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Unique Cultures Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

Japanese and Chinese both share great and subtle differences, from their diverse uses of food and religion, to their similarities in writing. After reading them, you should have a small understanding about the differences of Japanese and Chinese culture. So here are just a few of the things that make them so interesting

One of the most interesting differences between Japan and China would be their cuisine. So what is the difference between Japanese and Chinese Cuisine? This is a question that is hard to answer, mainly because China is a very large country, making its cuisines differ from area to area. China mainly cooks their food over a high flame with oil and often times, spicy ingredients. The main source of meat in China is Pork. Due to its large amounts of land, the fish eaten in china is also more often freshwater fish than saltwater fish for example, Yu Sheng, a Chinese fish salad, which is often enjoyed during the Lunar New Year. Rice plays a role in Chinese cuisine as well; as it is a main staple in most home cooked meals. Chinese fried rice is a popular component in Chinese cuisine. It is made with steamed rice, stir-fried in a wok (a round-bottomed cooking vessel, often used for stir frying) often served with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables and a variety of meat. China also uses rice to create a fermented rice wine known as Mijiu.

Japanese Cuisine on the other hand, depends heavily on the use of fresh vegetables and raw fish. The main meats used in Japanese cuisines are fish and pork. Japanese cuisine tends to have more subtle flavors which enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients. This is most evident in the cultures' choice of condiments. In Japan, the five basic condiments, from which most Japanese sauces are made, are salt, sake, mirin, shoyu (soy sauce) and dashi (fish or kelp stock), all which are light in flavor. Rice also plays a role in Japanese cuisine. Japanese rice is short grain and becomes sticky when cooked. Most rice is sold as hakumai ("white rice"), with the outer portion of the grains polished away. Unpolished rice is considered less delectable by most people in Japan. Japan also produces an alcoholic beverage known as Sake which is also referred to in English as a form of rice wine. However, unlike true wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting the sugar naturally present in fruit, sake is made through a brewing process more like that of beer. Sake is also used in some religious rituals.

Speaking of religion; it is another notable difference between the two countries. Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. They have co-existed for several centuries and have even complimented each other somewhat. Most Japanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both. Religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people today. The average person typically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies like birthdays, weddings and funerals. They may...

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