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View Poll Results: Is Japan a Western country (please read the thread before)

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  • Yes

    35 9.80%
  • Maybe, depends how you see it

    123 34.45%
  • No

    186 52.10%
  • Don't know

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Thread: Is Japan a Western country ?

  1. #301
    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAPONLUQ View Post
    geographicaly Eastern
    calturely Eastern
    Eastern like Russia, or Eastern like Australia ?

    politicaly neutral
    Do you mean apolitical ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    A lot of people think 'white' when they think western but I would argue that Jamacia or Spain or Mexico is considered western by many people. Hell, some people even consider Cuba to be 'one of the group'.
    Spain => definitely (one of the founding nation of Western culture)
    Mexico => maybe a bit
    Jamaica => in your dreams ! I'd say that Japan is more Western(ized) than Jamaica.
    Cuba => definitely more Western than Jamaica or Mexico. Normal, more people of European descent (not only Spanish but also French).

    It's almost like a community of similar peoples. In a 'western' country we tend to share close ties and histories with other western countries, our languages are similar and often latin based...it's hard to explain but you know when someone is western. I've been around lot's of people from all parts of the world and there's always a sense of alikeness with other western people (even if they don't speak the same language) that I find very hard to find with people from, say China or Japan.
    I agree with that.
    Last edited by A ke bono kane kotto; Jan 6, 2008 at 05:11. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  2. #302
    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kireikoori View Post
    Shinto is unique to Japan and not necessarily Eastern or Western. As for Buddhism it's an Indian religion. Modern day Western religion may be Christianity, but the Pre-Christian Europeans worships Gods which were largely Dharmic in origin. For instance the Goddess Danu.
    Geography too.
    Buddhism is a Western religion. It is Indo-European. It is a branch of Hinduism, a cousin of ancient European religions. Christianity is a Middle-Eastern religion. Shintoism is a form of animism, so it is universal.

  3. #303
    Regular Member Han Chan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A ke bono kane kotto View Post
    Buddhism is a Western religion. It is Indo-European. It is a branch of Hinduism, a cousin of ancient European religions. Christianity is a Middle-Eastern religion. Shintoism is a form of animism, so it is universal.
    Actually the concept Indo-European is mostly used when talking about Indo-European languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-european

    If you like to include the South Asian cultures/countries into the category of western countries, the concept becomes nonsense. If both east and west is west, then everything is the same....

    However, there are some influences into buddhism which can be claimed to have middle-eastern origins. There were, in the period prior to the christian crusades, a lively exchange of thoughts and ideas between east and west.

    To claim that buddhism is a branch of Hinduism is wrong. It had its origin in the same area and some of the concepts are similar, but one is not a branch of the other.

    Shintoism has its origins in animism and shamanism which used to be found all over the world, but shintoism has certainly evolved further and is very much a japanese thing.

    Out the many claims you state in a very short post - not one is true! If we are to make any progress in our discussions about to what degree contemporary Japan is western or not, we certainly need more well researched posts than this one.
    There are good and bad people everywhere

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    Actually the concept Indo-European is mostly used when talking about Indo-European languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-european
    Languages and cultures are closely linked... How do you make the difference between Italian-speaking people and Italian culture people ?

    If you like to include the South Asian cultures/countries into the category of western countries, the concept becomes nonsense. If both east and west is west, then everything is the same....
    During the Cold War, Eastern European countries were not considered "Western" because they were in the Eastern communist block. Nowadays this doesn't make sense anymore. I think that India is still closer to Europe than to China or Japan. But it could be the heavy British influence. I think that the Middle East and Africa are neither Western not Eastern. China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. are Eastern. India is in between, but more Western. Europeans who travel to India often say they go to discover "their roots", or "retrace the origins of our ancestors' religions".

    To claim that buddhism is a branch of Hinduism is wrong. It had its origin in the same area and some of the concepts are similar, but one is not a branch of the other.
    Buddha was a Hindu. The Hindu consider him as an avatar of Vishnu. That is why there are no more Buddhists in India (except Tibetan refugees). They were all "absorbed" into Hinduism.

    Shintoism has its origins in animism and shamanism which used to be found all over the world, but shintoism has certainly evolved further and is very much a japanese thing.
    When I see Shinto temples and priests, they look very much like the ones in Korea and China (Taoist, Buddhist ?). What concept of shintoism is so unique to Japan ? I am talking of the religion itself, not the traditions that developed around it.

  5. #305
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    Japan has westernized, but not a western country.

    The correct terminology would be westernized. Of course Japan is not a Western country, but it is westernized. Some would say that Hawaii is Japan since so many of its population are of Japanese descent.

  6. #306
    Fear my Niftyness MadamePapillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensationalist View Post
    The correct terminology would be westernized. Of course Japan is not a Western country, but it is westernized. Some would say that Hawaii is Japan since so many of its population are of Japanese descent.
    Hawaii is sooooo not Japan. The Japanese population are immigrants, that makes them Hawaiian Japanese, it doesn't turn Hawaii into Japan. Besides, after the second generation they are no longer Japanese, they may look Japanese, but in every way that matters they are Hawaiian (unless their parents kept them in some sort of bubble all their life).

    That's how it works over here, first gen immigrants are Japanese Canadian, second gen is simply Canadian. After the second generation....you belong to us
    All Hail to the HYPNOTOAD *clap* *clap* *clap*

  7. #307
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    ??

    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    Hawaii is sooooo not Japan. The Japanese population are immigrants, that makes them Hawaiian Japanese, it doesn't turn Hawaii into Japan. Besides, after the second generation they are no longer Japanese, they may look Japanese, but in every way that matters they are Hawaiian (unless their parents kept them in some sort of bubble all their life).
    That's how it works over here, first gen immigrants are Japanese Canadian, second gen is simply Canadian. After the second generation....you belong to us
    Hawaii is sooo Japanese, at least that's what most Japanese over here in Japan think, that's why so many take vacations over there. And I said "some" people. Think about it...?

  8. #308
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    They take vacations there because it's the USA with a bit of Japanese flair, but it isn't like Japan overall, just bits and pieces. If the claim was that wherever the people descended from makes there new country "their old" country, then I would be living in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Africa (one of the many countries of that continent), Mexico, Spain, and the list goes on. Anyway, I do agree with the terminology that Japan is Westernized, although I don't think there is any one good definition on Westernization and exactly what it entails.
    I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it. ~Jack Handey

  9. #309
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    Indo-European does not just refer to language.
    Though btw Sanskrit is of the Indo-European language family.

    Danu of the Celtic pre-Christian faith is probably the same one of the Hindu faith.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-I...opean_religion
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesir-A...ence#Etymology
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_india
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu

    Also, yes, Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism. Buddhism is to Hinduism as Christianity is to Judaism.

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    They take vacations there because it's the USA with a bit of Japanese flair, but it isn't like Japan overall, just bits and pieces. If the claim was that wherever the people descended from makes there new country "their old" country, then I would be living in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Africa (one of the many countries of that continent), Mexico, Spain, and the list goes on. Anyway, I do agree with the terminology that Japan is Westernized, although I don't think there is any one good definition on Westernization and exactly what it entails.
    For me, I see Westernization of a nation nothing more than industrialization of a nation, who participates in North American and European affairs. Still, it is an East Asian nation, so I see it sort as both in that light.

    -Doc
    "Rather than offer you the illusion of free choice, I will take the liberty of choosing for you... if and when your time comes round again. I do apologize for what must seem to you an arbitrary imposition, Dr. Freeman. I trust it will all make sense to you in the course of... well... I'm really not at liberty to say. In the meantime... this is where I get off." -G-man

  11. #311
    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    I kinda agree with that sentiment Doc, you put it a little more clearly!

  12. #312
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    Buddhism is a Western religion.
    Huh? The inventor was Indian, so I am not quite sure how that would make it Western.

    Buddha was a Hindu. The Hindu consider him as an avatar of Vishnu.

    Hawaii is sooo Japanese, at least that's what most Japanese over here in Japan think, that's why so many take vacations over there. And I said "some" people. Think about it...?
    It is, but it isn't. It holds the charms of a multi-asian population with Western values (Western justice system, etc.). It's a soft landing for Japanese spouses married to Americans.

    PS Goldie girl, damn, your avatar is making me dizzy. I guess you do make my world turn!

  13. #313
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    Sorry 'bout that gaijinalways! It's cool though, but I wish it was a real picture of the earth. Ok, back on track I like your notion of Hawaii being a soft landing for Japanese spouses married to Americans. I know of one such couple that are planning to live in Hawaii because it's easier for his Japanese wife and he wants to be back in the USA.

  14. #314
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    Cool Hey Doc, I couldn't agree with you anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    For me, I see Westernization of a nation nothing more than industrialization of a nation, who participates in North American and European affairs. Still, it is an East Asian nation, so I see it sort as both in that light.
    -Doc
    I see Westernization of a nation as a disease of the soul. Industrialization is the by-product of technological advancements, Japan proved that. Not only was Japan able to industrialize( using a western model) before and after the war, but they were also able to do it the Japanese way without western philosophical dogma/western thinking...etc,. So, no there's only one light.

  15. #315
    Fear my Niftyness MadamePapillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensationalist View Post
    I see Westernization of a nation as a disease of the soul. Industrialization is the by-product of technological advancements, Japan proved that. Not only was Japan able to industrialize( using a western model) before and after the war, but they were also able to do it the Japanese way without western philosophical dogma/western thinking...etc,. So, no there's only one light.
    You know, some people might consider that to be extremely rude.
    You don't have to like the west but please be decent enough to realize when you go to far. Would you like it if I called Asia a disease? I think not.

    EDIT: And if I'm not mistaken, Japan is very westernized, as I believe this had already been established.

  16. #316
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    I beg to differ ( go too far)

    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    You know, some people might consider that to be extremely rude.
    You don't have to like the west but please be decent enough to realize when you go to far. Would you like it if I called Asia a disease? I think not.
    EDIT: And if I'm not mistaken, Japan is very westernized, as I believe this had already been established.

    Westernization or Westernism has always undermined the cultural, historical, and fundamental thinking of asian countries for centuries. Sure, Democracy has its merits but overall asian thought or philosophy has been around far longer and is much more refined in terms of social structure.

    In Japan’s case, there was a time when westernization was good, as far back as the 17th century: schools, universal sufferage, womens rights, and so on. However, what we are seeing now is an emerging identity crisis and social degeneration in this country which has all to do with over westernization ! Everything from anime to the family nucleus has severely been compromised because of the desire to be more westernized, and or ‘free thinking’ so to speak…i.e.. anime characters have Caucasoid features; women are asserting themselves more and more and demanding greater freedom and independents from the tradition social model of the Times. (“There was really nothing wrong with the original model to begin with, but western countries ‘sell freedom’ like it’s something that should be earned when in fact all of us are born free in principle”). The traditional model of order worked very well, so to speak.

  17. #317
    Fear my Niftyness MadamePapillon's Avatar
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    Just because something is older that doesn't make it better.
    Democracy is a way for all people, not just those privileged few, to be heard and to have a say in how their country and society is run. In Asia, historically, the common people were at the mercy of the ruling powers. They didn't have rights as we know them today, they didn't have a voice and were, more often than not, dirt poor. When those in power said jump they said 'how high'. The traditional model was good for keeping people in line, not creating freedom and equality. I don't know anyone who longs for the 'good 'ol days' of oppression and those who do are idiots who don't know what they're talking about.


    But I fail to see how we have anything to do with Japans identity crisis. You said it yourself...the desire to be more westernized. Implying that the Japanese people want to be more like us. That is a problem existing in the minds of the Japanese people. A happy, confident and secure people don't want or desire to be anything other than themselves, so maybe the people just aren't happy with the way things are in their own country.

    Also, I don't see how women asserting themselves is any problem. In fact, of all the top industrialized nations Japan probably has the lowest score in womens rights and yet yours is the country who's population is facing one of the worst declines. Once again, a problem than Japan itself has created, not us.
    As a mature, fully functioning, top economic power of a country, one would expect Japan to be able to take responsibility for it's own social problems rather than blaming the west, as is becoming increasingly popular among the world.

  18. #318
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    I dont think that Japan is western country.
    And it is not right to definite it just because it is a developed country.

    Southeast Asia share familiar mind even though there were conflics.
    One thing is true: japan want himself to be a western country.
    sometimes japan even looks down upon his Asia neibours.

    Japanese government willl change their attitude someday.
    ...

  19. #319
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    Are you referring to this ...

    Japanese lack affinity towards Asians & psychologically dis-associated themselves from other East Asian folks much due to Fukuzawa Yukichi's (福澤 諭吉) concept of " Datsu-A Ron " ( 脫亞論 ).Fukuzawa Yukichi (福澤 諭吉) 著名思想家 . 日本國之哲人也。首創《脫亞論》﹐對日本國思想界﹐影響甚鉅。日本天皇尊為老師.後期,福澤蔑視亞洲各國,肯定了侵略的亞洲蔑視者的這樣的批判.His face appears on 10,000 yen Japanese banknote.

    What goes around comes around,Chinese belittled ancient Japanese as 倭奴 ( derogatory term ) and now ... eh ... eh ... China 支那

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wa_(Japan)
    Last edited by tokapi; Jan 11, 2008 at 22:03.

  20. #320
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    Yea that's what i want to say.
    It's a Datsu-A Ron.

    Ancient Japanese was called 倭奴 by Chinese,
    China was replaced with Shina in Japanese government papers.

  21. #321
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    日本右翼石原慎太郎 Shintaro Ishihara once commented, " Chinese will never understand why Japanese call China before Song Dynasty 中国 but after Song Dynasty 支那 "

    Back to the thread topic ... no,Japan is not a Western country

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by chin View Post
    ...
    Japanese government willl change their attitude someday.
    ...
    Why are there so many China towns around the world?
    I don't know why the (some) Chinese people refuse to be assimilated into the society...

    It is really interesting for me to find similarities among Asian cultures, but there are also differences among them.
    I highly appreciate the great Chinese poets, but I think Japan did the right thing not to accept the eunuch, the zero tolerance of funeral culture against people who are not accepted in the present, or whatever.

    If Shoko Asahara, a notorious terrorist under the name of religion, would do the same crime in China or Korea, he would not have the right to be buried there... I am sure that I shall never go to his tomb (if he gets death penalty), but his family has the right to do so.

  23. #323
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    支那 is from Indian in fact...

    Japanese totally changed its original meaning.
    It was just a name for china.
    Cant you see they are familiar: shina and china.

  24. #324
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    Hello Pipokun:
    Well i agree with you partly but i insist that
    Chinese culture is the very bisis of JAPAN's civilization.

    And what we need to do it to learn history not to shy away
    away from it. japan has developed greatly, that what we need to study.

    Dont misunderstand me and if you'd like,
    we can talk in Japanese or Chinese.
    I am sorry i cant express myself correctly owing to my limited English.

    Nice to meet you here.

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    Just because something is older that doesn't make it better.
    Democracy is a way for all people, not just those privileged few, to be heard and to have a say in how their country and society is run. In Asia, historically, the common people were at the mercy of the ruling powers. They didn't have rights as we know them today, they didn't have a voice and were, more often than not, dirt poor. When those in power said jump they said 'how high'. The traditional model was good for keeping people in line, not creating freedom and equality. I don't know anyone who longs for the 'good 'ol days' of oppression and those who do are idiots who don't know what they're talking about.
    But I fail to see how we have anything to do with Japans identity crisis. You said it yourself...the desire to be more westernized. Implying that the Japanese people want to be more like us. That is a problem existing in the minds of the Japanese people. A happy, confident and secure people don't want or desire to be anything other than themselves, so maybe the people just aren't happy with the way things are in their own country.
    Also, I don't see how women asserting themselves is any problem. In fact, of all the top industrialized nations Japan probably has the lowest score in womens rights and yet yours is the country who's population is facing one of the worst declines. Once again, a problem than Japan itself has created, not us.
    As a mature, fully functioning, top economic power of a country, one would expect Japan to be able to take responsibility for it's own social problems rather than blaming the west, as is becoming increasingly popular among the world.
    Democracy doesn’t work for every society, just ask Putin. Where was democracy in the U.S. during the 2000 elections and how many people were disenfrachised during that voting process ? Point is, we can go on and on about the wonders of Democracy and how ordinary people have privileges that other countries have not. Japan has at present, if not, the longest reigning dynasty in history which means the system worked well for the dynamics of its society with or without the present day Psuedo-Democracy which only exists on paper here anyway. (“ If it wasn’t broke, it shouldn’t have been fixed ”).


    What you also fail to see is that Japan was destroyed by two atomic bombs, the only country in the history of manking to ever receive them, you tell me it’s the Japanese who have mental issues regarding identity brought on by that devastation. When you occupied this country you destroyed all vestiges of nationalism from the roots up and then you re-institutionalized your own brand of western fundamentalism . Who else were the Japanese supposed to emulate, a thoroughly destroyed and castrated nation full of men who stood for nothing but capitalism ? Women who became obsessed with Western fashion and Western thinking who were their role models, Audrey Hepburn ?

    Of all the industrialized nations the Japanese have the same rights as men according to their constitution, just like in the U.S. The problem is that 90% of the Japanese population live as if the Meiji constitution is still in place. This is because your average Japanese citizen has no interest in politics let alone the voting process.

    The bomb was a crime, maybe the U.S. should take responsibility for these and other social problems brought on by institutionalized pacifism.

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