Thursday, January 1, 2009

Project: Critical Thought on Japanese Society, People and Culture

Young Malaysians growing up studying their own nation’s history. The history about our ancestor’s struggle for independence and also the cruelties they had experienced during the Japanese occupation. Since from young, we had been told that Japanese are cruel people. However, I do not think this way. We must let bygone be bygone. In this project, I will try to look into the Japanese society from different aspects based on my personal experiences and stories told by others.

In the aspect of attitude, what I can see in Japanese society today is they are very polite and well-mannered people. This is proven in some Japanese drama, they bow to the person when greeting and thanking each other. I had an experience in communicating with Japanese when I was working in Japanese and western restaurant last time. They spoke limited English. And I could not converse in any Japanese language at that time. Although I only using body language when taking their food order, they tried their best so that I could understand their body language too. They were very patient and they did not felt angry with the slow ordering. They also bowed halfway when saying “ありがとう” to me for the food ordering.

I ask myself, “What kind of images I have about Japanese?” and I gained this idea: Japanese people love their cultures a lot! They have this tea-drinking ceremony and they need to follow the procedures before drinking the tea. Personally, I feel curious about the procedures and hope to know more! Since from primary school, I have heard about this cultural festival that is “ひなまつり” (also a Doll Festival in Japan). This is the day the families pray for the happiness of their girls and to ensure that they grow up healthy and beautiful. I read from an article which was like ages ago that the family will actually have this display of some dolls in the house. Yes! It caught my attention! And I’m wondering is this festival still being celebrated in Japan today? And does today’s Japanese still displaying those beautiful dolls in the house during the festival as a cultural practice?

From what I heard from my uncle who always goes to Japan to look for some automobile spare parts, Japanese society look up to people who speaks English. They admire and respect people who speak this international language. They will give different treatment (in the sense of negative treatment) to those who can’t speak Japanese in their country. However, the Japanese society will treat you really well if we can converse in their language. I do not know how true this statement is, but I can see that Japanese people really value their language. Just like how they value their cultures and country.

Discussing from the sexual aspect, I bet the majority answers that come across our mind are “pornography”! Even myself, I admit that! Whether or not the Japanese are sexually wild, it is unknown. One of my guy friends even told me that Japanese makes the nicest porn in the world! (No offence meant by writing this statement). But, what I know is we can’t stop today’s society imagining and relating Japanese people with pornography with the amount of pornography the country had produced. When I came into university, I heard from my friend about this BL and GL’s culture in Japan. Boy’s love and girl’s love. It might sound new to some people. Yes, to me too! My friend, Miss P told me that those guys in BL’s movie are so beautiful and intimate, and driving her crazy! To be telling the truth, I too have this curiosity about their BL and GL’s culture. Does the Japanese like BL and GL too?

*please check out the meaning of BL and GL in Wikipedia if you want to know more*
and thanks for spending your precious time reading this =)


Brian Barker said...

I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is unethical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

Unethical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue.

An interesting video can be seen at Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

xinxin^^ said...

Japanese's tea-drinking ceremony is special to me.i just only know that through one of the international friend's japanese blog.China ppl too, got their special way to make tea for the family in the is very common for China ppl drink tea in the morning before they go to work or to school.Besides, i agree that Japanese treasure their native language very much.they speak Japanese in the country.

doris said...

Japanese culture like tea ceremony and ikebana attracting me too.And i am curious on how the ceremony different with chinese one.I am fan of Bl story and really amaze with the story and imagination they can think.

shen said...

i dont know why, but IMO japanese culture are kinda weird in a way. sure, it seems like it IS something traditional and highly cultural but it isnt really practical. used to think that their culture eg: tea drinking, zen gardens, etc etc were really amazing but changed my mind after something which my lecturer discussed about. the only things that leaves a deep impression about them in me i guess are their rich architecture and super politeness, or so i think hmm?

shyan said...

brian barker,
thanks for your comment about the whole language stuff =)

shen said...

not to forget the jazz-hop music genre scene there, very very impressive and amazing talents that they have there

shyan said...

shen o shen...
thanks alot for your comment! =) see your first comment in this posting! it was like...ages ago!! one on january 7...the other on october 14! lolz