View Full Version : Korea, only half as interesting as Japan ?

A ke bono kane kotto
Mar 18, 2010, 16:47
I had a look at what to visit in South Korea and it struck me that everything there was to see was also found in Japan, but the reverse is not true.

Korea has Buddhist temples, modern cities with skyscrapers and shopping districts with neon signs, nice mountains, but that's pretty much it.

The Japanese are a hybrid people of mixed Korean and native Japanese (Jomon) descent. The native part has given Shinto, and all the shrines, torii, foxes and traditions that go with it. Korea doesn't have that. Japan immediately spring out in popular imagination as the land of samurai and geisha, with world famous sights like Mount Fuji or the Torii of Miyajima. Korea doesn't have anything like that.

Japanese food is among the world's best and is extremely varied. Koreans also have sushi, but choice is more limited. Typical Korean dishes, like Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) is found everywhere in Japan too, but Japanese dishes rarely make it to Korea.

In modern culture, Japan is renowned for anime, manga and video games, but Korea lacks that too. The only thing for which Korea successfully mimicked Japan was pop music, drama and films.

So is Korea only half as interesting for tourism and culture as Japan ?

Sep 6, 2016, 11:38
I can’t visualize a more extreme difference which i noticed between these races than their mannerisms in everyday life. While there are various similarities, it is simple to tell that someone was raised in Japan versus China, and often Korea too.

Bowing is one aspect of each culture that most assume is the same, but in fact, it has evolved in each country over the years. In Korea and Japan, a small bow when greeting each other well along with a deeper bow in formal situations is still considered appropriate.

In China, the handshake has actually become a common greeting, with only a slight head nod rather than the traditional bow. I noticed this a little in my experiences with Chinese people, but especially with the Korean and Japanese. Even during my Skype lessons by using these two, we frequently end the phone call by using a bow using respect, that could be definitely unique from my other students.

Another mannerism we noticed in your everyday living was the volume and tone within their speaking. I visited Hokkaido, Japan on vacation once, and begun to see and hear Chinese tourists in a mile (er, kilometer) away every time I bought with a train. Upon entering a train and other public Japanese, Koreans and transportation typically remain eerily silent and even keep their laughter to a minimum. Chinese, alternatively, don’t enjoy the cultural custom of quietness in public places spaces.

So, you’ll often see people in China and Hong Kong raising and laughing their voices, which is a stark contrast to Japan and Korea. That would take an entire course in Asian history, so I digress, although i’m sure this has something to do with their long history of such held traditions.