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Comparing The Cultures Of The United States And Japan

1069 words - 5 pages

I chose to compare and contrast the United States culture with the culture in Japan. There are a few similarities between the two, such as a love of the arts, fashion and baseball. However they are more culturally different than similar in very major aspects.
Japan is a very homogenous society made up of about 98% ethnic Japanese. They tend to put a lot of emphasis on family and communities, and value the group more than the individual (Aliasis, 2013). The social hierarchy important and members of the society are expected to conform. One way is showing respect for one’s elders, for example the oldest member of a group is served first and their drinks are poured for them (AngloINFO, 2014). ...view middle of the document...

As for work life, most Americans keep it separate from their personal lives. Promotions are usually based on merit rather than seniority, and it is not uncommon for people to change what company they work for several times (Alisasis, 2013).
Another big difference between the two countries is their positions on gun control and ownership. In the United States, the second amendment states that it is the "right of the people to keep and bear arms”. This right is highly valued by many Americans and it is fairly easy to purchase a gun. The gun ownership rate in the U.S. is the highest in the world. In America there are thousands of fire-arm related deaths each year, and hundreds of those deaths are caused by a gun accidentally going off. However, in Japan gun ownership is almost unheard of. They have strict gun control laws and can only purchase shotguns and rifles. It is a long, drawn out process that includes several classes, an exam, mental health & drug tests, and a background check. Once one becomes a gun owner the fire-arm is subject to police inspection once a year and the owner must re-take the class and exam every three years. Japan has the second lowest murder rate in the world with almost none of those deaths occurring from shootings (Fisher, 2012).
Religion is another major area where the United States and Japan differ. Religion influences the culture and politics of our society in the U.S. Although there are many different religions practiced here, the majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians. In Japan the two main religions are Buddhism and Shintoism, and religion does not play a big part in most people’s lives. (AngloINFO, 2014).
There is a lot about Japan that I already knew about, such as the crazy street fashions to be seen in Tokyo, and that they have novelty cat cafes. Also that the Japanese pop culture is full of anime cartoons and comic books, arcades, and Hello Kitty merchandise, which are loved by children and adults. In doing research on the culture in Japan I did come across a few things that I was not aware of that stand out for various reasons. For instance, I find it fascinating that in Japan...

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