Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Famous Japanese Culture

I think that the culture in every country is different from the ohter countries. The culture of the Japanese has long mystified many individuals. It has, however, evolved largely over the years. Today, this culture can be said to be a hybrid of sorts. If you look closely at Japan to examine the culture, then influences from America, China, Europe and even India can be seen. 
A perfect blend of convention, conservatism, modernization and the western thought, the Japanese culture proclaims to be one of the richest cultures of the world being deeply influenced by the cultures of Asia, Europe and North America resulting in the typical "hybrid culture". Japan, an island country in the North Pacific Ocean is believed to be the "source of the sun" or Nihon by its inhabitants where, the population consists of more than two million individuals, more than three quarters of which live in urban. The Japanese culture consists of characteristic features typical to the cultures of both the East and the West. A rich literary heritage occupies a place of predominance in the Japanese culture. Japanese is an agglutinative language and consists of presence of vast verities of dialects and scripts and is characterized by a distinct pitch system.

Majority of the people are comfortable with the use of the Tokyo dialect and is the standard form of spoken Japanese. Written Japanese is considered to be one the toughest languages of the world and uses Japanese phonetic symbols that represent sound as well as Chinese characters. "The tale of Genji" of early 1000's is considered as the greatest work of Japanese fiction. The history of Japanese culture is characterized by paintings which acted as an additional tool of the writers. Pictorial representations painted with works of literature added a special effect to the story and gave to the world painting techniques still being followed religiously by modern painters. The periods of 1100's to 1300's and 1300's to mid 1500's were characterized by long picture scrolls and black brush strokes respectively.

The calligraphic art or the "shodo", popularly known as the "shuji" is the art of writing stories, poems or single characteristics with strokes of a paint brush giving it an artistic effect. The earliest Japanese sculptures were haniwa or clay figures placed in burial mounds of important Japanese. The sculptures mainly used wood, clay and bronze and the bronze statue in Japan and the Great Buddha at Kamakura are the famous outcomes. The Ikebana or Japanese art of floral arrangements expresses the appreciation towards nature and color. Traditional Japanese musical instruments consist of the Biwa, Koto and samisen Japanese Culture consists of harmonious traditional Japanese music.

Many cities have their own professional symphony orchestras that specialize in western music. The no plays of 1300's,puppet theatre and kabuki plays of Japan have continued to attract people over hundreds of years while unconventional western plays are also popular. Japanese wear traditional kimono cloth or the "long wear" and are available in variety of colors and sizes for people of all ages and sex. The lighter summer kimonos are known as yukata. Japanese cuisine is sophisticated, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and dishes like sushi and teriyaki have become world-famous. Traditional Japanese martial arts, the samurai and judo still remain profusely popular all over the world while baseball, football, rugby etc. are also appreciated by the Chinese sportsman. A blend of tradition and innovation, the basketball games and the sumo wrestling, the Western-style clothing and the traditional kimonos, the hundreds of years old kabuki drama and the modern plays, and such other cultural diversifications co-exist like the buds in a floral wreath.

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