500-600: Buddhism is introduced to Japan. Currently, 70% of the Japanese population is Buddhists.
1274-1281: Shoguns who are military dictators rule japan. Shoguns successfully deter invaders from Japan.
1853: Mathew Perry, a United States commodore, arrives in Japan and demands that the country should start trading with the U.S.
1868-1912: Japan wins the war against Russia and China and becomes powerful and wealthy. This is under the leadership of Emperor Meiji.
1910: Japan acquires the Korean peninsula and rules it until the end of World War II in 1945 when U.S. and Soviet forces capture it.
1923: Tokyo and Yokohama are destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake, one of the nastiest in the World history. More than 140,000 persons lose their life.
1926: Japan gets a new emperor
1931: Manchuria, China is invaded by Japan.
1937: War against China starts
1940-1941: Japan allies itself with Italy and Germany in World War II. On December 7, 1941, a U.S. naval base, Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii is attacked by Japan.
1945: Japan surrenders after the U.S. drops atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
1964: Summer Olympics are hosted in Tokyo, for the first time in Asia.
1995: Central Japan is hit by a significant earthquake.
2001-2006: Princess Aiko, daughter of Crown Princess Masako, is born. Five years later, Princess Kiko gives birth to Prince Hisahito who is third in line to the throne.
2006-2007: Shinzo Abe held the office of the Prime minister.
2009: The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan becomes the governing party.
2010: China overtakes Japan as the second largest economy in the world.
2011: Tsunami coupled with an enormous offshore earthquake devastates cities. Several people are reported dead and missing. The country faces a looming nuclear disaster as a result of damage to a power plant.
2012: Shinzo Abe re-assumes the office of Prime Minister.
2013: It is reported that radioactive water is seeping into the ocean from the Fukushina Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
2014: Japanese Government approves a measure lifting a ban on weapon exports.
Japan is a self-governing island nation located in East Asia. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the east and north, by the Sea of Japan on the west, and by the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea to the south. it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest.
There are for distinct seasons in Japan:
Winter. It runs from December to February. The Northern and Central regions experience snow. Southern Japan is temperate and mild while the Pacific Coast is dry and sunny.
Spring. It runs from March to May. The rain is not too much while the temperature is warm but not very hot. During this time the cherry blossoms are out.
Summer. It runs from June to August. Rain pours for three to four weeks. Farmers plant their rice. During this season it is hot and humid, and the average temperature is 25.2 C.
Autumn. It runs from September to November. It is characterized by light breezes and cooler temperatures ranging from 7C to 10C. It is in this season that several sports tournaments, exhibitions, and music concerts are held.
Most families are like the American families in the sense that a married couple lives with their kids. In some instances, a grandparent lives with them. The father works away from home, while in some cases the father runs a family-owned business where the family is housed in the same building as the business. The mother fully bears the responsibility of the children, overseeing education, and managing the finances. It is very common to find children eating dinner without their parents particularly their fathers due to long working hours. It is mentioned that the only time kids take meal with their fathers is on weekends and special occasions.
In Japan, the law makes it mandatory for children to attend six years of elementary school and three years of junior high school. Students can continue for an elective three years of senior high school, and four years of university or two years of junior college. Over 90% of students graduate from high school and over 40% from junior college or university. There are more male students in the university, whereas in junior college female students are more. The number of students who complete both the junior college and university is comparatively low.
Since 1947, after the World War II, Japan is a democratic constitutional monarchy based on a parliamentary system. Japan's legislative body is the National Diet comprising the lower House of Representatives with 465 seats and the upper House of Councillors with 242 seats. The head of government is the Prime Minister who comes from the majority party. There are two main political parties, namely, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Japan comprises of 47 regions, each supervised by a voted governor, legislature, and administrative bureaucracy. Each area is further divided into cities, towns, and villages.
There are five types of courts: The Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts, Family Courts and Summary Courts. Supreme Court is the highest and final court. Japan is principally a civil law country. Japan upholds a vigorous legal framework for intellectual property and offers reasonably strong enforcement to right holders. The rights of intellectual property are highly recognized and protected.
Japan is a remarkably homogeneous civilization in which class variances were eliminated at the end of the last century. Japan is broadly known as a vertically organized, group-oriented society in which the rights of an individual take second place to those of harmonious group functioning. Social groups of all types in Japan often are described as family like; a robust sense of group unity is nurtured deliberately at school and work, resulting to an exceedingly developed cognizance of insiders and outsiders.
The population consists of 98.5 percent Japanese, 0.5 percent of Koreans, 0.4 percent Chinese, and the remaining 0.6 percent consists of all the other races and ethnicities.
The subcultures include Gyaru, Bosozoku/Hashiriya, Hikikomori, Otaku and Visual Kei.
Business Customs and Practices
In the corporate world of Japan, building relations is crucial. Trust, assurance, allegiance, and pledge are stressed. The process of decision-making is recognized from group level, and everybody is involved including the junior employees. Consistent follow-up is vital in the decision made. This is because this process tends to be sometimes relatively slow.
When doing business in Japan, you have to accustom yourself to giving gifts. Not only are they important, but also the way they are presented and packaged. During the introduction of new business partners, formalization is done through the exchange of business cards among the involved parties. Use of their last names acknowledges business relationship with Japanese executives. Middle names and first names do not portray a good picture. Greetings among Japanese involve bowing. However, shaking of hands is allowed and respected when they are dealing with executives from abroad. Foreigners living and doing their businesses there are expected to bow slightly when greeting Japanese businesspersons. This signifies respect for their culture.
Religion and Aesthetics
In Japan, there exists of a number of religious groups. Those that have the strong following are Buddhism and Shintoism though a significant number of the population recognizes both. In the day to day life of any Japanese, religion plays a negligible role. The full effect and role are only recognized during special and important occasions such as funerals, birthdays, holidays that are religiously based, and weddings.
The aesthetics of Japan stresses on the need to eliminate clutter. It opts to omit things that are not essential in favor of those are natural, plain and simple. This establishes simplicity. Asymmetry is recognized as the idea that has the power to control balance. Naturalness, where artificiality or creativity that is forced is not involved, is another core in Japanese aesthetics. Other components are tranquility; break from usual or daily habit, a subtlety that recognizes suggestion when compared to revelation, and austerity. Austerity portrays what is meant to be seen creates beautifulness through understatement
Diet and Nutrition
Japanese chiefly consume vegetables since meat was banned in the year 1968. This produced a wide range of plants that the population can choose from. Some of these are Tofu Steak, Natto, Mountain Vegetable Soup, and Soba. Apart from vegetables, rice and fish are an essential part of their diet. In their meals, these three are consumed in different form, way, and shape. Cases of malnutrition are rare since there is an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and pastries that are even abundant enough to be offered outside their borders like in France.
Work clothes among the Japanese comprise garments that allow natural movements in their daily routine. These clothes are similar to those that people wear in other countries such as jeans, sweaters, and pullovers.. National garments are rooted in the Japanese traditions. They are dressed during events that are special in the Japanese calendar and various festivals. The unique thing about these garments is that they are worn in a particular design and appearance in each season of the year. During spring, colors that are vibrant and floral designs are worn. Kimonos and dark fabrics are worn in winter whereas patterns alongside hues that are rustic are worn during autumn.
Recreation, Sports, and Leisure Activities
Japanese love sports and are involved in various sports and are very competitive globally. Some of the games they participate in are karate, golf, kendo, judo, football, ice skating, swimming, and soccer. Apart from these, the major sports that the majority of the population is involved in are baseball and sumo.
To have a good time and fun, they enjoy drinking, attending karaoke and dining with family, co-workers, and friends. Other activities that they enjoy are watching movies, shopping, and visiting entertainment spots like festivals, arcades, parks, and manga cafes.
Japan has health care policy not only for its citizens but also for foreign individuals who have lived there more than twelve months aimed at maintaining social security. The percentage of health premiums depends on how much an individual gets and the number of dependants in a household. When you are a Japanese employee, the government covers you and the expectation is that you only pay taxes that are related to social security only to Japan.
Japanese language is the official language and is spoken by the whole population which comprise of more than one hundred and thirty-five million people. The language has some sounds which are significant to differentiate different accents. It consists of four scripts in its writing. These are; romaji for alphabet related to Latin, katakana for words borrowed from other foreign languages, kanji for characters from the Chinese language, and hiragana for words that originate from Japan. Dialects spoken in the country are many. However, the major ones are two; namely Keihan-Shiki, and Tokyo-Shiki.
Impact on Buying Behavior and Purchasing Decisions
Someone keen retailing or shopping in Japan appreciates how Japanese specificities impact the consumer behavior. When compared to western shopping standards, Japanese peculiarities impact more on merchand...
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