Japan Essay

Japan has a population of just over 126 million people, although each year this number slowly decreases due to the birth rate of 1. 39 per couple . As well as the fact that Japan Is an extremely homogeneous society with 99% of citizens and residents being Japanese with 1% of their population being non-Japanese. The declining population reflects highly upon society as many Japanese In their twenties feel they are too busy working to raise children, as well as the rising cost of living making It hard for people to live.This is a negative impact upon the persons as their lifestyles just be altered in order to succumb to the Japanese life of working hard. By keeping a homogeneous society, Japan is able to strongly uphold its traditional identity.

Beliefs, Values and Lifestyles Beliefs are defined as a group of principles that are accepted and shared among a group of people. These principles indicate the particular way one perceives the physical world and the universe. For example, due to their heritage, Japanese believe in Buddhism as well as Shinto which reflects upon their dally lifestyle.

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Values are the “core beliefs an Individual or a country has. They are considered to be important understandings that form the basis of the shared behavior of an individual or cultural group. “2 For example, the Japanese highly value respect, their family relationships as well as the community.

Lifestyles are the way of life which strongly reflects upon the attitudes and values of an individual or a group of people. It is then to be acknowledged how the beliefs and values of an individual robustly impact upon ones’ lifestyles. For example, Japanese funerals and calligraphy are highly influenced by Buddhism beliefs.Over the course of time, it is almost impossible to maintain trick continuity within a group or nations’ values, beliefs, lifestyle or identity. This is due to possibilities such as: modernization (fostering a sense of nationalism and unity- previously Japanese felt their loyalty was toward their dainty), westernizes (the introduction of parliament and the education system followed the French system), Industrialization (Japanese reforms Included land reforms for Individual ownership to Increase production, factories and an expanding education system offered technical traveling), conflict (I. E.World War II atomic bombs Impacting Hiroshima and Nagasaki), empowerment (in Japan, 70% of women have jobs before marrying but 62% quit after having their first child) Technology, Power, Authority, Time and Change: During the Meijer period (1868-1912), technology was introduced into the Japanese lifestyle as Commodore Matthew C.

Perry had coerced Japan into signing the Treaty of Gangway in 1854 which opened up trade between the two countries as it seemed that the appearance of Western technology being far superior to their own had forced Emperor Meijer to abandon the policies they once had of isolation.Emperors are considered to be the descendant of the Sun Goddess and therefore were In control, which strongly reflects upon the beliefs the Japanese maintain. Emperor Melee became head of state and had almost absolute control over the military and politics.

This Impacted upon Japan’s technology and authority because Emperor Melee was coerced into the Treaty of Gangway and as soon as the treaty was signed on books, a telegraph, tea, whiskey, wine, stoves, farm implements, seeds, perfume, telescopes and charts. 5 The significant impact this had upon Japanese culture was hat it introduced the beginning of an eternal change; it began the industrialization of Japan which is especially significant as Japan today is heavily impacted by the industrial revolution that occurred around 1868 with the Meijer period. This was significant as it opened up Japan’s future because as Japan had few natural resources, it based its economy on the import of raw materials (such as oil, wood, aluminum, copper, coal and iron ore) and the export of finished products (such as electronic equipment and cars).The Treaty of Gangway (referred to in the previous arcograph) can be described as the point, in which it dramatically changed Japans’ lifestyles as Japan became the first Asian country to industrialist, with former dainty becoming investors, and it also began to adopt western ideas such as the passing of the Conscription Law in 1874. The Conscription Law 1874, required men aged 23 to register for military service. Men had to do 3 years of active service then 4 years of being a reserve. Exemptions could be given if they: paid 270 yen, were a family head, an heir, or impairment.

These can be considered to be the beneficial ideas which came from this period of time. Though it is also argued that it also destroyed original values the Japanese once held as the technological integration was an abrupt process which uprooted the traditional beliefs and rural lifestyles the Japanese people once had. In the Constitution written in 1946, which was formed due to a misinterpretation by an American translator, it stated that the Emperor was only to be a “symbolic function that participates in ceremonies and diplomatic meetings, but has no effective political power. 6 This affected Japanese authority in a positive way as it allows for a more democratic way of ruling.

In Japanese society today, technology is considered to be such a widespread part that has integrated its way into not only the common Japanese lifestyle, but also on an international level, I. E. The billboards around Tokyo as well as the use of robotics in many manufacturing companies. Due to globalization, these globally recognized brands such as Sony (4th largest gaming company by revenuer), Nintendo (worlds’ largest gaming company by revenuer), Mediumistic (uh. Billion revenue in 20138) and Toshiba (uh. 8TH revenue in 20139) being produced from Japan, are popular relied which goes on to suggest the fact that Japan is a country that has benefited from modernization and is both affected by Western society (by making the products) as well as having an effect on Western society (as Japan may offer a different outlook as to how they create products in comparison to a more Western outlook). There are negative social impacts on technology however, and these include unemployment at the rate of 3.

 and work alienation. Unemployment is affected by technology as machinery and robotics have been replacing humans in the workforce, particularly in car manufacturing processes. However, on May 4th 2014 Toyota has announced that it will replace robots with humans again as Toyota believes that robotics cannot be relied on so heavily. This will impact upon Japanese society as it will recreate the Jobs that robotics formerly took over. This can be seen unemployment rate is at 4. 51%. With the unemployment rate being 4. 1% it is considered to not be an extremely beneficial impact otherwise the rate would be lower or potentially zero in a utopia.

Overall, technology whilst first being an abrupt and disruptive change that the Japanese faced, in the long-term it has bebenefitedapanese society and lifestyle as the evolution of technology has created more Jobs than it has taken. By inindustrialist’sapan, it has given more Jobs, it has created an evolving tourism attraction to the country and the car and electronics industry has also evolved over time, not only within Japan but also internationally.Continuity and Culture: Japanese culture has not evolved and prospered throughout the years in the same ways that technology has. Whilst it has been altered and has experienced change, it has ultimately remained intact. There are traditions such as tea ceremonies and raracingalligraphy which still have an integral part in the values that are upheld in traditional Japanese settings. In 6th Century AC, Buddhism was introduced into Japan and although Japan already had its own religion of Shinto, it was decided that Buddhism and Shinto would co-exist in harmony.In conjunction to Buddhism being introduced, art, writing, social ororganizationnd state structures were heavily influenced by the religion.

Geisha were an extremely large part of Japanese culture as those women were considered to bring entertainment by song, dance and engaging clients in conversations. Over time, there has been a decreasing amount of practicing Geishas (from 80,000 in the 19sass’so fewer than 2000 tototally) though they can still be found in cities such as Kyoto. Another cultural practice includes the fashion of kimonos, which are no longer common dress in Japan apart from traditional or special occasions.Also Sumo the sport of traditional wrestling, origami the art of paper folding, bonsai the art of miniature tree cultivation, kasurceaseshe traditional rock gardens are still a major part of Japanese culture, even today. These impact upon Japanese culture by the widespread use of them, for example bonsais re very popular with people in countries such as Australia practicing the art. An important aspect of Japanese culture in Feudal Japan (1185-1603) was in fact the feudal hierarchy.This was an important aspect of Japanese culture as it outlined the lifestyle one had, dedependentn which class they were.

There was the Emperor who was supposedly descendants of the sun goddess, then there are Shogun (highest ranking nobles and military leaders), then DaDaintypowerful warlords and within their province they had complete economic and military power) whose armies oninsistedf Samurai warriors who held a higher social status than commoners. Even in totoday’ssociety, those with Samurai family names are treated with a great respect.In Japan, respect within the family and the outer community is highly valued. For the bow, the more respect that is shown.

Within the family particularly, children are taught from an early age that they are part of an interdependent society, beginning with the family and then extending to groups such as school, the neneighborhoodnd the workforce. Another aspect of continuity is the Japanese parliament and Prime Ministers, which were first formed in 1885, this changed the political and power structure. In the 129 years of parliament, all 57 Prime Ministers have been males.This can be viewed positively as it shows continuity, and can be considered effective in keeping the same values it has held traditionally, yet it can also be viewed negatively as it shows the lack of equality in politics. It shows a lack of equality within society as only 7. 9% of Lower House and 18.

6% of Upper House seats are occupied by wowomenYet another aspect of culture which has strongly continued throughout time is the hohonorhame values. The idea originated with the Samurai, for those who thought during a fight they weren’t valiant enough and felt a deep shame.These men would then kill themselves by their own sword to die without the shame. In 2013, 27,195 people killed themselves with 18,727 being mamammalwith the majoring cause to be shame for inability to provide for their family. The impact that the value of shame has upon totoday’ssociety is strong but is in no way beneficial to the society or the declining population. It is considered to be a success that Japan has managed to uphold these traditions even with the continual change of the world and eccosmologiesround Japan.Without these traditions, Japan would be culturally poor but by upholding them, Japanese values can continually remain the same. However not all cultural traditions or lifestyles should be encourage to remain the same.

For example, the shame culture was extremely high in Feudal Japan with Samurai who felt they had shamed either themselves or family, the would kill themselves by their own sword and in this day and age, Japan’s number of suicides is 27,19512 which is painstakingly high and it reflects poorly upon the continuation of the shame culture.Therefore it is believed that upholding cultural traditions such as the shame culture and the result of suicides in Japan would be a poor decision to make, although it is understandable how inflexible it is to change the values of a country. Environment: most Japanese people. However due to the changing climate, the blossoming is occurring more sporadically and is expected to blossom two weeks earlier than expected by the end of this century. 3 The cherry blossoms are Just one example of the changing effect that the environment has on values and the lifestyle that the Japanese uphold as it directly impacts upon the festival. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPEPICproduced its fourth report on Climate Change, which announced the changes in length of the growing season which is based upon the study of a Chinese tree with leaf unfolding and falling 2. 6 day/decade longer.

14 This goes on to support the evidence of the Cherry Blossom season occurring at earlier dates than expected.In conjunction to this, rice production is expected to decrease by 40% due to the doubled Carbon Dioxide atmosphere in lowland JaJapansThis impacts’ upon society as the changing days in which the Cherry Blossoms blossom ffeffectshe time of year the festival can be celebrated, which is a ritual for some Japanese to celebrate. By the changing environment, the Japanese society is impacted as they must focus immensely toward the impact that carbon emissions, noise pollution and industrial waste management have on the Earth.A May 2009 report found that if Japan didn’t do anything to change the country to be more energy efficient and cut down C0COmissions, the country would be expected to pay the economic costs of up to trillion (equivalent to around $ 191,000,000,000) annually y the end of the century. Japan made targets as to how much they would cut their emissions and between 2003 and 2009 the aim was to cut down by 6% which was achieved. Due to the FuFuchsiauclear disaster in 2011, Japan’s aim to cut 25% of its Carbon Dioxide emissions by 2020 became impossible, and so instead it changed its aim to 3. %.

Whilst the change upset many, it was considered necessary in order to achieve their goal. Japan has invested into using LED lights and working on energy efficiencies in order to effectively decrease the cocountryarbon dioxide emissions. This is a positive change which is occurring and it only slightly alters the lifestyles the Japanese currently have. Due to the ever decreasing population, in conjunction to the urarbitrationthe rural environment is suffering.

Houses and rural villages are becoming abandoned and wild animals such as bears inhabit them. Wild animals are also becoming a problem for farmers as they have to resort to using electrical fences in order to keep wild animals out. Another effect of population decline within the rural areas is that it creates problems for rural Buddhist temples. It creates problems because temples are usually supported by the local community, yet with rural decline, it’s harder for temple maintenance and incomes for the families who own the temples.This demonstrates how beliefs do not always positively evolve as this is a negative effect which impacts upon the lifestyles of the families who own rural temples, as well as those who choose not to move closer toward urarbitrationAnother environmental aspect is schooling and work institutions. This is based on the ElLimeuDruthersheory of Functionalism, which sees society as a ‘human body where llalarts must work together doing different things to create a stable society.In school, children spend 240 days at school although some of these days include preparation for school events and festivals. At the end of an academic school day, children stay behind and clean the school all together before being dismissed.

Japan (elementary and Junior high school) and in not compulsory schooling the enrolment rate only drops by 2%. In the workforce, the amount of hours one works increases dramatically, with around 20% of workers in their 20ass’s0ass’sork more than 60 hours per week, often without overtime pay.On May 29th 2014, it is reported that the Japanese government wishes to raise the legal limit of working hours of 40rasher week. This is supposed to be due to the fact that many Japanese are already working over the legal limit of 40 hours per week, but by increasing the limit, many businesses will not have to pay overtime. This impacts’ upon the environment the Japanese create around themselves as there is an increasing amount of pressure to perform well placed on them, thus leading to the high suicide rates.Whilst the environment has provided negative impacts such as the changing climate, Japan has akoakent into consideration and has tried to lower its carbon dioxide emissions, therefore creating a ‘greener’ Japan.

This is a great direction for Japan but it must be constantly reviewed to maintain order. The working and schooling impacts upon the environment in a mostly negative portrayal as there are more negative impacts such as working stress which can in the unfortunate case, lead to suicide.The home environment, of multiple generations living together is often due to the high cost of living including the cost of a mortgage, even with the most expensive apartment in he world coming from Tokyo at $21. 1 million. Conclusion/Future Hypothesis: In the future, there is a highly likely possibility that technology will be incorporated more into Japanese society, as it is expected that robots will look after the increasing amount of elderly.This is a likely outcome considering the fact that people are already testing the robotics with human like dummies in combination with the fact that there will not be enough young people to support the elderly. It is also possible that Japan will continue to decrease the carbon emissions immensely in order to rerevertlimate change from occurring so rapidly, however due to the increasing reliance upon robotics, this is a conflicting hypothesis unless the new technologies uses renewable resources.For example, there is a campaign that is being undertaken in the United States currently in which a couple is trying to get funding for solar roroadways.

These solar roadways, would pave the way toward a greener, smarter future and if they are used in Japan, they will take advantage of the climate and would cut costs on Japans’ costs of importing raw materials such as coal to generate rerevisionsnder the heading environment, that suicide rates should decrease at a steady pace unless external factors such as a global financial crisis take place.This may be due to the changing environment which allows for more acceptances toward those who feel shame, as well as a change in culture which could include a change in what shame entails, I. E. shShameon’t result from males not providing for the family but instead from other factors which are less common thus resulting in less suicides. In Japanese society, traditionally males are the breadwinners within a family and in he future, it is believed that women may continue to stay at home. This is due to the lack of gender equality in the workforce and also the fact that women are paid 67. % less than men according to the Ministry of Health, LaLabornd WeWelfareThe beliefs, values and lifestyles of Japan may continue to change in order to adapt to evolving technologies or continued urarbitrationFor example, the number of Buddhist temples in rural areas is slowly dwindling due to urarbitrationnd it will continue to decrease unless the Japanese rush toward rural countryside which is iggigglynlikely due to the lack of Jobs which they would be drawn toward.

The value of respect is one that will be strongly implemented throughout time whilst others such as the shame culture will continue to decrease.The typical lifestyles in Japan I. E. thTheong working hours, will remain, and involve more work as the Japanese Government is currently trying to raise the legal amount of working hours to 60 a week which is much higher than the 40 hour working week countries such as Australia have.


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