Japaneseand American Culture
Japaneseand American culture
Cultureplays a fundamental role in defining people, shaping theirtraditions, their lives and how other individuals view them. In theAsian culture, Japan is considered more western compared to otherneighboring countries. In fact, even if the two countries are locatedat the opposite side of the earth, there exist some similarities interms of culture as well as differences. However, no country can begeneralized because the cultural differences vary from region toregion within a country. This paper will present a persuasivediscussion will compare and contrast the American and Japaneseculture.
Inboth cultures, they emphasize on video and film as a form ofentertainment. For instance, in America, they pay attention toupcoming television premieres and new movie release. Similarly,Japanese culture, values the motion pictures as a form ofentertainment. They promote ‘anime’ that contributes positivelyto the animation industry. Just as Disney movies are popular inAmerican culture so does the anime films in the Japanese culture. Inaddition, both movie productions are viewed in both countries,creating a fundamental link their cultures (Konsky, Kapoor, Blue,Kang & Baldwin, 2001).
Japanesepeople just like American are nationalistic, and they embrace aParliamentary system with several political parties. In bothcultures, they love their country and value their history. Theindividuals in both countries are ready to die for their country, andthe leaders are quick to resign if they are engaged in makingpolitical mistakes. For instance, in Japan they have switched theirPrime ministers almost on a yearly basis since 2005. In America, anycase of corruption requires a leader to resign pending thedetermination of the Court of Law.
Thegreatest cultural difference that exists in those two societies isthe issue of gender. In America, women are respected and are treatedequally while in Japanese culture the society struggles with theissues of gender equality. American values contribution andproductivity of women in the society. They respect the rights ofwomen, and many institutions allow women to have time away from workduring childbirth. On the contrary, Japanese culture discriminateswomen and discourages them to have maternity leaves (Mizuno andMcAllister, 2008). They believe that during childbirth, women shouldquit working and concentrate on bringing up their children.
Japaneseculture is collectivist in nature where people aim is to belong to acertain group where they can assist one another. They shun individualcharacteristics and values and encourage the following of certainnorms associated with their group. On the other hand, American’sculture is an individualist culture where individuals are separatefrom others. They strive to meet personal goals and be the best ontheir own. Individuals deviate from norms and prefer expressing theirunique characteristics. However, those differences allow diversityand both cultures learn from the other making their customs andvalues more acceptable (Konsky et al., 2001).
Theissue of religion in Japan is different from an American standpoint.Konsky et al (2001) aver that Japanese religious identity is anchoredon Buddhist and Shintoist despite the presence of Christianmissionaries from the beginning of the 19th century. Christianity hasimpacted on Japanese religious identity. However, in Americareligious affiliation is of the essence to politician. There isalways a heavy debate on individual’s religious affiliation beforethey are elected in any political position. On the contrary, theissue of religion in Japan is not a typical debate.
Inconclusion, the cultural differences and similarities may vary evenin the same country. However, the diverse culture between the twocountries can assist the individuals to understand the divergentviews of their counterparts, and make those customs and values to beappreciated and acceptable in both societies.
Konsky,C., Kapoor, S., Blue, J., Kang, J., & Baldwin, J. (2001).Individualist-collectivist values: Caucasian, African-American,Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cross-cultural study. WorldCommunication, 30(3-4), 81-102.
Mizuno-Lewis,S., & McAllister, M. (2008). Taking leave from work: the impactof culture on Japanese female nurses. Journalof Clinical Nursing, 17(2), 274-281.