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Transcript of Japanese Culture
When writing in Japanese it can be written in a Western style, which would be horizontal rows or traditional style, which would be vertical columns. Both of these styles in writing Japanese co-exist today. The language lacks distinction between plural and singular articles. For someone learning the language, it is difficult to speak due to the accent but the pronunciation of words can be easier to pronounce. There are several words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings, which can be a challenge for learners of the language.
In Japan there are three different main character sets known as Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana(the Latin alphabet and Hindu-Arabic numerals are occasionally used).
Aibo (Robotic Pet)
Roughly half of all households in Japan are made up of a two-parent family and children.
Mothers and their children are especially close.
Japanese mothers seldom confront their preschool children. Rather, they attempt to appease the child and foster an intimate, dependent relationship. The purpose of this approach is to get the child to comply willingly with the mother's wishes and to shape behavior gradually over the long term. Another goal of early training is to instill in the child a deep sense of responsibility to the mother and family. This becomes an important factor in developing motivation for school achievement in Japan.
The Japanese believe that the home should be a relaxed place where children are free of constricting requirements for emotional control and good behavior expected in formal social situations. Early childhood training includes attention to manners and proper social behavior required outside of the home, but there is little actual exposure to group situations beyond the family until the preschool experience.
Much of a mother's sense of personal accomplishment is tied to the educational achievements of her children, and she expends great effort helping them. In addition, there is considerable peer pressure on the mother. The community's perception of a woman's success as a mother depends in large part on how well her children do in school.
Attitude Towards the Elderly
Old age ideally represents a time of relaxation of social obligations, assisting with the family farm or business without carrying the main responsibility, socializing, and receiving respectful care from family and esteem from the community
In Japan, 64.8% of the respondents said that they would take care of their parents in their old age if they were financially able to.
It was then followed by 25.2% of respondents saying that they would 'take care of their parents in their old age regardless of the circumstances
4.4% saying they would 'leave them to their own resources and/or social security.'
Additional types of schooling
Special School ( K- High school)
College of Technology ( 1st yrs High school - Associate Undergrad)
Medical, Dentistry, Vet, Pharmaceutical Schools ( Undergrad - Masters)
National Defense Medical College ( Undergrad - Masters)
National Academy ( Undergrad )
National Academy ( Masters )
Community College /Vocational School ( Undergrad - Associate )
National Defense Academy ( Graduate - Ph.D)
Medical, Vet, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Schools ( Graduate - Ph.D)
3 Things American teachers should know about Japanese students:
Kindergarten (3 - 6 yrs old)
Elementary School (1st - 6th grade)
Junior High School/ Lower Secondary School (1st - 3rd yrs)
High School/ Upper Secondary School (1st - 3rd yr)
University Undergrad ( to get Assosiate and Bachelor degrees)
Gradeuate school ( Masters Degree)
Graduate School (Ph.D)
School Life for Japanese Students
Kimonos are usually designed to match the seasons and they are also designed for different occasions. Also, when babies are born, they are dressed in different types of kimonos-if it is a girl, she is dressed in a white under garmet, and a bright yuzen(which is a died kimono); if it is a boy, he wears a black kimono with the family crest on it.
In Japanese, these tea ceremonies are called Chanoyu, Sado or Ocha. It is a choreographed ritual ceremony of preparing and serving Japanese green tea called Matcha. Traditional Japanese sweets are also served with the tea to balance out the bitter tea.
Bonsai is a Japanese art form using small trees grown in containers. This Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and the purpose of Bonsai is usually for contemplation and the enjoyable practice of effort and ingenuity.
Origami comes from two different words: "ori" meaning "folding" and "kami" meaning "paper". The goal of this art form is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a completed art piece through folding and sculpting techniques. If cutting or glue is involved, it is technically not considered to be origami.
Sushi is a Japanese food made up of cooked vinegared rice, also known as "sushi rice", combined with other ingredients, usually raw fish or other seafood.
Sake is an alcoholic beverage from Japan made from fermented rice. It is sometimes called "rice wine" and in Japan "Sake" usually refers to any alcoholic beverage, not just the American idea of Sake.
Pokemon is a Japanese video game that is published and owned by Nintendo and was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Pokemon has become the second most successful video game-based media in the world, only second to Nintendo's Mario.
Aibo is a series of robotic pets that are designed and manufactured by Sony. New models of Aibo were produced every year until 2005. Although most Aibos looked like dogs, others looked like lion-cubs and space exploration.
Hello Kitty is a Japanese fictional character produced by the company Sanrio and was first designed by Yuko Shimizu. This character first made an appearance on a vinyl coin purse that was introduced in Japan in 1974 and was brought to the United States in 1976.
Anime is an animated Japanese production that is hand drawn or uses computer animation. In Japan, "anime" refers to all animation while in the US, the term is defined as a Japanese-disseminated animation style that is often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastic themes.
Godzilla is a daikaiju (Japanese giant monster). Godzilla first appeared in Ishiro Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. The monster has not only appeared in films, but has also been in video games, novels, comic books, and television series. Godzilla is commonly referred to as the King of Monsters.
Kanji are adopted Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese writing system. The Japanese term “Kanji” for the Chinese characters translates into “Han characters”.
Hiragana is a Japanese syllabary and is a Kana system, along with Katakana. A Kana is a character and represents one Mora, which is a sound in the Japanese language. Because the characters of this Kana don’t represent single consonants, except for “n”, the Kana are referred to as syllabaries and not alphabets. Hiragana is used to write the native words for which there are no Kanji, and is also used to write Kanji words that are too strange.
The words “katakana” means “fragmentary kana”. This may be because the katakana characters are from the more complex components of kanji. Katakana is another kana system(along with Hiragana), but unlike the Hiragana syllabary, the katakana syllabary is mostly used for the transcription of words from a foreign language into Japanese. It can also be used to emphasize, to represent onomatopoeia, and to write certain Japanese language words(mostly scientific and technical words).
The two main religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shintoism. Buddhism is usually involves controlling lust and anger and is associated with funerals and graves. Shintoism on the other hand involves venerating nature and weddings.
The Buddha, or “the enlightened one,” was born as Gautama Siddhartha in what is today Nepal in the fifth or sixth century B.C. He achieved enlightenment under the Bodh Gaya tree at age 35 and spent his life teaching across central India until his death at age 80, receiving the honorific title Sakyamuni, or “O-Shaka-sama” in Japanese.
Central to Sakyamuni’s teaching was that the universe is always changing, including our psychological identities, meaning there is nothing humans can truly call “the self.”
Buddhists believe a deep understanding of this is required to dispel the basic causes of suffering. Compassion for all sentient beings is another deeply held tenet.
Shinto — the backbone of Japan’s cultural identity — is an ancient system of animistic beliefs and customs.
In popular belief, Japan is the land of Yaoyorozu no Kamigami (the 8 million gods). Among them are a vast pantheon of deities with well-defined personas. Perhaps most important is Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and legendary ancestor of the Imperial family.
But in the words of author Motohiko Izawa, any entity possessing “uncommonly wondrous characteristics . . . such as a cedar that has lived a thousand years or a river that has long provided people with water” may assume divine status as well.
In Japan having one dominant culture is unlikely due to syncretism. Syncretism is when people practice multiple religions and it is very common in Japan as it is defined as blending Shinto and Buddhism. However, in more recent times, Christianity has started to play a role in Japan and plays along next to Shinto and Buddhism. Scholars define religion in Japan as “Born Shinto, Marry Christian, Die Buddhist”.
Christianity in Japan is among the nation's minority religions. Reports of the number of adherents differ, but most estimates are that approximately one percent of the population claim Christian belief or affiliation. Nearly all known traditional denominations of Christianity, including Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodox Christianity, are represented in Japan today.
Christianity in Japan
1. Japanese people generally have very little knowledge about other countries.
Japanese people generally have very little knowledge about other countries, so your cultural references are likely to flop. They are familiar with very mainstream Western things – namely Disney, Johnny Depp and The Beatles – but if you’re going to talk about anything from celebrities to recent news events, it’s best not to assume any common knowledge, or stick to Japan-based references.
2. Your students might be much shyer than you expected.
Small children are usually not as shy, but as people get older they become more and more afraid of making a mistake, meaning that your questions might often be met with a wall of awkward silence.
Of course, there are a number of reasons why you might find your students saying nothing. You could be talking too quickly, using a lot of slang and phrasal verbs (e.g. give up, take out, work out) or a strong accent that they’re not used to.
They don't like to give direct opinions.
Your culture might value an assertive person, who isn’t afraid to say what they think, but Japan has different ideas. Even the most diplomatic confrontation is seen as unpleasant and highly undesirable. This makes classroom activities like debates pretty hard; asking any direct question – from “What do you think the government should do about this?” to “Who’s the best singer in Japan?” can cause a student to close up.
Some say it comes from Buddhism, but confrontation is not valued in Japan. A Japanese person will typically say “I’m not completely sure, but maybe…” when they mean “no”
Fathers were described as spending the most time with their daughters in the years between infancy and lower elementary school
The two periods at which daughters thought the father-daughter relationship was closest were those of the preschool and college years.
The most common descriptors of a "good father" were gentle, reliable and family-centered
A "bad father" were physically rough, abusive when drinking, and stubborn
How the Japanese view Parent-Child Relationships
These questions were to ask respondents for their opinions regarding a parent-child relationship. In Japan, a total of 67.6% of the respondents either agreed (13.1%) or tended to agree (54.4%) with the idea that 'One should follow one's parents' opinions as much as possible,' which surpassed the percentage (31.0% in total) of the respondents who either tended to disagree (20.2%) or disagreed (10.8%).
Japanese martial arts is the enormous variety of martial arts native to Japan. At least three Japanese terms are often used interchangeably with the English phrase "Japanese martial arts": "budō" literally meaning "martial way", "bujutsu", which has no perfect translation but means something like science, art, or craft of war, and "bugei", literally meaning "martial art."
By: Cheyenne Stone, Taylor Katsarelas, Amy Lindberg, and Mariah Jones