Japanese Traditions the Western World Can Learn From
Countries from around the world often try to copy Japanese culture. Japan has a history of very healthy habits – as evidenced on the international stage in 2018, when their supporters voluntarily cleaned up stadiums after matches during the World Cup. The Japanese society was also one of the earliest to recognise the importance of balanced nutrition in the diet, and their martial arts are model of dedication and honourable living. There truly is no way of life comparable to Japan.
Japan invented over 50 ancient martial arts. Karate and Jujitsu classes made their way to the Western World over the centuries. Martial arts teach discipline, improve muscle suppleness and quicken mental reactions. Such skills can be seen in the Hollywood blockbusters like The Karate Kid, but Japanese culture should not be restricted to media stereotypes. Functionality and efficiency are a huge part of the way of life but there is enough time to relax. Japan brought Zen meditation to the rest of the world. Zen is a type of Buddihist prayer based on relaxing the mind and body. Japan is known to the West as a routine and regimented culture, particularly in schools, but a this also fosters a peaceful way of life even in bustling metropolises. Therapeutic group activities are a key part of the socialisation of young adults, away from the modern influences of social media and celebrity culture. Ikebana and tea ceremonies are still held traditionally important by many people.
The Japanese Psyché
The typical Japanese diet is often regarded as the healthiest in the world. Each meal is based on rules of five for colour, cooking techniques and flavour. Steamed fish, rice and vegetables are the main staples of the cuisine. Regular meals in a set schedule are important to its people. It’s no wonder that Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country in the world. Everything down the houses and technology is deeply thought through and delicately crafted. Traditional huts are one of the simplest forms of shelter and yet most innovative. The flooring is raised off the ground to prevent dampness and flooding during heavy rain. Most homes have an entrance hall called a genkan where its inhabitants can meet guests and take off their shoes to put into a getabako (shoe cabinet). Japan is a refreshingly open-minded, equal society. Critics argue there are more opportunities for people in Japan than in many Western cultures. Those who make it to the top of their profession in Japan have generally excelled at what they do through their own focus and determination rather than inherited status or privilege. Japanese people are not prevented from having careers in typically Western sectors, despite being viewed as a collectivistic culture. For example, Shinji Kagawa, a footballer from the sixth largest city in Japan, stood out for his well-executed technique while playing in the J-League for Cerezo Osaka and was later signed by Manchester United. Takahiro Koshikawa, an egamer from who goes by the gamer name “Sitimentyo”, is part of the team that won the 2019 Call of Duty World League.