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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. #176
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    I haven't read the thread from the beginning unfortunately... but I agree with Maciamo's interesting comment about Westernization.

    Also, though, there are other ways in which cultures are shared and balances get redressed. At the moment there seems a lot of countries 'Westernized' in the sense of having absorbed a lot of the culture that originated from Europe (and later from the US). But with better communications, more people find out about all different things... other countries and cultures... I think in the future, perhaps 'Westernization' isn't so rapid. I can envisage that some cultural things become more homogenous and less 'cultural divide', between all countries. It can already be seen happening - but of course, I look into a far future rather than the near one.

    Oh, and let's not insult each other's countries, OK?

  2. #177
    Regular Member Silverbackman's Avatar
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    Well it does depend how you look at it sort of. Japan is a very modern rich country but if we are going to say that modern and rich countries are western I think that is a bit rude;).

    I think it more has to do with values. Despite the fact that Europe is becoming largelly non-religious, it still holds still to judeo-christian values. Even those who classify themselves as non-religious still partake in many western judeo-christian traditions such as christmas. Even if a nation is not religious the traditions and culture from it are enough to classify them.

    For example in th East many Japanese still hold true to many shinto-buddhist values despite many not bein religious at all. In fact there are only 4 million actual shinto-buddhist followers, the rest of the 100 million are only shinto-buddhist by name. Despite this fact many still partake in shinto-buddhist traditions.

    Japan has been heavily influenced by the west and some people would say Japan is the most "western" of all countries.

    However when it comes down to the fundementals Japanese have a very different culture and tradition than people of Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA, and Canada. The West has more judeo-christian traditions and culture while Japan has more shinto-buddhist traditions and culture. It has nothing with being religious, it more based IMO more on culture and tradition;).

  3. #178
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    Japan is basically a Chinese/Korean country with many other races ...that's why they are so confused!!

  4. #179
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    Just have a quick look at their faces Mostly Mongolian plus Chinese mostly and Korean and a lot of other races to improve their strength, stock and (esthetically) beauty by mixing with Belgians, Americans, French,British etc. Japanese want to improve their poor stock to produce the Jap ideal ....The KawAIEEEEEEEE! not beautiful. to be sold on in the next advertising campaign.

  5. #180
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    Squareboy ..this says it all

    Quote Originally Posted by Squareboy
    Japan is Different, Different than any other place on earth, it is the most technoligacally advances socity in the world while at the same time holding some of the oldest traditions. Asian a weird term, most people almost always think ""Chinese" when you say Asian. and no one considers Russia Asian, Russia is very western and takes up basically half of the contanant of Aisa. Japan is Asian but is becoming more western everyday!
    A "square boy" who doesn't realise that japan has copied every tech. development to get where it is today. japan is retro

  6. #181
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    I agree with Silverbackman. 'Western' or otherwise has more to do with culture than whether a country is rich or technologically advanced. With better information communications, and travel, people of different cultures can find out more about other cultures, and so naturally things tend to get a bit intermingled, with various things getting 'stolen' from one culture into another... but I think at this stage that Japan is still quite different from 'Western' countries because of its different roots, despite a kind of pervasive Western 'veneer'.

    @ Celtician: I hope you're not saying that Belgians, Americans, French and British (and the etc.!) are aesthetically better-looking than Japanese? Or are you saying that you feel that's the way Japanese marketers perceive it? Because to say they are 'poor stock' is nonsense.

  7. #182
    Bibliophile Ravenwood's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I do not believe Japan is a Western country and, frankly, why would they want to be? They were better off when their country was unpolluted by Western habits and "cuisine".

  8. #183
    Supersize Me 大きいアメリカ人's Avatar
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    its getting there

  9. #184
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 大きいアメリカ人
    its getting there
    In what way? Family structure, diet, work environment, social mores, ideology, national identity, economy, luxury good consumption, education, health care, poverty, quality of life?
    In what way is it "getting there?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwood
    I do not believe Japan is a Western country and, frankly, why would they want to be? They were better off when their country was unpolluted by Western habits and "cuisine".
    What is your agenda with Japan and its diet? You might try visiting the country before you decry the brutal imperialist conquest of the Western food industry--- what you're saying is simply ignorant conjecture mixed with some idealistic personal opinion.

    You act like the backpackers who wont pay more than five dollars a day for lodging and complain about a new McDonalds ruining their version of Thailand. Guess what, the world is not your amusement park.
    (flickr: pgh, japan & korea, santa cruz ) (blog: eyesonthewires) (j-rock)

    Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
    -Eric Hoffer.

  10. #185
    Bibliophile Ravenwood's Avatar
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    Yukio -

    I do not understand your hostility toward me. I have great respect for your country.

    I have followed the negative influence of Western culture in your country very carefully for many years. The US is ruining your culture. Does that not disturb you?

    Vilifying me and essentially calling me a cheapskate with unreasonable expectations is unfair. It happens that I live in a landlocked state in the US and I pay a fortune to eat Japanese cuisine. I do so without complaint because it is so healthy.

    If you want to be nasty to someone, choose someone who deserves your ire. There are plenty of people who are far more appropriate targets.

    UPDATE -

    I have reviewed your profile and observe that you are an American. Your opinion has, therefore, become irrelevant to me. I assumed you were Japanese.

    All you have done is further erode my opinion of my own countrymen. My opinion about the effects of Western culture on Japan stand.

    America has polluted Japan and Japan is the worse for it.
    Last edited by Ravenwood; Feb 7, 2006 at 09:51.

  11. #186
    Go Jigglypuff Puff's Avatar
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    I guess that is depends on each person's views. I don't know if Japan is a western country but that is just me

  12. #187
    Regular Member godppgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwood
    I do not believe Japan is a Western country and, frankly, why would they want to be? They were better off when their country was unpolluted by Western habits and "cuisine".
    Would you care to elaborate more on what "western habits" have polluted Japan?

    One of the reasons why I like Japan is how motivated it try to constantly "update" itself from observing others. If you are interested in the origin of Japan's westernization, I would suggest reading Fukuzawa Yukichi's 勸學 and 脫亞論. From an asian point of view, I can assure you the pros of being westernized is much more than the cons in today's world.

  13. #188
    経験値が足りない J44xm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godppgo
    One of the reasons why I like Japan is how motivated it try to constantly "update" itself from observing others. [...] From an asian point of view, I can assure you the pros of being westernized is much more than the cons in today's world.
    That's a nice view of things you have. And it's true that being at least partly westernized is beneficial in several ways. Japan isn't "western" but it certainly is westernized to a substantial degree. The amalgamation of eastern traits and western traits is one of the subjects about Japan that interests me the most, honestly.

  14. #189
    Bibliophile Ravenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godppgo
    Would you care to elaborate more on what "western habits" have polluted Japan?
    One of the reasons why I like Japan is how motivated it try to constantly "update" itself from observing others. If you are interested in the origin of Japan's westernization, I would suggest reading Fukuzawa Yukichi's 勸學 and 脫亞論. From an asian point of view, I can assure you the pros of being westernized is much more than the cons in today's world.
    Food
    Clothing
    Hair Styles
    Youth Attitudes
    Foul Language
    Vulgar Public Behavior
    Erosion of Cultural Values & Traditions
    Ghastly Music

    . . . to name a few.

    Do you not see the irony in an American mourning Japanese culture? My culture is ruining yours and you do not seem at all concerned. It is shocking and very sad.

    Do you not care about the integrity of your culture?

  15. #190
    経験値が足りない J44xm's Avatar
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    Foreign food, clothing, and hair styles are intrinsically bad? Should Japanese people not be allowed to try and even like western food? Youths never had attitudes, neither was there foul language nor vulgar public behavior, before exposure to western influence? As for the erosion of cultural values and traditions, I'm pretty sure that cultures evolve, sometimes even assimilating values and styles from other countries. They don't stay locked in some sort of freeze-dried wrapping for all time. Too, I'm pretty sure Japan has discarded a number of values and traditions over the centuries, far predating before western influence. And "Ghastly music"? That doesn't even sound serious.

    I think that, first, you are probably confusing westernization with industrialization, to some degree; and second, that you have a very romanticized view of Japan itself and of culture in general.

  16. #191
    Regular Member godppgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwood

    My culture is ruining yours and you do not seem at all concerned. It is shocking and very sad.
    Do you not care about the integrity of your culture?
    Your culture will influence mine either through force or affection. The former usually results in colonization and systematic wiping out the culture being colonized. The latter is a more passive and slow adaptation of a new culture. Japan suits the latter case. However, many Asian countries had to go through the former process. The superior culture will ultimately consume the inferior ones as a result of human pursue for a better way of living. If you are from a country of western origin, then it might be hard for you to imagine how it feels like to be overpowered by another culture. Survival becomes the priority of all matters, integrity of my culture is secondary. Sounds harsh but history proves itself to be not too kind to cultures of less influence.

  17. #192
    Regular Member Elizabeth van Kampen's Avatar
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    Japan a Western country?
    It has always surprised me that even long before WWII the former Dutch East Indies considered as the Japanese as Westerners, but not so the Chinese.
    I lived 9 years in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1956 till 1965 and also there the Japanese were considered Europeans but the Chinese were considred as Asians just like the Indians.

    The Japanese government worries about the possible future empress, she could marry a foreigner with blue eyes ... a nightmare for the Japanese.

    I find the young Japanese generation very modern but most certainly not Western

  18. #193
    puzzled gaijin
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    Japan is a Western country?!

    Certainly Japan on the surface has some Western concepts; clothing, music, some mannerisms, language, etc.. but the main concepts behind the logic used here which influences society and the manner of governing are definately not Western. Likewise, the values system underpinning all of this is not Western, so in that sense, Japan is not a Western Country.


    Note; the old definition of Western based on geographic location no longer seems to apply, though historically, for a country to change completely its ideology usually take a number of years, and it may take on a new form.

  19. #194
    Regular Member Chris Davison's Avatar
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    Japan is eastern

    Whale hunting and animal rights show the big differences between Japan
    and the UK for example . OK there are anti whaling people in Japan
    but many say whale hunting is "Japanese culture" if so, take my word for it
    Japan is not "western"

  20. #195
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwood
    I have reviewed your profile and observe that you are an American. Your opinion has, therefore, become irrelevant to me. I assumed you were Japanese.
    I don't think I really care if someone from Wisconsin thinks my opinions on a country I live in are invalidated because I happen not to be Asian.

    In any case, don't worry--- what you think is going on, isn't going on... People in Japan largely listen to music, wear clothes, and eat food that is Japanese by nature---

    Your opinion is more typical than it is shocking, the fact that whenever someone who is Japanese wears jeans, cowboy boots, or listens to rock-n-roll, they have shilled their ethnicity to the evil West... it's just boring and, frankly--- wrong.

  21. #196
    all men dances juvi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Davison
    Whale hunting and animal rights show the big differences between Japan
    and the UK for example . OK there are anti whaling people in Japan
    but many say whale hunting is "Japanese culture" if so, take my word for it
    Japan is not "western"
    I don't think this is quite right, I'm from Norway and we have been hunting for whales for ages. And as well as I know we are considered to be western. And I personally don't see anything wrong in it. If we are going to keep on fishing in the scale we do now, we have to kill seals and whales to, but of course in quota.
    This was not meant offensive in any way, and I want to make it clear that a lot of people in Norway feel the same way as you Chris Davison this was my opinion.
    I just want to say that I don't consider Japan as western, but a mix between Asia and the west.
    Last edited by juvi; Feb 10, 2006 at 21:31.
    http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18139

  22. #197
    経験値が足りない J44xm's Avatar
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    I would not say Japan is western. I would say it's a modern, industrialized eastern country.

  23. #198
    Banned Onigiri Chan's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree, Japan is not a western country though without a doubt it has been greatly influenced, and so changed.
    A culture does not lose its integrity by adopting different clothing styles, hair styles, or music genres. And I'm positive that youth anywhere has attitude.

    But more than that culture does not lose its defining backbone so easily. Aggravatingly the old "don't judge a book" can be applied here in a number of ways (especially in response to Ravenwood's apparent certainty of the ingredients that make up the "new" Japanese culture)

    Ravenwood -- simply because Americans have gained a new respect for an elder culture it does not mean that they are entitled to experiencing it as they see fit.

  24. #199
    puzzled gaijin
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    A culture does not lose its integrity by adopting different clothing styles, hair styles, or music genres. And I'm positive that youth anywhere has attitude.

    Well put. As long as Japan retains a mixture of Confucian and collectivist values, it will never be Western, regardless of the surface (a similar thing was said about Hong Kong before the handover, looks Western, but when you scratch beneath the surface, it's all Chinese). Is that a good thing or bad thing, depends on what values you favor.

    Ravenwood -- simply because Americans have gained a new respect for an elder culture it does not mean that they are entitled to experiencing it as they see fit.

    Ravenwood, maybe you would be happier over at 'Young Dude's guide to Japan'. Most of the people in that forum live in Japan and are infatuated with it, to the point they don't see any bad qualities in Japan (or just don't want to see them talked about). But if you go over there, wear an abestos suit, the flaming is constant.

  25. #200
    Seeing is believing Minty's Avatar
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    Most Japanese have grown up with American pop culture alongside the japaneseMany Japanese, especially the younger generations embrace more and more Western values, many even give their children western names.
    I think there are more Chinese with English/Christian names than Japanese; the Chinese immigration outside of the mainland is by far bigger than Japanese because of communist China. Most immigrants have English/Christian names. American pop is everywhere in Asia except very strict societies like mainland China (which is now changing) and North Korea. If you go to Singapore, Thailand, Hk...etc they are very much influenced by western cultures too. You are right I wouldn’t consider these sorts of behaviours as part of the arguments for a country to be considered a western country.

    Japan... difficult to say. Hmmm, don't you notice the western media like New York Times and the Economists don't really include Japan in Asia? It is always Japan and Asia. Not Japan of Asia.
    That’s because Americans have preferences for Japanese. This seems more like politics to me.

    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 ?
    Hmmm from what I Know there are certain amounts of people who don’t see Italian as westerners because they are not “white” enough, due to Ottoman Empire invasion. I definitely classify them as westerner. Why do you think Italians have been called “wogs” by some Australians.

    On the other hand, the US, which is only 71% "white" (much less than Argentina or Uruguay) is typically called "Western".
    Hmmm well for certain people, as long as the "white people" are in power it is considered as a western country.

    Well put. As long as Japan retains a mixture of Confucian and collectivist values, it will never be Western, regardless of the surface (a similar thing was said about Hong Kong before the handover, looks Western, but when you scratch beneath the surface, it's all Chinese). Is that a good thing or bad thing, depends on what values you favor.
    Yes I agree. I think Japan is classified as an Eastern nation still; even she has been very cooperative with the western countries and is a very developed nation.
    Last edited by Minty; Apr 11, 2006 at 06:06.

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