Wa-pedia Home > Japan Forum & Europe Forum

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

Voters
357. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    35 9.80%
  • Maybe, depends how you see it

    123 34.45%
  • No

    186 52.10%
  • Don't know

    13 3.64%
Page 7 of 14 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast
Results 151 to 175 of 347

Thread: Is Japan a Western country ?

  1. #151
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 23, 2005
    Posts
    10
    Is Japan a Western coconutree?

    Nope. Although it has been Westernized.

  2. #152
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 31, 2005
    Posts
    12
    Japan is Japan, although some things very americanised, it's still has preserved own cultural aspect.

    I don't think there is something as western, what's western actually?

    I think the western thing comes from America, the US.

    No one complains or bith when countries in European took over the western thing from america, like shopping, and other things which makes it the modern life.
    Those European countries, where they have their own specific culture, actually copy it. But people labels them with western.

    It's very hypocrite, I think it's made up, so that every country that's 'white' can see itself as superior, which they aren't. But a lot of white countries, didn't contribute a lot to the western civilisation, but they took it over.


    I mean, democracy is suddenly a western term, but it's invented by the greeks. But a lot countries in the area took it over.


    Japan did take things over, but preserved its own things. And I don't think it claims itself as western or westernized. Japan is modern and international. Whereas a lot countries have lost their own culture and just live on the idea of being western.
    Well, France, Italy, Spain, and other countries still have their own great cultures. But also a shared modern lifestyle, the western lifestyle.
    If I think of it this way, Japan belongs in this group of countries.
    Spain has it own cultural things, like certain dances, food, clothing, these aren't western, and it isn't really shared with other countries. Spanish people also have their own way of thinking.
    This is the same with japanese people, and French, and Italian and Russian, etc.

  3. #153
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 31, 2005
    Posts
    12
    Yeah, a lot of European countries have been westernized.

  4. #154
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 23, 2005
    Posts
    59
    The Japanese have to admit that their greatest cultural ...if not moneymaking capabilities, come first, from China and then from Korea not much from Germany!

    That's all.

  5. #155
    A gamer in Auckland
    Join Date
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Age
    37
    Posts
    4
    depends on how to see Western,how to see japan!

  6. #156
    –Ú˜^ Index's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 26, 2005
    Posts
    78
    I don't think it's part of the West. Actually I think the question is more complex than the Cold War distinction between east and west, which was a political dualism and not really representative of much more than a state's alliance with the U.S.S.R. or the U.S.

    Samuel Huntington suggests, in his book The Clash of Civilizations, that socially the world is made up of a number of civilizations (which he calls 'cultural enitities') in which people may share a common language, history, religion, customs, and institutions. According to Huntington, Japan is one of these civilizations, and the others are Western, Chinese, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Hindu and African. Clearly according to this view Japan is not Western. I think what some people refer to as Westernization in regard to Japan , such as capitalism or industrialization, are not ideas that are Western as such-they are just associated with the West because of the West's current dominance amongst civilizations. These so called 'westernizations' could (and do in various forms and places) exist in other civilizations (eg. democracy).

  7. #157
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    According to Huntington, Japan is one of these civilizations, and the others are Western, Chinese, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Hindu and African. Clearly according to this view Japan is not Western.
    Does this guy actually separate China from Japan in term of civilization, while he puts all Africa or Latin America in one category ? If so I wouldn't trust him very much. Until Japan's westernization from 1868, Japanese culture was closer to the Chinese one than the Tibetan, Thail or Indonesian are to the Chinese. Confucianism has remained extremely important in today's Japan (sempai/kohai system, seniority system, respect for the elder, indebtedness of children to their parents, "sensei" mentaility, etc.). Apart from that, Taoism (as in Zen Buddhism or cult of the ancestor at O-bon), Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, the kanji, the Chinese zodiac and lunar calendar, etc. are all clear signs that Japan (like Korea) is historically almost part of Chinese culture, probably more so than Greece, Portugal, Finland or the UK are part of the same "Western" culture.

    But the question in this thread is much more complex than just discussing whether Japanese culture is Western or not. It's obvious to anyone who knows a bit about Japan than Japanese is not culturally (or ethnically) Western. The question of this thread was "Is Japan a Western country ?". Country and culture are very different things. Being from Belgium, I know that even a small country can have more than one culture (in Belgium's case, Flemish or Walloon, which are probably as different as Japanese and Korean cultures). The US is another obvious example that a country can accommodate a huge variety of cultures, languages and ethnic groups.

    I started this thread because I found it interesting that although some countries that were not ethnically and linguistically Indo-European (e.g. Finland) could be considered as "Western", while others than were almost purely "Aryan" (descendant of Indo-European langauge speakers) and who spoke a Greco-Romance language are sometimes not considered "Western" (e.g. Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Greece...), or not as Western as English, German, French or Dutch speaking countries.

    I was quite shocked when opening a book about body language, the Australian author considered that the "Italians" were not Westerners. What country can be more Western than Italy, heir of the Roman Empire, Western Christianity, the Renaissance, Humanism, and even fascism ?

    On the other hand, the US, which is only 71% "white" (much less than Argentina or Uruguay) is typically called "Western". For other people, countries like Bolivia or Peru, which only have a minority of "whites" (15% and 12%) are considered as Western because it is part of the Western sphere of influence, and use a "Western" political and economical system. As the definition of "Westernness" is not clear, I was arguing that if Bolivia, Peru or Mexico can be called Western, then Japan also should, as it is more Westernized than these countries. Remember that the original question is about the "country" not the "culture".

    Japan is culturally Chinese/East-Asian, but Westernized as a country, because it has copied the political, economical systems as well as the technologies, dress code and even many eating habits of Western countries.

    Visit Japan for free with Wa-pedia
    See what's new on the forum ?
    Eupedia : Europe Guide & Genetics
    Maciamo & Eupedia on Twitter

    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  8. #158
    –Ú˜^ Index's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 26, 2005
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Does this guy actually separate China from Japan in term of civilization, while he puts all Africa or Latin America in one category ? If so I wouldn't trust him very much.
    He does, but remember that his notion of civilization includes the idea of culture as only a part of the definition, as well as other things such as language, institutions, religious customs and history. If you look at it this way then Japan is quite distinct. Other writers such as Gregory Clarke have also put forward the notion of Japan as being a distinctly unique entity; part of Clarke's thesis is that Japan is significantly different because of a lack of outside influences in it's development. He claims that Japan is almost in an earlier state of cultural and social 'evolution' because of this, in the sense that other civlizations have moved on, or added something to their makeup, as a result of the interaction with others.

    . The question of this thread was "Is Japan a Western country ?". Country and culture are very different things.
    If you are not talking about the concepts that make up the idea of civilization (as defined above), then what do you mean by country? Do you mean the sovereignty of the state then? I don't quite see the distinction you are making Maciamo, could you be a little more specific?

    I found it interesting that although some countries that were not ethnically and linguistically Indo-European (e.g. Finland) could be considered as "Western", while others than were almost purely "Aryan" (descendant of Indo-European langauge speakers) and who spoke a Greco-Romance language are sometimes not considered "Western" (e.g. Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Greece...), or not as Western as English, German, French or Dutch speaking countries.
    Well that's because the term 'western' refers to more than just language. Again, at the risk of being repetitive, if you consider the idea of 'civilization' and it's defintion, it might make more sense. As a matter of fact, in making this statement you have shown that language itself is not adequate in explaining the question of what it means to be western.

    I was quite shocked when opening a book about body language, the Australian author considered that the "Italians" were not Westerners. What country can be more Western than Italy, heir of the Roman Empire, Western Christianity, the Renaissance, Humanism, and even fascism ?
    That does sound peculiar. I wonder what he had in mind.

    [QUOTE]On the other hand, the US, which is only 71% "white" (much less than Argentina or Uruguay) is typically called "Western". For other people, countries like Bolivia or Peru, which only have a minority of "whites" (15% and 12%) are considered as Western because it is part of the Western sphere of influence, and use a "Western" political and economical system. As the definition of "Westernness" is not clear, I was arguing that if Bolivia, Peru or Mexico can be called Western, then Japan also should, as it is more Westernized than these countries. Remember that the original question is about the "country" not the "culture".[/QUOTE

    Well it's not a matter of ethnicity either-state and nation are two disitnct concepts too. Nations can exist without a state (eg. Kurds), and states can consist of more than one nation.

    In my mind Peru, Bolivia or Mexico wouldn't belong in the Western group. Are these countries really considered as Western?

    Japan is culturally Chinese/East-Asian, but Westernized as a country, because it has copied the political, economical systems as well as the technologies, dress code and even many eating habits of Western countries.
    What is it about Japan that you would say it is culturally like China Maciamo?

    I think dress code is insignificant because most of the world has taken on so called 'western ways' of dress to some degree, including China for that matter. Anyway, don't forget that what you say is 'western' clothing is quite distinct from traditional European dress for example. Maybe you mean 'American' way of dressing in relation to casual styles?

    What do you mean by eating habits? Do you mean diet, cutlery, number of meals per day, meal times?

    How relevant is political system? Western European states have had various forms of government, not always consistent accross states at any one particular point in time, yet they are Western. China is a communist state, like Cuba, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R., yet these countries are clearly not in the same 'civilization group'.

    As an interesting point,these days the distinction between north and south has become popular, rather than east and west. ie. developed vs. developing.

  9. #159
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    He does, but remember that his notion of civilization includes the idea of culture as only a part of the definition, as well as other things such as language, institutions, religious customs and history. If you look at it this way then Japan is quite distinct.
    Do you mean more distinct than the hundreds of unrelated African ethnic groups speaking about 240 languages belonging to 6 families of languages ?

    Japanese language is closely related to Korean (about 70% of similarity, including most of the grammar). Ethnically the Japanese come from Korea, so nothing unique there too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    If you are not talking about the concepts that make up the idea of civilization (as defined above), then what do you mean by country?
    This thread is not about civilisation but country, in the modern sense of the term (nation-state, with a government, institutions, companies, people, products...).

    Well it's not a matter of ethnicity either-state and nation are two disitnct concepts too. Nations can exist without a state (eg. Kurds), and states can consist of more than one nation.
    Then we could say that as a nation Japan is not Western, but as a state it is. Maybe that is also how Bolivia, Peru or Mexico are considered. Btw, if these countries aren't Western for you, are Argentina, Chile or even Brazil Western or not ? (and why)

    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    What is it about Japan that you would say it is culturally like China Maciamo?
    Well all the things I mention in the first paragraph : Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, the Kanji (and with them half of the words in Japanese), the Chinese zodiac & calendar (although this latter was changed to the Western one, but the traditional Japanese New Year was the same as the Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese one), legends (e.g. tanabata), traditions (e.g. hina matsuri), martial arts, traditional architecture, ancient political system, fireworks, traditional "Japanese" paper, etc, etc.

    I think dress code is insignificant because most of the world has taken on so called 'western ways' of dress to some degree, including China for that matter.
    Most countries in the world have become at least partly Westernized. But 99% of the Japanese now wear Western clothes on a daily basis, a much higher percentage than in Middle-Eastern countries, Africa, India or even Bolivia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    How relevant is political system? Western European states have had various forms of government, not always consistent accross states at any one particular point in time, yet they are Western. China is a communist state, like Cuba, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R., yet these countries are clearly not in the same 'civilization group'.
    You seem to forget that communism is a Western concept, and for me the political system of China is as Western as it gets from this point of view. The old non-Western political system of Japan before Meiji was very different, in the way that there was no central government but "countries" (‘) ruled by a daimyo, no parliament, no sense real nationality, no family names registered by the government for all the people, no such concept as civil law, citizen's rights, etc. Of course, all these developed quite recently in the West too (well, the first parliament was 1000 years ago, and family names for everyone over 500 years ago in some countries, but citizens' rights didn't appear until the 18th century). But other countries could have developed a modern political system culturally distinct from the Euro-American one. Instead, Japan or China decided to adopt Western systems, so they became westernized.

    As an interesting point,these days the distinction between north and south has become popular, rather than east and west. ie. developed vs. developing.
    Well, Japan is a pretty Southern country - same latitude as the South of Spain and Italy, North Africa, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, etc.

  10. #160
    –Ú˜^ Index's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 26, 2005
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Do you mean more distinct than the hundreds of unrelated African ethnic groups speaking about 240 languages belonging to 6 families of languages ?

    Japanese language is closely related to Korean (about 70% of similarity, including most of the grammar). Ethnically the Japanese come from Korea, so nothing unique there too.
    Like I said, civilization is not a matter of just one thing. Language, culture, history, institutions and religion are also relevant.

    This thread is not about civilisation but country, in the modern sense of the term (nation-state, with a government, institutions, companies, people, products...).
    Is this the definition of a nation-state? Sounds like the definition of a civilization to me. The idea of a nation-state has only been around since the Treaty of Westphalia, in the middle of the sixteenth century. Governments, institutions, companies, people and products, on the other hand, have been around for much longer. Nation-states differed from what existed before in that they gained sovereignty.

    Actually, the idea of sovereignty is in question these days and one could ask whether it will be around for much longer. The rise of multi-national corporations, international war courts, NGO's, and events such as the U.S. led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are changing the way nation-states and their sovereignty is being perceived. Alternatively, institutions, companies, people and products (ie. civilizations) will continue to exist even if sovereign nation-states do not.

    Btw, if these countries aren't Western for you, are Argentina, Chile or even Brazil Western or not ? (and why)
    Good question. I might have to get back to you with a more thought out answer later. For now I would say that it is because South America has a distinct history from that of Europe (and the U.S. as an extension) and also differences in ethnicity, language, and culture. Do you think economy is relevant here?

    Well all the things I mention in the first paragraph : Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, the Kanji (and with them half of the words in Japanese), the Chinese zodiac & calendar (although this latter was changed to the Western one, but the traditional Japanese New Year was the same as the Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese one), legends (e.g. tanabata), traditions (e.g. hina matsuri), martial arts, traditional architecture, ancient political system, fireworks, traditional "Japanese" paper, etc, etc.
    I meant to ask you about civiliation, rather than culture but no matter. All the things you mention may have come from China (though Buddhism is originally from India), but they have evolved and taken on their own distinctive nature in the Japanese environment, resulting in something distinctive enough for Japan to be considered a separate civilization. Martial arts are not Chinese; there are forms of it all aver the world as I mentioned in your 'Greatest Japanese Inventions' thread. Fireworks also exist in western culture, but that does not mean the west is Chinese in culture, does it? Ideas are born and exported to other parts of the world, where they continue to develop and make up the tapestry of civilizations and their culture. The west now uses the Hindu-Arabic numeration system, but that doesn't make the west Middle Eastern, Arabic, or Islamic.

    You seem to forget that communism is a Western concept, and for me the political system of China is as Western as it gets from this point of view.
    The light bulb is also a western invention but it doesn't make the countries which use it western. Obviously this is a simplistic analogy, but ideas may be born in one place and can evolve and change in other places. Chinese communism is quite different from what the Soviets knew. The Soviet Union was never considered western either, despite being communist, nor were the countries behind the Iron Curtain (which soon will be considered western no doubt).

    The old non-Western political system of Japan before Meiji was very different
    It was a form of feudalism, which existed in Europe also. The Japanese didn't take it from Europe however; it evolved concurrently and independantly, like many inventions do as a matter of fact. The point is that it communism or democracy could have developed on their own in China or Japan, just like feudalism did.

    Well, Japan is a pretty Southern country - same latitude as the South of Spain and Italy, North Africa, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, etc.
    Maybe the distinction comes from northern vs. southern hemisphere and the countries which are in each. Northern states means developed, whilst south refers to developing.
    Last edited by Index; Apr 29, 2005 at 20:27.

  11. #161
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 31, 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Japan is culturally Chinese/East-Asian, but Westernized as a country, because it has copied the political, economical systems as well as the technologies, dress code and even many eating habits of Western countries.


    Well, then I consider other white countries also westernized, because they also copied the political, economical systems of the Roman Empire.
    And Holland and Belgium, etc. have also been westernized, because they have copied the dresscodes and eating habits.

    It's actually what you call westernization. The modern western lifestyle comes from the US.

    Countries like Holland, Belgium used to go to the US to see the technologies there and bring it home. So they copied the technologies from the US.
    Shopping as leisure also comes from the US.

    I don't think you can put all white countries under the term western culture.
    Because, democracy comes from Greece.

    Other countries copied it, including Japan.

    All countries have their own eating habits.

    But I think the most known are the american ones. They are considered by us as normal. We also copy the american eating habits.

    A lot of European countries have been heavily influenced by the US.

    But I love the fact some of these countries have spared their own cultural aspects, like France, Italy and Spain. They have things that you can only encounter in their countries.

    If Japanese like to salsa-dance, is that also copieng a western thing.
    I don't think so. Salsa is something latin. And we shouldn't just include it with western things, just because we can feel good about it.

    Anyway, every country has its own culture.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Apr 30, 2005 at 15:52. Reason: quote tags !

  12. #162
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Meiki
    Well, then I consider other white countries also westernized, because they also copied the political, economical systems of the Roman Empire.
    And Holland and Belgium, etc. have also been westernized, because they have copied the dresscodes and eating habits.
    It doesn't make sense to say that countries that are by definition Western are Westernized. Do you even know how much the political and economical systems of Europe have evolved since Roman times ? It looks like you have little idea about what you are talking about. Eating habits and dress code ? Are you saying that the eating habits and dress code are the same in ANY modern European countries as in Ancient Rome ? We surely do wear toga everyday. Most of the European cusine now didn't exist in Ancient times, btw.

    It's actually what you call westernization. The modern western lifestyle comes from the US.
    Rarely heard such nonsensical comment. Take a good look at American public buildings, courts, the White House and Capitol, etc. What does it remind you of ? Ancient Greece and Rome. Look at US laws (e.g. common law). Does it come from the English legal system ? Don't the agrarian and industrial revolution come from Europe ? Doesn't economic liberalism come from Britain ? Universal suffrage was first proclaimed in New Zealand (in 1893), then in 10 European countries and Canada before the US. Feminism originated in Western Europe in the 18th century. There are more Italian or French restaurants in the US than American ones in all Europe (including McDonald's). Most sports commonly practised in Europe originated in Europe. Most of the food eaten in Europe in European (with Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese or American food only becoming popular a few decades ago, but only in restaurants - people don't normally cook these at home). Most of the fashion world is dominated by European (mostly French, Italian and British, but also German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish...) designers. So how could you say such things as "the modern western lifestyle comes from the US" and not be embarased ?

    Countries like Holland, Belgium used to go to the US to see the technologies there and bring it home. So they copied the technologies from the US.
    What are you talking about ?

    Just have a look at this, and see how many inventions are from the US.

    A lot of European countries have been heavily influenced by the US.
    I think European countries have influenced more the US than the other way round. Even the democratic ideals of the American revolution come from European thinkers of the Enlightenment period.

    Your whole post doesn't make much sense as Europe and the US are the same civilisation (group of culture with the same roots), and each countries have always influenced each others, even ruled each others, in history. What's more most of the languages are related too (except Basque, Finnish, Hungarian...).
    Last edited by Maciamo; Apr 30, 2005 at 16:57.

  13. #163
    bronze squire
    Join Date
    May 29, 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3
    I don't think Japan is western, but it is influenced by western pop culture. They sort of make things their own.
    The wind calms before the storm.

  14. #164
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2, 2005
    Location
    Wuhu China
    Age
    50
    Posts
    29
    An oriental in a western coat, which suits well though.

  15. #165
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 24, 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    92
    I am late, of course, but even after reading some of the post, I don't believe Japan is a Western country. We all know it's been influenced by the West possibly more than any other Asian nation.
    "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  16. #166
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2, 2005
    Location
    Wuhu China
    Age
    50
    Posts
    29
    More by the west than any other Asian county--- in modern times, Ma Cherie

  17. #167
    Regular Member Tim33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location
    Oxford
    Age
    34
    Posts
    17
    It is has evolved into a better standard of living like most western countries have. Its government/wealth/social scene is more western then other asian countries.

  18. #168
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2, 2005
    Location
    Wuhu China
    Age
    50
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim33
    It is has evolved into a better standard of living like most western countries have. Its government/wealth/social scene is more western then other asian countries.
    Sure, a general trend since the beginning of modern times, in which Japan has taken the lead as far as it goes now. But there is something deep in the culture you can't expect to change, like religiion, ancestry and its heritage.etc. it would be too radical if otherwise, i think.

  19. #169
    Türk Er
    Join Date
    Jun 11, 2005
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1
    Looking at Geographically Japan most certainly is NOT western! But technology-wise they are. However why should the US and Europe not be called Eastern then because Japanese Technology far surpasses theirs : )

    I hope Japan never loses its ancient roots and customs to a relentless wave of "western" influences. Even though modern Japan intrigues me, there's something about old Japan, and the noble Samurai heritage that is mystical to me. Maybe they echo my forfathers of Attila and the Turkic warriors..

  20. #170
    Lil Asian Mutt Girl
    Join Date
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location
    Washington
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1
    Japan's landscape is so intruging, beautiful, and different from America's .. and Japan is so advanced in a lot of things such as technology so I wouldn't call it a Western country.

    It's true that Japan was/is influenced by Western culture, but Japan still has its own roots.

  21. #171
    Regular Member Kimota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 15, 2004
    Posts
    3
    Japan modeled almost all of its modern institutions on Western countries. In this respect, it is Westernized.

    The only country I've visited in Asia more Westernized than Japan is Singapore.

  22. #172
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 31, 2005
    Posts
    12
    yeah, but the idea of democracy comes from Greece. I don't think it's fair to put all certain things under the term western. Cause some countries are just in the 'western' area and didn't contribute **** to the so-called western 'civilisation'.
    Why don't we cut out with the 'western' ****. Even though the word 'eastern' exist, could you really put China, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and any other asian country together in one group? One has/had a far greater influence, makes/ made a greater contribution, and rocks the other out.
    In terms of modern live, I think it's the USA, 'we' gave people Mc Donald, cornflakes, refridgerator, shopping as a spare time activity, and what not. But then countries in Europe take it over, and then it's like 'western'. Right. I do have respect for the contributions France, England, Italy, Greece and Germany made though.
    Japan actually seem only to think of America when it comes to a country other than east-asian ones.

  23. #173
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Anatolian
    Looking at Geographically Japan most certainly is NOT western! But technology-wise they are. However why should the US and Europe not be called Eastern then because Japanese Technology far surpasses theirs
    Westerness has little to do with technology. It's more about the system and cultural, political and scientific heritage. Let say that the Western vs Eastern division originally means Europe vs Asia, but was shattered by the European expansion in the Americas and Oceania. Well, if it was only for the American continent, we could still say that Europe and the Americas were Western because of geography. But that doesn't work with Australia and NZ. So Western has come to mean people who have inherited, as I said, the system, culture, etc. of Europe.

    But it is no limited to people of European descent, as many africans, asians and 'mixed races' both in Europe and the Americas have also become Westerners, absorbed by the culture and system of the country they reside in.

    The purpose of this thread was mostly to determine whether the Japanese have absorbed enough of the Western system (politics, economy, sciences, education...) and culture (incl. language, food, clothes, music, lifestyle...) to be considered Western. If we only compare one European/North American country with Japan, the answer seems to be 'no'. However, looking at how Japan was before the Meiji revolution and how it is now, we can only say that most things found in Japan have been Westernized and very little remain of the original culture. Ironically, what remains most of the 'Japanese' culture and system is what came from China, i.e. the Kanji, Confucianism (e.g. seniority system and politeness system)...

    About everything else has been Westernized : the clothes, food (e.g. dairy products and meat, none of whcih were eaten before Meiji), political system (democracy with political parties), technology and education (copied on the American model after WWII)... Even the main Western 'traditional events' such as the New Year (Japan used the Chinese New Year before Meiji, but now celebrates it on 1st January), Xmas or Valentine's have become more important than the traditional Sino-Japanese or Buddhist ones.

    But looking at it like that, few countries in the world if any have resisted westernization. Japan is however one of the most Westernized countries in Asia, along with Singapore and South Korea. Sometimes I am really surprised at how many English words are used in everyday Japanese. I think no European language uses nearly as many.

  24. #174
    Heimin
    Join Date
    Mar 31, 2005
    Posts
    12
    "But looking at it like that, few countries in the world if any have resisted westernization. Japan is however one of the most Westernized countries in Asia, along with Singapore and South Korea. Sometimes I am really surprised at how many English words are used in everyday Japanese. I think no European language uses nearly as many."


    Whahahaha, will you cut out with the western crap. It's not like your country Belgium has done a lot for Japan. Belgium has been influenced a lot by the US. A lot of modern stuff comes from the US. Not only the US, but also France, Germany, etc. Democracy is Greece, for example. WhAHHAHAHAHA European nationality, your sucky country could never ever ever become a superpower or anything significant by itself, that's why. And I know Belgian chocolates are really yummy, but chocolate is not an original belgin thing.

  25. #175
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 28, 2003
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    319
    Quote Originally Posted by Meiki
    "But looking at it like that, few countries in the world if any have resisted westernization. Japan is however one of the most Westernized countries in Asia, along with Singapore and South Korea. Sometimes I am really surprised at how many English words are used in everyday Japanese. I think no European language uses nearly as many."


    Whahahaha, will you cut out with the western crap. It's not like your country Belgium has done a lot for Japan. Belgium has been influenced a lot by the US. A lot of modern stuff comes from the US. Not only the US, but also France, Germany, etc. Democracy is Greece, for example. WhAHHAHAHAHA European nationality, your sucky country could never ever ever become a superpower or anything significant by itself, that's why. And I know Belgian chocolates are really yummy, but chocolate is not an original belgin thing.
    You quote him about English language in Japan & then you criticise him on being Belgian? What's the point?

Page 7 of 14 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Japan is not an asylum country
    By Maciamo in forum Immigration & Foreigners
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: Jun 17, 2016, 13:41
  2. Is Japan an intellectual country ?
    By Maciamo in forum Culture Shock
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: Feb 10, 2007, 06:52
  3. Japan a touristical country ?
    By Maciamo in forum Other News
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Nov 11, 2002, 01:14

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •