselves may visit such a palce.


Cite this paper

Japan’s Unique Culture, Geography, Entertainment, and Religion. (2021, Mar 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/japans-unique-culture-geography-entertainment-and-religion/

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