Essay Example on Japanese Culture: Exploring Ancient Traditions and Modern Flux

Published: 2022-12-26
Essay Example on Japanese Culture: Exploring Ancient Traditions and Modern Flux
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Social activities Cuisine Asia
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1382 words
12 min read


The Japanese people have a fascinating culture with traditions dating thousands of years ago. A rapid flux in technology, however, has led to a shift in aspects such as fashion and thus making Japan a multifaceted culture. The Japanese religion, customs, social conventions, sports, foods, and drinks reflect a multi-cultural environment. Regarding etiquette and traditions, the Japanese perceive greetings as formal and ritualized. They consider impolite when people introduce themselves to large gatherings. The culture further requires them to introduce a visitor (gaijin) since they perceive unethical for foreigners to introduce themselves. The locals shake hands for greetings while the traditional style is a bow. Their culture, in this regard, requires visitors to slightly bow after shaking hands since they do not understand the subtle behind this form of greetings (Guide, 2004).

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The dining etiquette, require visitors to remove their shoe and preferably place them in a doorway. If invited for dinner, a person should arrive on time and no more than five minutes. When it comes to dressing, they require business attire to be conservative. While women are to dress conservatively, men should wear dark-colored traditional business suits. The Japanese link their ideas about food to culture and other aspects such as the natural world, changing seasons and bounty of the land. The Japanese Cuisine, in particular, is a traditional food that must be prepared in any festival and other social gatherings. Cuisine diet consists of rice and miso soup and seasonal ingredients that depend on the occasion. Historically, Taoism and Buddhism are the two primary philosophical and religious traditions that shape Japanese foodways (Bestor, 2012).

Haru in the garden is one of the Japanese cultural festivals that happen in Phoenix, and it takes place during the cold months when the attendees can wear shorts without being too affected by the heat. The cultural event mostly involves the people in Phoenix by presenting them with the opportunity to learn and enjoy rich Japanese traditions. The festival has high-quality materials on display to depict the standards set by the Japanese. They strongly respect and hold their cultural practices highly. The main reason why Haru in the garden is conducted is to entertain the Japanese way.

Culture/ Views/ Beliefs

What I learned about myself is that I have been lucky enough to experience different cultures and now have a better understanding of what it feels like to be Japanese. I usually appreciate other peoples' cultures, opinions, ideas and way of doing things and being in Haru gave me a personal connection with the people in this community. The different food types were amazing, and most of them were local, and their ingredients were healthy for the body. This aspect changed my attitude that the Japanese are conservatives and hence stick to the traditional non-nutritious foods that cannot meet one's dietary needs.

My culture is American, and particularly identity associated with the indigenous groups of people who lived in the country before the European colonization. I believe it is one of the best, and it is distinct based on the way activities are done and how people conduct themselves. A stranger who has never experienced this Japanese culture will find it fascinating, and it is common to find people asking many questions about why a certain thing is being done (Rudi, 2019). I have come to realize the need for appreciating the beliefs and values that have molded me to become the person I am currently. It was great to see other people paying a lot of respect for their way of life and traditions. I wanted to understand the history of the culture and the meaning of the dances they were making. My daughter was happy about the cultural event, and it shows that the Japanese are great people. However, one downside and disappointment is that the Japanese dancers did not perform as it was advertised online.

Learning About a New Culture

I came to understand that the values and beliefs they hold are quite different from what most Indigenous Americans believe. I learned that the Japanese religion is more of Buddhism although it has other religious groups such as Taoism. I found that when they are engaging in a celebration, their attire does not hold much significance, but they focus on the type of food. However, I noted that the Japanese culture is firmly holding its traditional values together and despite the changes and trends in the modern world, the substance has not been eroded. The fact that the dishes being served and the genre of music being played are traditional is a testament that the culture has held the Japanese people together and taught them what the past generations were doing and they can all relate with each other (Phoenix, 2019).

The culture presents the people who attended the event with the opportunity to learn new things about Japanese culture and help in passing the values, ethos, and beliefs to the coming generations. Maintaining value is one thing that I have taken from this cultural event, and I can use it in my education career. In my field, I will encourage people to appreciate other individuals' beliefs and make an effort to learn new things (Phoenix, 2019). Appreciating that one is worthy irrespective of what others value about you is one important aspect I took. Gollnick and Chinn (2013) assert that it is necessary to study other peoples' micro-cultures ro understand where they belong besides their backgrounds. Looking at the culture, the traditional Japanese food and souvenirs, it would have been easy to dismiss them and their value. It was clear that the Japanese were happy to practice their culture and ensure that it is carried from one generation to another. In my career, I will never permit anyone to undervalue me, but I shall always stand by my principles and other people have to accept how I work for that is how I am. I will do the same for others.

What I have learned

The study of the Japanese culture has changed my viewpoint about the way of life in Japan. While their culture seems conservative, the Japanese are gradually shifting from dressing codes that define their culture. However, they have retained critical aspects of their culture ranging from relationships, communication, religious beliefs, foods, and festivals. I noted that the Japanese greetings are ritualized whereas that of Americans is either formal or informal. I have learned that it is sound for a foreigner to be patient and polite while interacting with the Japanese. The reason is that their culture value respect based on one's social status. As a visitor, an individual should be keen on the etiquettes underlying the Japanese culture since they are meaningful and ritualistic. Some of these aspects are dining, gift giving, dressing code, communication, and relationships.

I have gained insights into the Japanese culture from the event. The first concept that I have learned is the need to respect other people's cultural beliefs and practices. Globally, people are from different backgrounds that define who they are and explains why they do things in a certain way. The other concept that can be taken from this event is the importance of willing and being ready to understand other people. The Japanese are quite different in various ways to the indigenous Americans, but my daughter and I managed to enjoy the show for we respected their way of doing things. These two concepts are making the viewers learn that there is a lot of information that people can know in this world and understanding the different cultural practices is crucial to appreciate cultural diversity and the differences that are depicted amongst people in the world.


Bestor, V. L. (2012). Discover more about Japanese Culture and Society. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. Retrieved 4 25, 2019, from

Gollnick, D. M., & Chinn, P. C. (2013). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society. Pearson Higher Ed.

"Guide to Japan." (2004). Japan- Language, Culture, Customs, and Etiquette. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from

Phoenix. (2019). Haru in the Garden - A festival Welcoming Spring. Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. Retrieved from (2019). Haru in the Garden 2019. A festival welcoming spring. Retrieved from

Rudi. (2019). Haru in the Garden - Japanese Friendship Garden. Retrieved from

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