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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

    13 3.64%
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Thread: Is Japan a Western country ?

  1. #26
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tasuki
    So basically, I think that for most people when one says western person or country one refers to people or countries of (as I said before) Latin, Angle, and Saxon ancestry.
    So, are you saying that Irish, Welsh, Scotish, Scandinavians, dutch and some Germans aren't Westerners because they are neither Latin nor Anglo-Saxons ? FYI, Angles and Saxons were both north Germanic tribes that, along with the Jutes of Denmark, were invited to Britain by a Celtic tribe to sort the problems between the various Celtic groups that inhabited the island. They settled and pushed all the Celts to the West (Wales, Corwall) and North (Scotland) and created their own kingdoms (Mercia, West Saxony, East Saxony, etc.). Later on, Danish and Norwegian vikings (who were not Anglo-Saxons, but other Germanic tribes) raided Britain and the rest of Europe. A group of Danish viking settled in France (Normandy), mixed with French locals, and later invaded England (William the conquerer, 1066).

    You could only describe English people as Germanic (Anglo-saxon + Scandinavian ) with a bit of Latin and Celt blood.

    In short, I would rather identify Westerners as being ethnically Celto-Latino-Germanic, so as to include the whole of Western and Northern Europe, but I would also add Greeks, and I can't see why Eastern Europeans (be they Slavic, Finno-Hungaric, or Baltic) wouldn't be Westerns, especially that they have mixed quite a lot with Germanic (Swedish and German) people during history.

    Once again, if Westerness is only based on ethny, why not just say Caucassian instead ? Would you argue that Collin Powell or Michael Jordan aren't Westerner because they have African origins ?

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  2. #27
    Regular Member tasuki's Avatar
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    I agree with you a hundred percent there and I think most people include the same ethnic groups you outline here unconsciously in their definition of westerness. I don't believe that westerness is based on ethnicity, I think it has more to do with the political, geo-political, and historical impacts of Europe and North America (a European offshoot) on the world. We can argue until kingdom come, but being Western is only a concept. As I said yesterday, western relative to what? I much prefer refering to people by their country or continent, it's less of a headache.

    Just as an aside, you can lay off the history lessons, I've taken a minor in European history, so I know who descends from who, where, and when.

    The question was is Japan a western country. I think we can safely say that it is westernized, just as India is, Hong Kong, Singapour, Kuala Lumpur, and other parts of the world are, but its cultural heritage does not make it a western country in the common sense of the term. However, this is a pointless discussion. Why would we want Japan to be anything else than what it is (good and bad). But then, the more relevant question would probably be "what is western to you?" Until we resolve that question asking anyone whether they think if such and such a country is western and such and such a country isn't is moot.
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  3. #28
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Knowing the definition of "westernness" is also the point of the discussion. If there was a clear answer to whether Japan was a Western country or not, why should I have started the debate ?

    Look at modern Japan's system (politics, economics..), pop culture, and even language - it's full of English terms. If ethny and geography isn't vital to westerness, then Japan could be considered as Western, because I believe that culturally, there is as much differenec between a Finn and an Italian, a Scot and a Greek or a Latvian and a French person than between, say, a Japanese and an Italian - very similar in mentality on more points than you could imagine ; Japanese even sometimes call themselves the Italians of Asia, and I understand it for having lived in both countries.

    Now I am going to try to convince you of how similar Japanese and Italian mentalities are, and you tell me who is more similar to the Japanese, the Italian, the American or, for instance, the Swedish.

    In both Japan and Italy :
    - Children often live with their parents till their 30's and it's not unusual for them to continue to live with the family after marriage.
    - Women traditionally stay at home after marriage and spoil their children (both Italian and Japanese mums are famous for that)
    - Food is one of the most important thing and is a common discussion topic.
    - Both Italians and Japanese are very sociable and care a lot about others well-being and confort.
    - the Mafia and the Yakuza
    - Both countries are long, narrow, mountainous, vlocanic, earthquake-ridden, close to the sea, enjoy a warm climate, have a lot of regional dialects and a rich history, which influence the culture and national awareness.
    - Both countries are very chauvinistic in both sense of the term (towards women and in the patriotic sense)
    - Both countries have suffered facism in the same pre-WWII period.


    Economically and politically, they might be very different, but that's not the point, as we were talking of "cultural" or "historical" similarities.

  4. #29
    Regular Member tasuki's Avatar
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    Look, this is getting somewhat tiresome. I don't need any convincing--I agree with you . But in the end, we don't agree on one thing and that's what it means to be "western" . Define to me in clear, scientific terms what makes a country or a person western, then we'll have a common basis for comparison. Until then, as I said last night, this conversation is moot. Yes, Italy and Japan have many similarities, but they have more differences than, say, Italy and France. Yes, the United States and Japan have numerous similarities, but the States have more in common with England than with Japan in term of way of life, history, ethinicity, etc. I think that's what's usually implied when categorizing western and non-western countries. The determining factor is the relative amount of shared roots. Asian countries, for all their westerness, share common ancestry, wars, bad blood, and more. Same goes for Western Europe and North America. Anyway, as I said, until we derive an exact definition of what it means to be western, we're just wasting good online time.

    Now if we were talking about "industrialized" countries, we wouldn't have this problem, because you can quantify industrialization. How can one quantify westerness and how would one go about doing it? But that would bring us back to the same problem--why western and western from America, England, Finland, where? You talk about Japan being western and compare it with Italy to do so. But the fact is if the traits of "western" countries are shared by so many countries, which makes them western, then those traits are no longer western because they're shared by countries around the world that are not west of anything and west of everything. So basically, you're reasoning is circular, don't you think? As an example, let's consider the myth of American English being the common language for communication around the world. In fact, there are at present more people around the world that speak English as a second language than people that speak it as a first. Can it then still be reasonably be called "American"? "Western" is an atrociously old and outdated concept and we should strive to do away with it.

  5. #30
    Regular Member tasuki's Avatar
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    I gave it a little more thought yesterday and realized that western countries all share common customs. I don't know why I didn't think about it before, but I realized it may be the most important factor in ascertaining whether a country is western or not.

    Western European countries (core western countries) have developed perticular customs and traditions that were spread to certain parts of the world during their expansionist period (16th and 17th centuries) and later became dominant with the rise of the "American Empire". Of course these customs have gained regional flavouring over the centuries, but the basics remain. Western countries are, generally speaking, Christian (I'm being intentionally vague to include all sub-cults of Christianity). We all pretty much eat the same, i.e. animal meat is the main source of protein and potatoes one of the main veggies. All the western languages stem from basically the same roots and are all interlinked at some point, even the Scandinavian languages.

    Westernized countries like Japan have adopted those customs and traditions, and adapted them to the local realities, as opposed to growing into them. That, in my opinion, is the key factor in denying the status of western country to Japan. Would you call Canada an Asian country if overnight all Canadians adopted the Chinese way of life? I don't think so. In more human terms, take a newly arrived immigrant (any nationality; let's say Pakistani) to, let's say, England and compare him/her to a first generation British-Pakistani. Although they share the same roots, the new immigrant has to adopt British customs, but he/she can't stop being Pakistani. On the other hand, the first generation British-Pakistani grew into British customs from birth, so he/she is now part of the whole "western" pack. One generation is all it takes. So African-Americans or Asian-Americans are as American as apple pie (pardon the cliche), but my wife is never going to stop being Japanese when we move to Canada.

    So I guess in that sense there are a lot more western countries than I originally thought... Sure, Japan has been westerninzed for generations and most Japanese don't know any other way of life, but there are still myriad traditions, customs, philosophies, even as daily a thing as eating rice, that you can't find anywhere in the western world, but can find readily in the Asian world, clearly making it a highly westernized yet Asian country. In my book.

  6. #31
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I'll really have to disagree with you on this.

    Western countries are, generally speaking, Christian (I'm being intentionally vague to include all sub-cults of Christianity). We all pretty much eat the same, i.e. animal meat is the main source of protein and potatoes one of the main veggies. All the western languages stem from basically the same roots and are all interlinked at some point, even the Scandinavian languages.
    You are mixing elements of the past and present and oversimplifying the diversity of Europe.

    @religion
    You are right about Christianity, but I am not Christian and most younger Europeans cannot really claim being "real" Christians anymore (the situation is very different in the US, except for 5% of Atheist, a few Muslim, Buddhist, etc.). If Westerness starts with Ancient Greece and Rome, than Christianity is not important. It's maybe more the systematical use "reason" (in philosophy, sciences, theology, etc.) that caracterise best Western civilization. In any case, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Celts, till Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and a lot of modern Europeans aren't/weren't Christian, but surely were Western.

    @food
    Food has evolved a lot over the centuries. Actually, the potatoes that your are citing first came from America. There were no potatoes, tomatoes or tobacco (the 3 "o" words) in Europe before the 16th century and potatoes took a long time to take off and be included in everyday diet. At first, people fed farm animals with them but didn't consume any. Not unitil the 18th century did it become an important nutriment.
    Pre-Renaissance Italians couldn't have eaten tomato-sauce pasta, as there were neither tomatoes, nor pasta (originally from China) at that time.

    Nowadays Europeans's diet is even more varied than that of Asians from Japan to India. I have been about everywhere in Europe and have lived in England, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain (and now France very well as a French speaker) and I can tell you that not only each country's but each region's food is amazingly diverse, especially when compared to Japan or India, where the food is pretty much the same everywhere (well, you could divide India in North, South and East, but compared to its size, it's amazingly homogeneous by European standard).

    You also claim that European diet is richer in meat. In the middle ages and modern times till as late as the 18-19th century (depending where) most ordinary people could only afford to eat meat on special occassions, then more recently on Sundays, then several times a week and eventually everyday. Africans have probably been more of meat-eaters than Europeans thoughout the history. Chinese people have always been famous for eating anything that moves (even scorpions, jellyfish, dogs...). Lot's of native North-American tribes were (bison-)hunters and some didn't do any farming at all, so relying also heavily on animal matter.
    In Europe, people living near the sea naturally eat more fish than meat (in Scandinavia, Celtic regions, etc). Rice is grown in Italy. Modern Mediterranean cuisine (olive oil, seafood, vegetables...) is radically different of the German one (a lot of pork, potatoes...).

    @languages
    It is true that European languages share common roots, but there are notable exceptions. You couldn't descredit Basques, Hungarians or Finns for not being Westerners because their language is not part of the Indo-European group at all. Then, I don't know if you've had the opportunity to read or hear Celtic languages (Welsh, Irish, Sottish or Breton Gaelic...), but not a single word seem to be similar to Latin or Germanic languages (not even country names or basic expression ; England is "Loegr" in Welsh, "hello" is "sut mae" !).

    Shall we include Iranians (Persians) and Northern Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi in the Western group because their language is more related to English, French or German than Hungarian, Estonian or Basque are ? BTW, Hungarian (Magyar) and Finnish (Suomi) are part of the same group of language as Turkish, Mongol, Korean and Japanese (Ural-Altaic group) ! They are also Central Asian in origin. So I don't think language is determinant to Westerness either. It's not because Singaporian speak English and 20 million Indian (in India, not abroad) have English as their mother tongue that it makes them more or less Western than other Asians or Indians. Or does it ?

  7. #32
    Regular Member tasuki's Avatar
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    OK. Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. But I think you're missing the point because we're not trying to establish the diversity of Europe, but rather to determine whether Japan is a western country.

    You are mixing elements of the past and present and oversimplifying the diversity of Europe.
    Well, the concept of a "western country" is by its implication a gross oversimplification, so don't you feel it's normal to generalize to be able to define it? It's the scientific method. At least it was when I was in school... If not, as you say, we'll be going back to creation to define it and find that we're all related and that there's no real point in trying to categorize the world like that anyway... Besides, the concept itself is fairly recent, so we can't go back to creation to explain it. At best, we can go back to the conditions that saw it's birth, which I would place between the 16th and 19th century. I'm just guessing here, though.

    @religion
    I have to agree with you there, but the fact remains that Christianity was a unifying force in the Western world and that it still remains, if only statistically the religion of most western Europeans and North Americans at present. It isn't so for the Middle East or Asia. As for Japan, despite the small pockets of it here, Christianity just didn't take root here.

    @food
    Also have to agree. But the patatoe became one of the main vegetables for a lot of European countries (I mean the potatoe famine in Ireland...) from its introduction. If you can't recognize that, then you're the one making an underestimation. One of Japan's main vegetables is the bean. Major difference from a lot of western countries.

    Nowadays Europeans's diet is even more varied than that of Asians from Japan to India. I have been about everywhere in Europe and have lived in England, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain (and now France very well as a French speaker) and I can tell you that not only each country's but each region's food is amazingly diverse, especially when compared to Japan or India, where the food is pretty much the same everywhere (well, you could divide India in North, South and East, but compared to its size, it's amazingly homogeneous by European standard).
    But that's the case almost everywhere. Even here in such a small country as Japan while still pretty homogenous, the variety from one region to the next can still be stunning. But you can't demistify a general concept like "western" with specifics. "western" is too broad for that. But there are common threads to European diet and that's what I was implying.

    As for meat, the same general assesment applies as above, you're being too specific. At some times people ate meat only if they could afford it. Granted. But when they could, they ate meat, not fish. Big difference from Japan. Before meat cooking was introduced in Japan, there was next to not meat eating custom. (I do say NEXT to none, NOT none). By the way, as far as I know, bison is not a fish...

    @languages
    Yes, I've had a chance to study Celtic languages. I haven't had a chance to study their roots, though but I always thought that they were related to Norse and other Scandinavian languages... I may be wrong, though.

    Iranians (Persians) and Northern Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi
    Of course not. You're being too specific again. Their religious and cutltural backgrounds are completely too different from what is usually considered western. It's the combination of all or most of the aspects that we've been discussing here that make countries western, not just one...

    Hungarian (Magyar) and Finnish (Suomi) are part of the same group of language as Turkish, Mongol, Korean and Japanese (Ural-Altaic group) !
    Again being overspecific. Hungarians and Fins share more culturally and historically with Europe than with the Asian lot, despite their liguistic roots.

    It's not because Singaporian speak English and 20 million Indian (in India, not abroad) have English as their mother tongue that it makes them more or less Western than other Asians or Indians. Or does it ?
    Eh? I didn't quite catch the point there. I sort of think you're making my point for me by saying that, but I'm afraid it's a bit too convoluted.

    Anyway, I still think that to explain the broad overgeneralisation that is "western" as a concept, you can't go knit-picking every detail about every culture in the world, you have to keep a broad approach. While I agree with you on most points, as a whole western countries have developed several common, general traits, amongst which are a unifying religion, similar customs (building, living, eating, sleeping, doing business, etc.), closely-related languages, common history over a prolonged period of time, to a certain extent morphology, and the list goes on. It's the combination of all or most of these factors that spawned the concept of western people and countries (to make a point a concept that I loathe for an oversimplification, oversimplication that Maciamo-san makes an EXCELLENT point of proving). However, while Japan may have adopted a lot of western traits, they are still adopted traits and can't be traced back more than a couple hundred years, if even. Japan shares more linguistically (as you've eloquently presented on a different thread) with other Asian countries, its dietary traditions and customs are different from that of western countries and more closely related to that of other Asian countries, Japanese morphology is similar to other Asian countries, so who could mistake Japan for anything BUT an Asian country?

  8. #33
    Regular Member senseiman's Avatar
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    Japan is not a western country. Western countries are those with common historical and cultural roots springing from Roman civilization. Christianity, the Roman alphabet, our languages, our scientific and philosophical traditions all spring from that one source. With Japan and many other Asian countries, the root of their culture, religion, science, philosophy and language is in China. They are completely seperate.

    If you are talking about Japan's modern economic and political make up, it would be more accurate to call it a northern country rather than a western country.
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  9. #34
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by senseiman
    Japan is not a western country. Western countries are those with common historical and cultural roots springing from Roman civilization. Christianity, the Roman alphabet, our languages, our scientific and philosophical traditions all spring from that one source.
    So are Turkey, Israel or Syria Western countries because they were part of the Roman Empire, have a long Christian history (and still some Christians amomg the Muslim and Jewish now), have inherited Greek science and philosophy with the rest of the Arabic world, etc. The Roman alphabte is not a good argument, as Greek or Russia have their own alphabets, eventhough they are undeniably Western (Greece is even the fundament of Westerness), but countries like Indonesia (and all African languages if I ain't wrong) use the Roman alphabet. As forlanguages, I remind you that Magyar (Hungarian) and Suomi (Finnish) are actually related to Mongo, Koreanl and Japanese and Basque isn't a European language either. But I am sure you don't discuss their Westernness...

    If you are talking about Japan's modern economic and political make up, it would be more accurate to call it a northern country rather than a western country.
    Northern ? compared to Australia ? Check your world map, Japan is at the same latitude as the South of Europe and Northern Africa. Hokkaido (not really Japan...) is at the latitude of Northern Italy, Tokyo would be in Tangier (Morocco), Kyushu in the middle of Morocco (or Iraq) and Okinawa in the Sahara. Hardly a Northern country... I guess you could just say industrialsied, but so is North Korea (after all they have nuclear power and heavy industries), which doesn't means thery are developed in other fields or democratic.

  10. #35
    Regular Member senseiman's Avatar
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    Actually, middle eastern countries like Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Egypt were part of the same mediteranean civilization as Europe in ancient times. They were conquered or had relations with the Roman empire and it was through the work of Arab scholars in Baghdad that Europe learned of the works of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers whose knowledge had been lost for some time during the dark ages. Obviously there are deep religious, economic and political differences between Europe and the Arab world today, but historically and culturally speaking they have much more in common with each other than they do with Japan.

    When I said Japan was a northern country I was referring to the great economic divide between the countries of the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. Of course it isn't as if the wealth comes to a dead stop at the equator and everyone in the south is poor, I thought that was obvious enough that I didn't need to elaborate, my apologies. Rich countries like Australia and New Zealand are also to be found in the south, while some poor countries like North Korea are in the north. It is a generalization, not meant to have any exact geographical corroboration.

    But Japan, like western Europe and North America has never been colonized. It has a powerful economy that isn't totally beholden to the whims of foreign capital like most Southern countries are. It is a constitutional democracy. It has a strong social safety net. Its citizens do not have to deal with war and violence on an everyday basis. These are the factors, shared by most (but not all) northern countries that make Japan similar to Europe and North America. Culturally and historically speaking, they are worlds apart which is why I don't consider Japan to be a western country.

  11. #36
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    @Mediteranean civilization

    By the way, Most of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe wasn't part of the Roman Empire, nor was it nearly related to Mediterranean culture. Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons used runic alphabet, not the Roman one. They didn't have philosophical or political tradition such as Greece and Rome.

    When I said Japan was a northern country I was referring to the great economic divide between the countries of the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere.
    It is more that a generalisation, it's near ridiculous. Most of the world's poverty can be found in the Northern hemisphere, just because about 4/5 of the people live there. Even with that, the Southern hemisphere lives well in comparison. In Latin America, the richest countries are in the South (Argentina, urugay, Chile) and in Brazil, which is divided, the South is again much richer than the North. In Africa, there is not much difference on either side of the equator, except for South Africa, which is richer. In Asia and Oceania, poor peolpe can be found everywhere from Central Asia, China, India and South East Asia. Indonesia is divided by the equator, but it's wealthiest regions (Java, Bali...) are in the Southern Hemisphere. As for Oceania, it isn't poor at all.

    But Japan, like western Europe and North America has never been colonized.
    Hmm ! If North America had never been colonised, English and French would not be spoken there and it certainly wouldn't be a dominantly white and Christian country !
    Japan hasn't been colonised, but neither have Thailand or Ethiopia, which doesn't make them more similar in any ways to Western countries. Moreover, we could consider the post WWII American occupation of Japan (that last till now in Okinawa) as a form of colonialism, in view of the fact that Japanese have inherited their political system, modern industry and thousands of loans words from it.

    It has a strong social safety net.
    Yes but Americans don't. So what ?

    Its citizens do not have to deal with war and violence on an everyday basis.
    But Americans do. Anyway war has never been a factor to judge a nation's Westernness. All countries on earth have their fair share of wars in history. Lots of poorer countries are virtually war free : Bolivia/Peru, some african Countries like Senegal, Mali, Mauritania..., Banglasdesh, Mongolia, and so on.

  12. #37
    Regular Member senseiman's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what point you are trying to get across, maciamo, but if we are just debating for debates sake, I'm game.

    Of course not all of Europe was part of the Roman empire. Again, it is a generalization. And while there may have been different alphabets in the north in ancient times, there aren't now. They use the Roman alphabet, and Arab numerals.

    I'm not just making up this north/south rubric, its common in just about all contemporary literature on development issues. If you are going to be so picky, I will amend what I said to "rich" countries and "poor" countries to make things easier for you. Now, can get on to matters more worth discussing?

    Of course North America was colonized by Europeans, but North American society today is directly descended from those Europeans and not the Natives they colonized. So, again, let me alter what I said to "American society that is descended from European colonists has never been colonized, while the less than 1% of America today that is of native descent has suffered the horrors of colonialism".

    If you insist on splitting hairs I might like to point out that Ethiopia did in fact spend several years being run by Italian fascists, and was torn apart by a civil war instigated by the two cold war powers in the 1970s so it has in fact suffered the negative effects of outside domination.

    Your point about the American occupation of Japan is well taken though. Japan did have a foreign power running the show for seven years and that did have a big impact. However, that rule was short lived, and the Americans didn't make off with all of Japan's resources like other colonial powers did in their domains. In fact, they tried to remodel Japan's political and economic system on an AMerican style model, which goes to support my original contention that Japan is only similar to other "rich" countries in those respects.

    Also, your points about America having no social safety net to speak of and being a dangerous place to live are pretty good. But those are by the standards of "rich" countries, not the rest of the world. Compared to Afghanistan or Central Africa I'm sure American society holds up pretty well, even if you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with a favourable comparison.

    Anyway, to get back to the original point of this thread. I think Japan is similar to the west in terms of its economic power and political system, but very different from it in cultural and historic terms. Hence I felt the use of the term "northern" country was more correct, but you objected to that term on the basis that not all northern countries are like Japan, Europe and America. So I've changed my terminology to "rich" countries, so now I guess we agree, unless you disagree. This is getting horrendously confusing.

  13. #38
    Regular Member Haivart's Avatar
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    It's a mixture, mainly Western in the political/economic area, and mainly "East Asian" in others. I'm reading "The history of Japan" by Louis Perez at the moment, and it's amazing how fast and well Japan learned from the West.

  14. #39
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    I like Jeisan's simple definition.
    They don't have western mentality. Just because they are industrialized doesn't make them western.
    They just try to take on the western mentality when it fits the occasion. They are purely Eastern.

  15. #40
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  16. #41
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    Japan is an Asian country but politically, technologically and socially belongs to the Western World. The cultural gap between the japanese and their asian neighbours is greater than between them and the West. Most Japanese have grown up with American pop culture alongside the japanese. Many Japanese, especially the younger generations embrace more and more Western values, many even give their children western names. The older generation is more traditional. I don't know if we can call Japan a Western country, it is confusing a bit because we tend to associate advanced nations with the West. I would rather say it is an advanced Asian country, influenced heavily by the West.

  17. #42
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    I think that the pop culture is Werstern, but not as much as it used to be. And what I mean by that is the influence that the US used to have on Japan. Clothing, foods (Mc Donalds), and music. Although from what I see now, Japan is going back to it's roots. Overall Japan is Eastern. n_n
    if strawberries were people....
    I'd still eat them.

  18. #43
    Emperor Gakihito Gaki's Avatar
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    Japan is a developed country not a Western one.

  19. #44
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    The longer I stay in Japan and the more I realize how un-western the country still is for issues such as marriage, work, basic life values, politics, teen prostitution, openness to sex (magazines in combini...), lack of moral reflection, lack of debate, etc.

  20. #45
    Regular Member fugue's Avatar
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    yep

    Quote Originally Posted by hua he
    Actually, the so called "western" and "eastern" countries was actually differentiated racially. Just see, as long as it is a country with white in charge, this is a western country. If the country is with blacks or yellows in charge, it will be an eastern country. THis is the view of the whole world.
    You hit the bull's eye.

  21. #46
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The longer I stay in Japan and the more I realize how un-western the country still is for issues such as marriage, work, basic life values, politics, teen prostitution, openness to sex (magazines in combini...), lack of moral reflection, lack of debate, etc.
    Again, the only ones who are complaining about Japan aren't even Japanese.

    Magazines in Konbini? You pick up the raunchiest magazine you can find in Japan and bring it to the U.S. and compare it to Penthouse. Penthouse is now a totally smut magazine.

    Who ever said Japan has to be "Western" anyway. If the people are happy with the way they are, who has any right to dictate how tey should be any more than if the Japanese came into your own country and complained how awful your country is.

  22. #47
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    Again, the only ones who are complaining about Japan aren't even Japanese.

    Who ever said Japan has to be "Western" anyway. If the people are happy with the way they are, who has any right to dictate how tey should be any more than if the Japanese came into your own country and complained how awful your country is.
    Did I complain ? Just noticing differences.

  23. #48
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Japan is clearly NO Western country. "Western" means the opposite from "Eastern", which in turn refers to the Asian countries (Japan, China etc.).
    "Western" refers to populations from the northern half of the Eurasian continent, and to North-American populations.
    "Eastern" refers to populations from the Asian contries (southern half of the Eurasian continent).
    Populations from Africa and South-America are neither Western nor Eastern, but Southern populations (more frequently also called "3rd-world-countries").

  24. #49
    tokyo dancer chiquiliquis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lina Inverse
    ...Populations from Africa and South-America are neither Western nor Eastern, but Southern populations (more frequently also called "3rd-world-countries").
    Please be sure to run that by someone from Africa or South America... you might be surprised at what you hear in response....

    Quote Originally Posted by fugue
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hua he

    Actually, the so called "western" and "eastern" countries was actually differentiated racially. Just see, as long as it is a country with white in charge, this is a western country. If the country is with blacks or yellows in charge, it will be an eastern country. THis is the view of the whole world.

    You hit the bull's eye.
    ... Hua He left out a group (or groups?); there are more people in this world than "whites" "blacks" and "yellows". And while this statement is somewhat true, I think it is slippery.

    Why again is it important (necessary?) to be able to call people "eastern" or "western"... ?

    This is certainly an interesting thread

  25. #50
    Now it's me yimija's Avatar
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    Heart Quechuans

    [QUOTE=Maciamo]
    Bolivia and Peru are composed of more than 50% Quechua (former Inca kingdom) and still speak Quechua.


    Very good thread Maciamo, obviously lot of researches, and I'll would allow me just a small rectification if I may, mainly because I'm here today and very much concerned with it :

    Quechuans are not a race but rather what is called an "ethno-linguistic familly" of about 7 millions in Peru alone. Quechuans are of different origines (some, yes from Incas, but also from the Chavin, Nazcas, Chimos a.s.o). It is like, if you want a comparison, all french speaking people. You'll have differents ethnic groups such as european, africans, oceanians, etc.
    It may seems terribly futile to mention it, but I know that they would want it that way. Just like a Quebecois is not quiet a canadian and a Romand not quiet a swiss...

    Now to the question is Japan a western country ? I'll only wish that Japan (as well a china, Korea a.o.) will always keep it's traditions and not burry them under tons of hamburgers, GMO, and whatever western "civilized countries" might bring. Japan has a real identity, known around the world as such, and that should stay. Let's hope that the politics will be able to wage wisely between "occidentalization" and respect of it's own civilization.
    Just little me!!! But maybe a little taller

    You grow up, every day. Every second...

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