Japan is a fascinating country with many different aspects to it. From their religious beliefs to the recipes they eat and even how people dress- Japanese culture is one of the most interesting cultures in the world.
Its rich traditional culture dates back hundreds of years, with an amazing history and beautiful traditions. There is so much to learn from the Japanese culture and incorporating it into your life. Besides, so many people plan on studying in Japan, setting up a business, or working there.
So, it is essential to learn about their culture, customs, social norms, etiquettes, and native rules. In addition, the culture offers exquisite cuisine, rich historical culture, and an intricate language involving Kanji, Kana, and Katakana. In this article, we'll explore some interesting facts about Japanese culture.
Interesting Things About Japan Religion
Japanese religion is a big part of their culture. The Shinto religion is the traditional belief system in Japan, and it's still practiced today despite being overshadowed by Buddhism at some point. As a result, the two religions now co-exist peacefully, and many people practice both.
Shinto does not have a founder or scriptures. People don't use propaganda and preaching either because Shinto is deeply rooted in Japanese people and century-old traditions. Shinto gods are called kami. Kami are spirits that take on the form of important things to life, for example, wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers, and fertility.
Moreover, When someone dies, they become a kami and be honoured by their family. Not all people can become a kami, but some kami get an altar at shrines just for them. Buddhism came from India in the 6th century. It comes from the teachings of Siddhartha, who is also known as the Buddha. Besides, it is considered one of the oldest religions, and people have shrines at home.
There are many branches of Buddhism, but Mahayana or "Greater Vehicle." Buddhism was imported to Japan in the form of a present from Paikche (Kudara), which is a kingdom near China and Korea. Today, about two-thirds of the Japanese people are Buddhist.
Best Japanese Literature You Need To Read
Japanese authors write about stories that are different from any other. They make words and emotions come alive in their story. You will be inside the world of Japan when you read their literature.
It is about people, not just heroes, and they tell the stories of common men and women too. The Japanese authors are popular for some great pieces of literature. Some have been awarded the Nobel Prize for their work.
List of Japanese Books to Read for learning Japanese Culture
These Japanese books are a work of art and are considered to represent old traditions and cultural aspects of Japan. They are famous in the country and all over the world for their important messages after World War.
Moreover, they also show the struggles of the people of Japan in the old time when they were recovering from the bombings. Many written arts are known as masterpieces of the literary world.
Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami
This is a really short story about a waitress who is working as usual even on her twentieth birthday. However, her life will take a strange turn on the same day. The reader interprets the story in so many ways. Besides, Murakami has several other books that are every reader’s delight.
A Midsummer's Equation, by Higashino Keigo
The book is full of mysterious and thrilling stories about the adventures of physicist Yukawa and his friend Yochimu. They both help in solving cases that are hard.
Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
This novel is about a young man and his relationship with his sensei. It shows the change in their dynamic after learning some new things.
Read Japanese Manga
Japanese manga is for those who love detailed graphics and an engaging story. You may try the Vagabond Manga series to enjoy the adventure of a swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi.
Besides, it also signifies Buddhism, Shinto, and medieval Japanese culture.
All About Japanese Food
Japanese food is one of the most important cuisines in the world. Traditional Japanese food has developed over time, with influences from Chinese and Korean cuisine. Besides, people know that Japanese people prefer vegetables and seafood. The different types of dishes reflect the different regions of Japan.
People often think of sushi when they think about Japanese cuisine, but their other dishes are also really good. Apart from the rich cuisine, Japanese people are known for their tea and the traditions surrounding it. People these days are obsessed with Japanese matcha tea, which is rich in antioxidants.
Besides, the people of Japan take tea traditions and rituals very seriously. It is more than just a hot beverage to them. The tea is a representation of tranquillity, purity, respect, and harmony. As a result, even making tea is like art to them and still holds power in modern Japan. We can say that the rich cuisine and tea are a huge part of the culture and signifies old times.
This is one of the most popular dishes that represent Japanese culture. There are different types of sushi. Some people prefer to eat them because each type has a different taste. One type is called Nigiri-zushi that has a piece of rice with some wasabi and an ingredient on top. Popular types include tuna, belly tuna, yellowtail, and shrimp.
Ramen is a staple for most Japanese native people. It is filling and versatile with toppings such as roast pork (chasu), seaweed (nori), boiled egg, and green onions. People cook ramen by pouring boiling water over the dry noodles, then adding salt to taste.
These are deep-fried dumplings that are filled with vegetables or pork. They are served with other dishes or dipped into soy sauce-based dipping sauces like shōyu and miso.
Shabu-shabu is a boiled dish made at the table. Each person chooses the ingredients of their own food, such as meat or vegetables. It is usually cooked in boiling water and then dipped into sauces such as ponzu, sesame sauce, or soy sauce. Sometimes they can cook cold meat too. There are many kinds of shabu-shabu dishes depending on where you are in Japan.
Inspiration for Tattoos In Japan
Tattoos are popular in Japan. There are several tattoo styles to choose from and many different meanings behind them. It is important to know the meaning of a design before getting a tattoo. Each Japanese tattoo has its own set of symbols, and if you change one symbol, it might change the whole meaning of your tattoo.
Tattoos may be seen as a symbol of strength and courage in Japan because they have been around for centuries. These tattoos are done using a wooden stick and a needle attachment. Some of the tattoos are freehand; therefore, they have unique details.
It is believed that the Ainu people started tattooing. They did this to prepare their body for the afterlife. Other tattoos were also made to make them look better, like dragons and other things from Japan. The designs have changed over time. But you will find many tattoos that have an old-style from long ago in Japan.
Some of the most famous Japanese tattoos include foo dog, cherry blossoms, dragons, Japanese women, snakes, cranes, and letters in Kanji. Before getting a tattoo, one should do thorough research and understand the true meaning behind the native tattoos.
Best Japanese Anime You Should Watch
Anime is a type of animation that is popular in Japanese films. It was started in the early 1900s, and people all over the world enjoy it. There are more than 200 anime series on Netflix. Both adults and kids can enjoy Anime films and series. Anime is known for the details in animation with large-eyed characters, representing windows to the soul.
Moreover, anime is more than just cartoons as it represents the Japanese culture and years of hard work. They have striking stories that are emotional and have different messages for people. In 1920, Japanese filmmakers started to use techniques that were already established in Europe and the United States. In the beginning, anime was not as popular as other animation studios in the world.
To make their work more interesting than other studios, the filmmakers got creative with limited resources. This made their work different from others and a trademark of Japanese animation today. Some of the best anime include Ghost in The Shell, Akira, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Wolf Children.
Learn more about Japanese Culture on Superprof
Now you know where to start when learning about the old and modern culture of Japan. These are some of the most important aspects of the country. Moreover, you may research and learn other things such as language, cooking Japanese cuisine, writing in Kanji, and calligraphy art.
For this, you will need a professional teacher who is an expert in all things Japanese. Superprof is a reliable platform to find such teachers and learn in your free time. The website offers first demo lessons free and on-demand classes as per your schedule.
With the right information, you will be prepared to travel to Tokyo and enjoy the traditional aspects of the country. Don’t forget to indulge in the cuisine, tea, and trying kimono when in Tokyo.