Japanese Culture: An Interesting Blend of Traditional and Modern Cultures

15.12.2014 | 15:03

Japan has borrowed and adapted a variety of ideas from countries all over the world. The Japanese lifestyle today can be described as a careful blend of Asian culture and Western culture.

These two go hand in hand and balance each other extremely well with Asia’s traditional take on life and the Western’s culture fun spin on all things life.

Traditional Culture

Despite the development of modern forms of entertainment, the traditional performing arts are still a common occurrence today. The traditional performing arts are broken down into the following categories: Noh, Kyogen, Bunraku, and Kabuki. These are recognized as a cultural heritage that is very difficult to replicate anywhere else.

Kabuki is a classical theater act that was developed in the 17th century. This form of acting can be identified by the rhythm in which the lines are spoken by the actors, the incredible costumes, the festive makeup (kumadori), and the utilization of mechanical devices in order to achieve theatrical effects on stage.

The makeup is intended to accentuate the various personalities and display the moods of the actors. Most of the time, the plays are inspired by medieval time periods. Interestingly enough, all actors on the stage will portray the male gender, even if the actors are in fact female.

Noh is the oldest form of classical theater. The story line is portrayed through singing, musical instruments, and even special dances. The leading actor will feature a special wood mask that will depict the actor as an old man, a young or older woman, or a spiritual deity.

Kyogen is a classical form of comic theater that is usually conducted with extremely flamboyant actions and emotional lines.

Some of the other traditional arts or festivities that are regularly enjoyed are tea ceremony and Ikebana. The tea ceremony is a careful and almost ritual like method of preparing green tea.

It takes a special hand and a range of knowledge to produce the perfect kettle of tea. The careful and thoughtful process that is involved with making tea cultures an appreciation of nature and encourages the exploration of life.

The art of flower arrangement started in Japan over seven centuries ago. This art involves organizing flowers and plants in a decorative manner. Extreme care must be taken to pick each plant and decide on the specifics of each element. For instance, special care must be taken to pick the appropriate decorative plants, pick the container, and arrange the branches and flowers in a particular manner.

Modern Culture

Classical music was developed by the west and was imported to Japan. Concerts can be found all over the country. Japan has also cultured a development of popular or famous pianists and violinists that travel the world competing.

Ever since Kurosawa Akira was awarded the Golden Lion Award in 1951, the Japanese cinema has become a popular attraction for a variety of spectators.

The Japanese folk have also produced their own cartoon known as anime and manga. These shows and movies have been entertaining the children since the early 60’s. Their artistic and action packed adventures have enabled them to gain popularity in other countries such as North America.

Sailor Moon, Dragon ball Z, and Astro Boy are some of the top few anime that hold a strong fan base in North America.

In this video you will find some ideas of things to do in Tokyo:

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