Japan is an island country and only about the size of California, and much of the land it has is mountainous terrain. When I think of the Japanese culture, a few things come to mind such as Hiroshima, Geisha, sushi, and the Samurai.
“Samurai (SAM-er-eye) were Japanese warriors who were revered for their skills as warriors, but also for their distinct influence on Japanese fashion. Samurai first appeared in Japan as early as the eighth century c.e., but they truly rose to power in the eleventh century as elite warriors in service to their feudal lords, or daimyos. Other samurai served as guards of the imperial palace. The samurai were accorded special status after about 1600. They alone had the privilege of wearing two swords, they married only among their own class, and they passed their privileges on to their children. The word samurai literally means to be on one’s guard”. (encyclopedia.com)
“Geisha (芸者?), geiko (芸子) or geigi (芸妓) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers”. (wikepedia.org)
These are some fun little facts that I wanted to share with you.
Now on to the cultural differences between Japan and the United States.
Do you ever wonder when you go to eat, how much of a tip do you give. I think there are determining factors in this. Are the waiter or waitress happy to see you, do they check back with you often enough, do they get your order right, is the food cooked the way you like it? So do we pay 18%, 20%, or if you are really impressed with your dining experience do you pay more? We here all over the internet about people leaving hundred dollar tips. In Japan tipping is very rarely done, in fact it can be considered an insult.Be prepared to have your tip returned to you. Waiters don’t usually stop by tables to ask customers how the food is and what their weekend plans are.
We are considered the Melting pot of the world, there are so many different cultures that make up our great country. The population in Japan consists of about 98% ethnic Japanese with the biggest minority groups being Korean and Chinese.
When we greet someone it is most common to shake hands. When we make a business exchange, it used to be that golden handshake that sealed the deal. Now days everything is done with lawyers but the handshake is still custom. In Japan, they bow. Sometimes it is just a nod of the head and a slight incline of the back. In business the Japanese bow deeper.
With our country having such a religious diversity it was interesting to learn that even with Christian missionaries being present in Japan for hundreds of years they have held true to their religious beliefs which are mostly Shintoist or Buddhist.
I loved doing research about the cultural differences between our countries. I find that Japan would be an amazing place to visit.