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Thread: Question on Japan\'s Culture

  1. #1
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Did every aspect of the japanese culture were learnt from their neigbour, China?

  2. #2

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    no, just the kanji writing, court system and tea.


  3. #3
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    I am just curious, because when I read their country information, I am curious to find that another country are using the exact same culture as their neighbour.

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    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Apart from writing, court system and tea, didn't they also learnt from China religions, military issues, education, production and many more, that is what I got from a book, but I also wanted to see what other people think and whether or not its true, because not all books can be trusted, because some might also have mistakes.

    [This message has been edited by tienyi (edited 05-10-2002).]

  5. #5

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    Hmm.. religion was imported, but Japan already had Shinto before Buddhism came in. And even then the Japanese "mixed" the 2 religions together.

    One of the things I learned in Tokyo was that most Japanese are born Shinto, marry as christians and die as buddhists.

    Military issues are a bit bleak.. its not exactly a "culture" thing that you learn from a neighbor. Warfare is pretty much the same no matter what culture you look at. And the japanese samurai was definetely different from the almost-mercenary chinese troops. Education... well, aside from the writing system, the japanese did study chinese texts, but mostly literary stuff..but most of the arts and writings produced in japan were radically different from the chinese arts (No, Kabuki, Haiku, etc).

    Of course every culture borrows and incorporates stuff from their neighbors, and the japanese are no exception. The only difference is that the japanese have a talent of assimilating concepts and ideas and improving them to a point where they become unique, and thus, their own.

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    Member Member pdoan8's Avatar
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    I believe that you can not ever find two countries that have the exactly same culture. One could be heavily influenced by another, but never be the same. Near by neigbours tend to have some similarities but always have theirs unique.

    For example: How many country in Asia celebrate the Lunar New Year (oftenly known as Chinese New Year) beside China? At least two that I know: China and Vietnam. Are all of the ceremonies used in The Lunar New Years the same as for all of those countries? Some but not all.

    Buddhism is common in Asia (Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos,...). However, you can find some differences in the way the relegion is practiced in each country.

    Vietnam used to use Chinese writting long time ago during the time that China dominate Vietnam for 1000 years. Then they modified Chinese characters to made their own which is more closely base on the pronunciation of the locale. Later when the French arrive, they change to Latin system which result in the modern writting form they use today. However, the writting is still unique. It doesn't look like any of the other languages that have Latin root. Vietnamese has some pronunciation similar (very close) to Contonese but the grammar is totally different

    Correct me if I am wrong on this part: : look at the writting of Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. As my own experience, a Cambodian and a Laotian can not understand each other in both speaking and writting (there still some similarities). I have one Cambodian co-worker and one Laotian co-worker. They communicate in English and English is their second language.


    [This message has been edited by pdoan8 (edited 05-11-2002).]

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    Naughty Little Hippy Senior Member Tachikaze's Avatar
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    I would compare Japan's relationship to China to Britain's relationship to France. Much of British culture, arts, religion, law, courtly manners, vocabulary, came from France when France dominated the culture of Western Europe. In fact, the first English-speaking king was Henry VII (1457-1509). China dominated East Asia in the same way.

    By the way, Koreans will quickly tell you that Japan learned everything from them.

    Did any of you mention a big gift from China? Noodles!

    Or was it from Korea?

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  8. #8

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    Wrong. It was the italians

    Although we gotta admit.. what other culture has created such culinary delights as the Japanese?

    Alternatively, which other culture has managed, or gotten even CLOSE to producing something as revolting as Natto?

  9. #9
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Bah! Korea was a Chinese client state for so long that there is not too much unique about them except Tae Kwon Do.. or at least that's the impression I've gotten. So if the Japs learned everything from the Koreans, then vicariously they still learned it from the Chinks.

    Is Chink okay? We all say Jap.. I dunno that's an interesting question.

    Well I guess really I might as well just say Chinese cuz Chink is only a few letters shorter and due to ending in a closed palate really not easier to say.

    Matt

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    [This message has been edited by Khan7 (edited 05-11-2002).]
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  10. #10
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    although I am not chinese or japanese, however, I cannot see much difference in these two countries in way of life, because although the japanese developed into another way to make it unique, but it still seems to be the same. I mean like everything you see in Japan and China today, will you be able to tell the difference between them in looks like temples, pagodas, even the clothing like the ones that the chinese and japanese emperors wear are hard to tell the difference.

    It's a bit unfair to say that the chinese troops are almost-mercenary, and different to the samurai, because the samurai armour are no other than learnt from the chinese. Because I watched a film of the chinese three kingdoms and the warriors known as tiger warriors were wearing the armour that the japanese samurai are wearing but a tiny difference, because like Tac said that the Japanese learnt certain aspects of things from the chinese and after try to redevelop it into another look, but can easily figured out when you put the chinese tiger warrior armour and the japanese samurai armour together for comparing. In addition during the three kingdoms, there are too many loyal warriors and strategists, so it even hard to say that the most of the chinese troops are almost-mercenary.

    Military issues cannot be all the same, because I read in the english translated book of the japanese history, it is said that they also used a chinese general called Sun Tsu's art of war book to handle their military issues.

    Anyway that's what the book say I can't clarify if there is a right or wrong answer.


  11. #11
    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Well if you are going to be totally unswayed by everyone's arguments then why did you ask the question in the first place? Heck it wasn't even really a question I guess.

    Matt

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  12. #12

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    Chinese troops were paid for their services, they were loyal only as long as the money kept flowing, and very usually changed sides when somoene else offered more money. Japanese troops oth, fought for the lord which paid them very little but guaranteed them priviledges for being a warrior. Changing sides in china was common, in japan it was an absolute disgrace and only a desperate daimyio would take on a "traitor" or a dishonourable samurai into his service. Thats why I say chinese troops were almost mercenary.

    Sun Tzu's Art of War was studied by the japanese, but its really just a collection of tactics and principles that are common to everyone that engages in war.

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    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Khan 7 you mistaken me I am exchanging my comments through a book just like I said I read from english books.

    But sorry to mislead you, actually the real inside question that I can't solved myself is why did the Japanese attacked China in the Sino-Japanese War. I mean didn't they learnt from the chinese if they did why will they attack a country that had helped them to build their country into a powerful and stable one?

    Plus I also curious if they did attack the country that help them a lot, wouldn't they get a bad name from betraying their masters or in other words friends?

    Anyway that's part of the question, if you do know please help me solve it??? Thanks.

    Also I used the title question on japan's culture is just to discuss on the culture's issues before going to the real question, because I don't want to insult any member in here, its not very nice.

    [This message has been edited by tienyi (edited 05-11-2002).]

  14. #14

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    "actually the real inside question that I can't solved myself is why did the Japanese attacked China in the Sino-Japanese War. I mean didn't they learnt from the chinese if they did why will they attack a country that had helped them to build their country into a powerful and stable one?"

    China didnt "help" Japan.

    "Plus I also curious if they did attack the country that help them a lot, wouldn't they get a bad name from betraying their masters or in other words friends?"

    See above. Plus, you gotta remember, might makes right, victor writes history, and because they could.

  15. #15
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Alright I see what you mean, because of all these war going on really gives a tragedy towards the whole world, I mean wouldn't it be better if peace rule the world, at present poor Japan still have no military power and poor China is undergoing a poor society.

    Heh, Tac there got to be some way that Japan was able to learnt from the China wasn't there?

  16. #16

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    I think you're using the term "help" instead of "influence". China's emperor never sent "help" to the Japanese. However, Chinese literature did influence the Japanese..mainly by making them adopt the chinese characters. Influence is mainly passed on through trade, not because the government of one nation one day decided "hey, lets send those filthy island people of the country of Wa our alphabet.. to help them out."

    "I mean didn't they learnt from the chinese if they did why will they attack a country that had helped them to build their country into a powerful and stable one?"

    Why did the USA become independent from the British? Why Spain lose hold of South America? Why did the Boer fight the british? Why is Taiwan trying to separate from China?

    WHY? The British "helped" the colonists and turned them into a very prosperous land... the Spanish "helped" "civilize" the Inca and all the S. American natives and turned the place into a profitable place to live.. etc etc?

    Conquest is the first means of expansion, expansion is the means to acquire more resources, land and subjects. Every culture has done/is doing it.

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    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    I know expansion is a gain of wider range of resources, but what with all the raping of Najing, nuclear missiles test on the bodies during the conquering of China?

    I still don't understand, please help, Tac, thanks.

  18. #18
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Sorry Tac, I shouldn't have ask the question, if you don't want to answer don't.

    Sorry again Tac, I shouldn't ask you about how did Japan obtaining of China's studies, because I do know most of them, about your response, I don't think that all learning came from trade, example the karate martial art was invented in China (exclude the name karate, it was called Tang Hand in chinese) and how did it get to Japan, can't be through trade, the chinese wouldn't be that stupid to passed on their learning to other people, it will decrease their defense in war by giving away their learning secrets.

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    Member Member Khan7's Avatar
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    Tienyi-- I would suggest you go to the nearest corner and simply continue having this conversation with yourself. Spare us the labor of having to listen to your same preconcieved notions again and again and again.

    Matt
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    Member Member Taohn's Avatar
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    The Chinese didn't invent Karate. Karate came to Japan by way of Okinawa in 1922. It is a mix of Kung Fu and native Okinawan fighting arts. The Okinawans traded frequently with Fuzhou province in China, and that was how many things, including martial traditions, were brought to the island. I really doubt that the Chinese envoys were much concerned with the Okinawans as a threat. And also it's not like every merchant that went to Okinawa reports to the government. Merchant Lee and Fisherman Miyagi probably shared ideas over a nice flask of sake.
    It's pay day tomorrow. Gonna buy me some bootlaces...and green beans.

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    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    Sorry Khan to make things unclear, I was just asking in depth of why Japan done so many tragic things to China, I mean that maybe its good to have a wide range of resources and have a big country, but how can one country being ruled with cruelty and so many raping done, you wouldn't like it will you?

    The reason I asking this question is just curiousity 'Why did Japan comitted so many crimes in China when they wanted to rule it.'
    I mean for every country you conquer, why not rule it with good respect even to the people that are living there, that way there will be less rebellions and uprises.

    Maybe Master Khan7 you think I might be giving you the labor to do, I am sorry for this, but I was a white skin person borned in Hong Kong to lived there and when I visited China on Holiday, you couldn't believe how the people live and suffer there, they work very hard to live a life, think of it,

    unclean water from the well,
    less money made just from their farming work,
    no television,
    less education,
    diseases.

    Maybe I a bit hard towards you Master Khan7, although the labour you do for me is hard, but if you look at the chinese people they even have more labor to do, you and me are very lucky to have a nice home to live with growing technology and also a computer to surf the internet.

    Well sorry maybe its very useless to explain more, because hardly anyone understand the people who suffers from life, since I am british what else can I say, I am lucky to have borned with a pleasant family with enough money to stayed at Hong Kong and after move back to my country England.

    Anyway looks like no-one is bother with this thread, so it was pointless for me to post it at the first place, might as well delete it then...

    [This message has been edited by tienyi (edited 05-12-2002).]

  22. #22

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    man, you really have a naive point of view. Stop using MODERN morals and ethics to things that happened before our time. They just dont apply.

    As for the actions during WW2, take a look at what other nations in the conflict did. You gonna ask why the nazi's killed the jewish and non-ubermensch instead of just trying to rule them by being nice? Or why the allied air forces constantly bombed cities? Even those of allied nations while they were under occupation? Or why the british shelled jewish refugee transports and they unloaded their passengers into israel after the end of the war? It was a time of a world gone mad, neither you nor me lived through it, theres no way we can know or judge their actions. But there's a chance you can ask them..very few of that generation are still alive, you'd better hurry.


  23. #23
    Member Member Winkel's Avatar
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    TAc is right about not comparing moral values of WW2-days with those of today. The Japanese may have had a similar approach to invading China as Hitler had in invading Russia, namely gaining "living space". This requires the local population to be regarded as low class citizens to be used for low level work. From there it is not far to torture and homocide. It seems increadible for me, that such an idea inspired people at that time, but appearently it did.

    On the other hand, IMHO China never "helped" Japan in her development. In fact, initially, China considered Japan to be part of its empire (in early recording they referred to Japan as a kingdom , which implies it to be a subject of the Chinese empire).

  24. #24
    Member Member tienyi's Avatar
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    right, end of story.

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    Naughty Little Hippy Senior Member Tachikaze's Avatar
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    Two things should be considered when we thing about these kinds of situations.

    1) We like to divide people into "Japanese", "Chinese", and "Koreans" for our history books, but the people in the past did not see themselves that way. "Chinese" covers many cultures and langauges. Korea has been part of Chinese dynasties or separate at different times in history, just like Manchuria, Mongolia, Sechuan, Indochina, etc. Our system of labeling people is very restrictive and doesn't reflect the huge number of cultures and lack of borders that people of the past had. For instance, even little Korea was usually divided in into three or more kingdoms for most of its history.

    Japan is, indeed, physically separate from the rest of Asia, but communications were flowing with every ship the sailed for trade or diplomacy. Don't confuse Japan's isolation during the Edo Period with other times in history. Japan was not always closed.

    2) The people of 1937, 2002, and a thousand years ago are all different. The may be conveniently called "Japanese", "Chinese", and "Koreans", but they are all individuals raised with different morals, lifestyles, and attitudes towards each other. A relationship that existed in 1170 dies with the people that developed it.

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  26. #26
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Pain is a very good teacher.

    So I would say China did 'help' Japan learn and vice a versa.
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