Japans constitution provides freedom of religion and the government
The country has a total of 145,884 square miles and its population is
estimated at 127 million.
According to the statics published by the agency for Cultural Affairs
approximately 49.9 percent of citizens adhere to Shintoism, 44.2 percent
to Buddhism and 5.0 percent to other religions..
Shinto is the belief and worship of Kami, Kami is spirits and can also be
elements of landscape or forces of nature.
Shintoists would say that the concept of Kami is hard to explain, because
humans beings are simply in cable of forming a true understanding of
Buddhism incorporates a variety of rituals and practices, which are intended
to aid in the journey and bring blessings on one self and others.
Meditation is the central focus of Zen Buddhism. Mantras are sacred
sounds that are believed to posses supernatural powers.
VALUES IN JAPAN
Respect and care for ones elders is an important factor for the Japanese. They
have a great deal of respect for their elders and value them as critical
members of society. The elders are also the people who will pass down
traditions from generation to generation.
Those who say very little are considered credible. Their non-verbal cues and
communication are more important than verbal communication.
The Japanese are a very high context culture. When they speak their words are
paid careful attention to because they are important. They use many
nonverbal signs to communicate with each other. To an outsider these
nonverbal cues might seem confusing or even go unnoticed, but to a
member of Japanese society they hold a deeper meaning.
In Japan, people bow as a sign of respect. One should bow to their elders,
people of status, and anyone else they regard highly. When one bows to
another the other person always bows in return as a sign of their gratitude
and to return their respect.
When a Japanese student has a question it is expected that they raise their
hand in class. In the classroom a student may raise their hand to ask a
clarifying question, but not to give their own opinion. Classes are held in a
lecture format and never include class discussion.
LANGUAGE IN JAPAN
Japanese is believed to be linked to the Altaic language family, which includes
Turkish, Mongolian and Writing:
The Japanese writing system consists of three different character sets: Kanji (several
thousands of Chinese characters) and Hiragana and Katakana (two syllabifies of
46 characters each; together called Kana). Japanese texts can be written in two
ways: In Western style, i.e. in horizontal rows from the top to the bottom of the
page, or in traditional Japanese style, i.e. in vertical columns from the right to the
left side of the page. Both writing styles exist side by side today. other languages,
but also shows similarities to Austronesian languages like Polynesian.
Basic Japanese grammar is relatively simple. Complicating factors such as gender
articles and distinctions between plural and singular are missing almost
completely. Conjugation rules for verbs and adjectives are simple and almost free
of exceptions. Nouns are not declinated at all, but appear always in the same
In comparison with other languages, Japanese knows relatively few sounds, and
pronunciation poses little problems to most learners. The biggest difficulty are
accents, which do exist, but to a much lower extent than in the Chinese language.
In addition, there are relatively many homonyms, i.e. words that are pronounced
the same way, but have different meanings.
Levels of speech:
Different words and expressions are used when talking to an unknown person or a
superior, as opposed to when talking to a child, family member or a close friend.
For instance, there are more than five different words for the English word "I",
"Japan." International Religious Freedom
Report Annual 2004: 193+. Religion and
Philosophy Collection. Web. 25 Nov. 2013