English 2 - 3rd Period
The Japanese language and writing are complex and different than what people in the U.S are used to. The origins of the Japanese language is uncertain, but some of it connects to Altaic language which contains Turkish,Mongolian, and can be compared to languages like Polynesian. The Japanese writing system is based off of three different sets of words and symbol which is Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji was first shown to the Japanese by Korea around the 5th century and is actually chinese lettering.Kanji are symbols that symbolizes the idea of a thing without using the sounds used to say it, by combining symbols more words can be created. Like how the combo of “electricity”with “car” means “train”. In the 9th century, Japan created their own way of writing which is built on syllables: Hiragana and Katakana, which together is Kana. Hiragana is the mostly used for writing fancy while Katakana letters and symbols are more sharp. This only one of the way Japan separates themselves from everyone else.
The Japanese traditions consist of more than 300,000 festival the are called “matsuri”, and they are unique from community to community. Each Matsuri has its own history and is enjoyed by everyone because anyone is welcome to join. The most favorited celebration is the Gion Matsuri and is active throughout the whole month of July. The reason people fall in love with this festival is for its collection of floats called “Yamaboko Junko”. Another good festival is the Sapporo’s Yuki Matsuri which takes place in February. This festival originated originated from six snow statues built by students from a nearby high school in 1950,and now it turned into a global competition of large snow sculptures. The Nebuta Matsuri also uses floats like the Gion Matsuri but is celebrated from the 2nd to the 7th of August in Aomori City. The festival is full of lantern floats that appear as humanlike objects and is surrounded by dancer. These is only a fraction of the amount of festivals of Japan and shows how much fun and honor the people have in their country.(Gardeniamai)
When it comes to the religion of the Japanese it's mainly two that have taken over Japan for the last 1,500 years, Shinto and Buddhism. These two religions are accepted be all the people of Japan, and through the communities Japan brung these two religions deeply together.For example, weddings most of the time is sponsored by Shinto, while funerals are rand under the theme of Buddhism.Shinto is a mixture of shen and tao, which is chinese for the Way of Gods, its based on staying together with everything spiritually and not abandoning it and the central idea is to have stability with your soul and with the spirits of the natural world. Everyone is accepted in the Shinto and it has no leader, no holy figure and not type of membership. Buddhism is the religion of moral principle and the experience beyond the normal or physical state, with such practice as deep concentration to clear the Buddhist's mind from the outside world and the troubles of ego. Pure Land Buddhism is a type of Buddhism that guarantees a place when you die, to get to this place they focus on the daily worship and prayers to the god, Amida, and have faith that this god will take them to the Pure Land or Heaven . This shows what the Japanese value, which is the spiritual balance between yourself and the rest of the world. (Barton)
Barton , David Watts. “Buddhism and Shinto: The Two Pillars of Japanese Culture.”Japanology, 20 June 2016,
Gardeniamai. “10 Popular Japanese Festivals.” Tsunagu Japan, Tsunagu Japan, 2016, www.tsunagujapan.com/10-popular-japanese-
Japan-guide. “Japanese Language.” Japan-Guide, www.japan-guide.com/e/e621.html.