Japan is a country with a long history and has nurtured a variety of cultures.
Among the various Japanese cultures, some are more exposed and known, but there are still many parts of the culture that are not well known.
I hope this article will help you find a new interest in Japanese culture and enjoy it.
- 1 Language
- 2 Religion
- 3 Japanese name
- 4 Japanese history and people
- 5 Japanese mentality / manner
- 6 Folklore and mythology
- 7 Japanese Cloth
- 8 Japanese food
- 9 Japanese architecture
- 10 Japanese living
- 11 Japanese Events
- 12 Japanese Entertainment
- 13 Japanese sports
- 14 Japanese art and literature
- 15 Japanese subculture
- 16 Japanese Work / Work Style
As you know, In Japan, Language is mainly used in Japanese. It uses a combination of hiragana, katakana and kanji.
In addition, foreign words derived from English are favorably used and gave rise to words called Japanese English(和製英語).
The majority of religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism.
Therefore, there are so many shrines and temples in Japan, and famous shrines and temples have become tourist attractions.
Japanese surname has long history and each surname has meaning.
Japanese history and people
There are many unique characters in Japanese history, including shoguns, emperors, ninjas, and samurai.
Japanese mentality / manner
There is also a concept that is considered to be a unique Japanese temperament.
There are many aspects that shape Japanese communication, such as manners like bowing (Ozigi in Japanese) and concepts like "honne to tatemae".
The Japanese also have a culture of shame and humility.
Folklore and mythology
As is the case in other countries, there are various legends and folktales handed down in Japan.
In addition, many Yokai(Mystical creatures) also appear in the folktales handed down in Japan.
Japanese traditional cloth
Traditional Japanese costumes include kimonos, kimono, and yukata.
In the modern era, various fashions became popular such as fast fashion, foreign fashion, unique Japanese styles such as Harajuku-kei, and subcultures such as gyaru, cosplay, Lolita, etc.
Fashion became more diverse.
Japanese food is also famous overseas. There are many Japanese restaurants overseas.
Wagashi (Japanese suites)
Not only in the field of cuisine, but also in the field of sweets, there are areas that are unique to Japan.
Daifuku, Mitarashi dango, Uiro, and Yokan are all types of Japanese sweets.
In Japanese cuisine, there is a unique manner of eating. The use of chopsticks is one example.
In Japanese architecture, traditional techniques are passed down from generation to generation.
Japanese traditional architecture
In many parts of Japan, houses have been built using building materials that have long been used in the local area.
Shrines, temples, castles, and private homes are built in a style unique to Japan.
In addition, the use of Shoji, Byobu, Noren (Each are type of screens) and Engawa (Veranda) are often used to create unique spaces in Japanese architecture.
Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), European architectural styles and techniques have been introduced, and Japanese architecture has undergone major changes.
Until recently, most houses were made of wood, but nowadays, reinforced concrete and steel-framed houses are becoming more common.
Japanese traditional crafts
Traditional crafts have generally been used for daily life.
Unique traditions have been created in various local area of Japan as a result of local people's ingenuity in adapting to the nature, history, industry, and traditions of the region.
Traditioanal daily essentials
There are many traditional Japanese daily necessities that are still in frequent use today.
Tatami, zabuton (Japanese floor cushions), mosquito coils, kotatsu (Japanese table heater), etc. are all used on a daily basis in Japan. (But this may be rare in situations where young people live alone.)
There are many different events in Japan. Some events are unique to Japan, while others are Western events arranged in a Japanese style.
Annual Events in Japan
Each month in Japan, various events occur. Here's some example.
- Jan: New Year related events
- Feb: Setsubun, Valentine's Day
- Mar: Girls' Day(Hinamatsuri), White Day, Graduation
- Apr: Entrance Ceremony
- May: Golden week (Holiday season)
- Jun: Fathers day
- Jul: Star Festival (Tanabata)
- Aug: Bon Festival (Obon)
- Sep: Fall equinox
- Oct: Halloween
- Nov: Shichigosan (Shrine visit by children aged 3, 5, and 7)
- Dec: Christmas,
In addition to Japan's annual events, each region also has its own unique festivals.
Many of the festivals that have been held in Japan since ancient times use Mikoshi to worship the gods.
Traditional entertainment includes Noh, Kyogen, Kabuki, and Rakugo.
New forms of entertainment such as theater and comedy (Manzai, Konto, etc.) are also on the rise.
Japan has its own unique form of gambling, such as pachinko and horse racing.
Restaurants and Drink
In Japan, there are many unique styles of restaurants, such as izakaya (Japanese style pubs) and ryotei (Japanese-style restaurants), as well as many places that have become popular as fast food, such as gyudon (beef bowl) restaurants.
Sightseeing / Travel
Since hot springs have taken root as a recreational activity, there are many places in Japan that are famous for hot spring tourism.
In addition to hot springs, there are many other famous sightseeing spots in Japan.
Fun activities and games
There are many traditional games in Japan such as Sugoroku, karuta, hanafuda, otedama, taketombo, etc.
Japan has four rich seasons, so people enjoy different activities in each of the four seasons.
People enjoy gathering wild vegetables in the spring, swimming in the sea in the summer, changing the leaves in the fall, and skiing in the winter for example.
Mountain climbing can be enjoyed all year round.
In the modern era, People now enjoy a variety of games. There are various contents such as video games.
Japanese video games are spreading all over the world, and Pokémon and Animal Crossing are among the most famous games.
Traditional sports in Japan include sumo, kendo, jujitsu, kemari, karate, and many others.
Japanese art and literature
Japanese literature has a long history, and there are many different types, including haiku, willow, and waka.
There are many types of Japanese art. In the field of painting, for example, there are calligraphy, ukiyoe, and Suibokuga (ink painting).
Japanese crafts and ceramics
In the field of crafts and ceramics, traditions are being created in a variety of areas, including maki-e, pottery, lacquerware, and Japanese dolls.
Japanese performing arts
In the field of performing arts, traditions have been created in various fields such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Japanese dance, traditional performing arts, etc.
Types of music
Various styles of music have emerged from Japan, from old music such as Gagaku (ancient Japanese court music) to folk songs, enka (traditional Japanese songs), and J-pop.
Japanese musical instruments have also developed over the history.
Koto (Japanese harp), shamisen (three-stringed instrument), and wadaiko (Japanese drum) are some of the Japanese traditional instruments.
From Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" in 1950, to "Departures" in 2008, to the films of Studio Ghibli, Japan has produced films that have been highly acclaimed overseas.
Japanese Manga & Anime
Japanese manga and anime are famous all over the world. In addition to various translated books, anime is also broadcasted on Netflix and other streaming services.
Horticulture in Japan is a field that has developed its own traditions. Bonsai, in particular, has become famous overseas.
Horimono, Japanese tattooing, ,is also an art form that has developed over the course of history.
You might heard of the name of Otaku, Gyaru, Cosplay etc. These are Japanese subculture.
There are a lot of subculture from Japan.
Japanese Work / Work Style
There are many Japanese companies that are active in the world, such as Toyota, Shiseido, and Uniqlo.
Job Opportunitiies for foreigners
Japanese companies are beginning to actively invite foreign workers to their team and deal with globalization.
The Japanese work culture is unique and foreigners might need to learn etiquette rules in Japan.
"Nemawashi," is the word for a method of negotiation in which interests are coordinated in advance through informal meetings, and "Dango," is a word for a method of solving problems through discussions by upper management.
Karoshi (Overworking death) is often problem in Japan.
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