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Lord Raiden 2004-11-21 20:48

Japanese Culture
 
Ok, I'm noticing a pattern recently that seems to be appearing a lot more than it used to, either that or I've become more observant. So thus I've got a few questions about this.

1. What is the significance with wearing huge 2-5" thick ropes wrapped around the waist and tied in a huge bow in the back?
2. What's the significance of the samurai's top knot?
3. Why does cat themes seem to permiate the japanese culture more than any other culture on earth? The chinese and their love of dragons seems to be the only other nation with a passion like this.
4. Why the big interest in wearing Kimono's and Yakata's to summer festivals? Is there some special reason, or is it just a personal thing like wanting to wear your newest outfit to church on easter or the company christmas party?

Thanks in advance for the info. :) I'm surprised I've only got 4 as I tend to save up my questions to ask all at once, but most seem to get answered on their own. ^_^

nerd 2004-11-21 22:28

1: Those rope belts come from a Shinto ritual. The rope is called Shimenawa and it is used to distinguish places of rest. From there, similar style of rope was made to fashion belts for Kimonos and so forth, and they were considered good luck. During or after that, they became notifiers higher-ranked Sumo wrestlers' status.

2: The top-knot just signifies one's status as a Samurai. I'm sure there's a story behind it, but I don't know it. To have it removed is a serious dishonor.

3: In Japanese culture, like every other culture, certain types of animals rack up amounts of superstition. I can't say I know too much about Japan's other than certain types are considered very good fortune.

4: Yeah, it's formal wear, pretty much.

Fun fact: Most of Japan's first original literature was written by women. Most men were busy copying Chinese texts and women weren't allowed to be educated in Chinese, so they wrote original work in Japan's native script, hiragana.

Wee! Isn't learning fun?!

shinorei_91 2004-11-22 01:45

I'm sure they wear kimono and yakata because it's a tradition..they must keep up the tradition when they go to like a convercation or parties like that.Even now,if you walk in the streets of Japan especially Kyoto,you can see some people wear kimono walking around the streets.They are probably very rich because kimono are quite expensive in Japan or it's just for the fun of it..but mostly it's because they're rich or something like that..Mostly rich Japanese wear the traditional yakata and kimono at home..Huhh..I'm not really helping.:P

kj1980 2004-11-22 06:49

x yakata = mansion
o yukata = kimonos to wear at festivals

Kaede Shinmiri 2004-11-22 08:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by nerd
Fun fact: Most of Japan's first original literature was written by women. Most men were busy copying Chinese texts and women weren't allowed to be educated in Chinese, so they wrote original work in Japan's native script, hiragana.

Wee! Isn't learning fun?!

Then the dudes got jealous and churned out katakana, the spawn of satan.
:heh:

Lord Raiden 2004-11-22 09:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by kj1980
x yakata = mansion
o yukata = kimonos to wear at festivals

Hah! I've been corrected! Thanks for pointing that out kj1980. I didn't even realize I was spelling that wrong. Right idea, wrong word. ^_^;;

I hate nearly identically sounding words, regardless of the language. They always mess you up at the worst times. hehe.

Of course if I would have asked someone in japan if they were going to wear their Yakata, they'd probubly look at me and go "WTH would I wear a mansion?" o_0 hehe. LOL

shinorei_91 2004-11-23 03:34

Oops..sorry for the mistake over here too.

Zap 2004-12-27 01:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Raiden
3. Why does cat themes seem to permiate the japanese culture more than any other culture on earth? The chinese and their love of dragons seems to be the only other nation with a passion like this.

Ancient Egyptians loved and revered cats, so much that sometimes favorite or special cats would be embalmed and buried with their rich/powerful owners.

With the Japanese? Dunno, maybe because kittens are kawaii?

Phantom Blade 2004-12-27 03:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zap
Ancient Egyptians loved and revered cats, so much that sometimes favorite or special cats would be embalmed and buried with their rich/powerful owners.

With the Japanese? Dunno, maybe because kittens are kawaii?

i think egypt was more obssesed with cats than japan. Isnt one of the egyptian gods a cat?

Hindu worship cows dont they?

America: Dog's a man's best friend.

you mentioned china with the dragon

Lord Raiden 2004-12-27 10:37

hehehe. I love dragons. :D If I could have one as a pet, I would. :)

Shiokaze 2006-01-19 12:36

Questions about Teens & Today's Japanese Culture
 
I was just wondering what teenagers in Japan think is cool today?
Like, what do teenagers like to do for fun or in their free time?
What do teenagers think is "hot"?
What do teenagers want to buy or can't live without, besides food and water:p ?

I know that everyone is different but there must be things that more than 50% of Japanese teens enjoy doing. Oh and just for fun, what do Japanese teenagers think of America and the English language?


I am just curious as a student in the middle of my second year in high school learning Japanese (the kanji burns our eyes). We take breaks from the language to learn more about the culture. Basically regarding most teenagers, we just learned that they study a lot. The stuff we are learning culture from were like researched in the 1980s, so I am pretty sure some things have changed.

I did read the General Chat stickies and the stuff that were already made regarding Japan were like language and visiting Japan.

kj1980 2006-01-19 16:01

I was just wondering what teenagers in Japan think is cool today?
Their own TV stars and pop music artists, fashion trends, basically the same thing as in the U.S.

Like, what do teenagers like to do for fun or in their free time?
Karaoke, arcade gaming, hanging out with friends.

What do teenagers think is "hot"?
Most likely similar to the U.S.

What do teenagers want to buy or can't live without, besides food and water:p ?
A mobile phone.

Oh and just for fun, what do Japanese teenagers think of America and the English language?
No one cares, like the majority of the kids in your country doesn't care about things happening outside of their own social life. Do you really think Japanese high school kids caring about some Texan dullard (read: Pres. Bush) ? Do you really think American high school kids caring about some Japanese dude with funky hairdo (read: PM Koizumi)? Same thing.

JanthraX^ 2006-01-19 16:50

Is it true that japanese hospitals dont have a ward 9 becuase the word for 9 is like the word for suffering, (smiliar kanji), i feel stupid asking that =[, BUT i wanna know =D

kokokokaka 2006-01-19 17:27

I have a question:

Do women have equal rights concerning the labour market and concerning other topics as well??

I'm not asking this because I think Japan is some barbaric country, I'm just curious.. besides here where I live it's not impossible to find women getting payed less for equal work compared to men and in official posts such as a ministerial post there are quite a few more men than women and this also counts concerning the high ups in large companies. Not that I think women are supressed here at all there just still are some issues where things haven't been completely smoothed out and I think this is generaly because it's a habit from old times I think.

luchamasta 2006-01-19 20:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanthraX^
Is it true that japanese hospitals dont have a ward 9

I've heard some hospitals don't have 9th floor, but they seem to be a minority.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kokokokaka
Do women have equal rights concerning the labour market and concerning other topics as well??

Legaly yes, in reality no.

ultrataro 2006-01-19 21:26

What is your cat question in reference to? In Japanese (I think it might originate from Chinese belief) cats are thought to have a close connection to sprirts. I recall a friend telling me about on Japanese ships they would often have a cat on board. I forget the exact reason, but I think they would help to ward off misfortune. But the connection with spirits wasn't always good, I think there's bad cat spirit stories too. Or is your question in reference to nekomimi, in which case I think it's just a cute thing that grew out of bunny girls.
The yukata/kimono thing is tradition. Since festivals/matsuri are very traditional Japanese events, it's an occasion that is very fitting for very traditional Japanese clothes. You'll still find a lot of people wearing more casual yukata in onsen areas when they're visiting the onsen too.

Shiokaze 2006-01-19 21:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by kj1980
I was just wondering what teenagers in Japan think is cool today?
Their own TV stars and pop music artists, fashion trends, basically the same thing as in the U.S.

Like, what do teenagers like to do for fun or in their free time?
Karaoke, arcade gaming, hanging out with friends.

What do teenagers think is "hot"?
Most likely similar to the U.S.

What do teenagers want to buy or can't live without, besides food and water:p ?
A mobile phone.

Oh and just for fun, what do Japanese teenagers think of America and the English language?
No one cares, like the majority of the kids in your country doesn't care about things happening outside of their own social life. Do you really think Japanese high school kids caring about some Texan dullard (read: Pres. Bush) ? Do you really think American high school kids caring about some Japanese dude with funky hairdo (read: PM Koizumi)? Same thing.

Thanks for the feedback.

Veritas 2006-01-19 23:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by ultrataro
What is your cat question in reference to? In Japanese (I think it might originate from Chinese belief) cats are thought to have a close connection to sprirts. I recall a friend telling me about on Japanese ships they would often have a cat on board. I forget the exact reason, but I think they would help to ward off misfortune. But the connection with spirits wasn't always good, I think there's bad cat spirit stories too. Or is your question in reference to nekomimi, in which case I think it's just a cute thing that grew out of bunny girls.

Maneki neko, cat ears and tail, weird cats showing up in certain anime. I think people just like cats (as well they should). I would also take a guess that cats were kept onboard Japanese ships to deal with rats, same as every other ship cat. Why don't we have a cat ear smiley?

Shiokaze 2006-01-27 20:41

I got another short one.
How do people in Japan feel towards their government?
Like most people in America hate the way certain things are being ran in our government like the War in Iraq.

Archuka 2006-01-28 18:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by kokokokaka
Do women have equal rights concerning the labour market and concerning other topics as well??

I doubt gender equality has been achieved in any country in the world.

Finland was the first country in the world to allow women to vote and currently we have a female president, yet women in average earn noticeably less than men for doing the same work.


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