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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2002

    Arrow How much of Japan's traditional culture comes from China ?

    Most people know that the kanji or Confucianism were two things imported from China by the Japanese. But exactly how much of Japanese traditional culture originated in China ? Let's have a look.

    Originated from China with few or no modifications

    The great philosophies

    Confucianism (e.g. seniority system, keigo...)
    Taoism (e.g. ancestor worship)
    Mahayana Buddhism (including Obon festival, originated in India, but modified in China and imported as such in Japan)

    The festivals and traditions

    Japanese traditional New Year (same date as the Chinese New Year until 1873)
    Hina Matsuri
    Setsubun, risshun, shunbun, shubun, etc.
    Hanami (blossom viewing, typically plum, cherry or peach - note that plum blossom is the official flower of China, while cherry blossom is the official one of Japan)
    Tea ceremony (sado) (note that there is also a Korean tea ceremony older than the Japanese one)
    Flower arrangement (ikebana) (there is also a Korean flower arrangement)

    Other cultural elements

    Kanji & calligraphy (shodou)
    Traditional black-ink painting
    Wood-block printing (e.g. ukiyoe)
    Traditional architecture & garden landscaping
    Chinese medicine (kanpou), including acupuncture
    Chinese astrology
    Mahjong & go


    Shamisen & koto
    Washi (Japanese paper), rice paper, etc.
    Lacquerware & porcelain (eg. rice bowls)
    Fireworks (hanabi)
    Fusuma/Kara-kami (‰¦/ŠΏŽ†)
    Arched bridges


    All noodles (ramen, udon, soba...)
    Rice culture
    Tofu cuisine
    Soy sauce
    Tea, including green tea
    Many 'home-cooking' everyday dishes (mabo dofu, chahan, subuta, gyoza, yasai itame...)
    Rice wine

    Originated from China, but strongly modified over time

    Kimono & yukata
    Martial arts
    Traditional music

    Originally Japanese

    Shintoism (including derivatives such as matsuri, sumo...)
    Noh & Kabuki
    Hot spring culture
    Last edited by Maciamo; Oct 9, 2005 at 08:11.

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