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How Is Japanese Culture Distinguished From American Culture?

935 words - 4 pages

What is culture? Dennis Coon, the author of "Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior," defines culture as " an ongoing pattern of life, characterizing a society at a given point in history." This means that a set of beliefs, values and behaviors are shared by the members of a society, which make them distinct and unique from others. In this short essay, the Japanese culture will be compared and contrasted to the US culture in order to manifest its uniqueness and distinction. Learning such culture may provide information and less culture shock as one intends to travel or migrate abroad.Generally, it can be said that Japan and USA are similar in some ways. This includes both countries as developed and industrialized countries. In the west, USA is considered as the leading country that greatly influences the rest of the countries in terms of economy, fashion, and movies. In the east, Japan, creates a great impact in the world's economy as well through the manufacture of quality cars, such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, etc. Japan and USA are important trade partners and political allies. There is no need to worry about massive deterioration of mutual trust in the near future. In addition, both cultures have great influences in food industry. USA is known for its hamburgers, fries, and steaks while Japan is known for its sushi, sashimi, green tea. It has become so popular that whenever one eats a hamburger, one automatically connotes American culture or when one eats sushi, one thinks of the Japanese culture.Often to some Americans, coming to Japan and adjusting life in Japan can be difficult, since even the most mundane things could be done differently than they would have been done in the U.S.. So here are some basic facts of life in Japan.When entering a Japanese home, one is expected to remove his shoes before stepping up from the entry area into a Japanese home known as the "genkan.". In the "genkan," one must change from outdoor shoes into indoor slippers. It is good to remember to step out of one's shoes, and step into the house proper, turn around, kneel or bend down, and turn the outdoor shoes around so that it is facing the door, ready to be slipped into again when one leaves the house. This behavior is also required in many traditional Japanese restaurants, department store dressing rooms, and temples. It is pertinent to mention that wearing clean socks is a necessity since one will be taking off his shoes often times whenever one enters homes or some restaurants.In the U.S., many people carry their lunches in lunchboxes and small portable cooler bags, but in Japan, people use Bento boxes, which are prepared lunches, sold in every convenience stores...

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