Principles of Selection in Japanese Culture

Tulisan berupa makalah2 kecil mingguan dari anak.

Name: Shahriansyah Candraditya

                                                                                                        Number: 11014213

Principles of Selection in Japanese Culture

In the Introducing the Japanese Mindtextbook, Sakyo Komatsu as an author of Priciples of Selecion in Japanese Culture gives some explanations and examples that eventhough Japan introduced many foreign culture and religion custom to its own culture, it does not mean Japan apply the culture entirely.  Japan will introduced most of the system to its people, however, some of the important part of those cultures would be left out entirely.  One of the example Sakyo Komatsu brought is the introduction of Buddhist culture to Japan.  Japanese buddhist priest were allowed to marry and eat meat.  Although this kind of rules are forbidden in original buddhist.

Sakyo Komatsu mention some of examples of this matter such as Confucianism and Buddhism, however, i think there are example beside those from Confucianism and Buddhism.  For example, Christianity.  Christian Arriving in Japan in the middle of the 16th century.  Catholicism was the first known organized denomination to establish a presence in Japan, and the only major source of Christianization in Japan until the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji restoration.  Same as Confucianism and Buddhism, nation of Japan also introduced some of Christian culture into Japanese with the same path, take some of them and left out another entirely.

The example from Christian custom i want to brought is christmast.  Christmast is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world.  In addition, regarding the Christmas Eve, Christian usually celebrated midnight mass on Christmas eve while Japanese go on a date and have fun.  On Christmas Eve, we can see lots of young couples walking and holding hands.  Sometimes foreigners who know a little about Japan get confused because it’s a lot like Valentines Day than Christmas.  You’ll also find it difficult to book a reservation in a restaurant on that day.  Gift shops are also packed.  The most common gifts are sweet and cute like teddy bears, flowers, candy, promise rings, etc.

What we can understand from example above is, Japan introduce christmast to its people with some important part totally left out.  When the first time i came to Japan, i find it ridiculous for Japanese to celebrate christmast while they are not Christian.  There are also other example such as wedding.  Japanese celebrate their wedding in church with Christian style, even there are pastor to marry them.  When i asked some of my Japanese friend why they want to marry in church, their answer mostly same, because marry in church is cool and women will look more beautiful in white dress.  Same as christmast, my friend answered that Japanese celebrate christmast because christmast is fun and memorable.  For other reason, I also think that this is also part of American influence to Japanese.

If we look from example above, Japan will adapt the culture which is favorable and profitable for them, and left the “troublesome” part.  Such as christmast, christmast is win win solution for Japanese.  Not only it will raise Japanese economy but also Japanese people can enjoy themselves in christmast without take the “troublesome” part.  For me as non Christian, it will be very strange for me to take part in christmas since christmast is not part of my religion custom.  However for Japanese, because of the vagueness the Japanese related to the god, they can do other religion custom without feeling “guilty” because they do those customs without joining that religion first.



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