Japan is an island nation located in the East Asian region of the world. It is an archipelago consisting of around 3,000 islands and is called as the "Land of the Rising Sun." Japan is considered an economic power in the world and as such it is a developed country with high standards of living. You will never cease to be amazed by the rich culture that the Japanese have to offer. If you haven't been to Japan and you haven't really read up on it and you want to go on a vacation there, here are some little facts that might help you enjoy this country a lot more.
- Japanese Food - You've seen the market for Japanese food anywhere you go. From Brazil (where they have close ties), Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines and almost anywhere in the world there are always Japanese restaurants catering to people who have a craving for Japanese food. You are probably familiar with one of their signature dishes, which is called "Tempura" (seafood and vegetables). Tempura was actually introduced to the Japanese by the Portuguese in the 16th century but is now Japan's most famous dish internationally. There is also sushi, sashimi, soba, ramen, tonkatsu, etc. Check out www.japan-guide.com for a very comprehensive and informative list that you should take note of. Japanese cuisine has penetrated the international market like French cuisine has and is one of the most popular cuisines out there.
- Japanese Religion - Japan has two major religions: Shinto & Buddhism. Shinto follows the concept that all men are universally good and evil is caused by evil spirits. Buddhism actually originated from India and was only brought to Japan in the 6th century from the friendly Korean kingdom of Kudara. Shinto is actually native to Japan while Buddhism is not but these two have learned to co-exist and sometimes complement each other.
- Japanese Clothing - Traditional Japanese clothing comes well represented in the Kimono. Japanese men and women have worn kimonos ever since the 5th century when the Chinese brought the kimono styles to Japan.
- Japanese Dance - Kabuki is a form of Japanese dance. This type of dance is done on stage and is theatrical. It is a mixture of folk dance and religious dance but a sensual one and most of its audience's way back were males. It was known that most of the dancers were involved in prostitution. Noh Mai is another form of dance. This is a mask dance and also has many types of dancing. Bon Odori is a dance for welcoming the spirits of the dead. The Nihon Buyo is a refined dance that is really intended to be performed on a stage.
- Japanese Family - Japanese are very traditional in the sense that a woman's role as a wife is just to support the husband and it has restricted women's rights. The cornerstone of a family was the husband and his role as breadwinner is really established.
Japanese culture has made its mark in several other countries like the Philippines during the World War II and in Hawaii where they are an influential ethnic group - One fifth of Hawaiian nationals are Japanese in ancestry. The Japanese possess strong patriotic feelings and are also very loyal in nature. They are a very honor-bound people who are very proud of their heritage and their accomplishments.