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The Culture of Japan. history

The culture of Japan resulted from a historical process that began with the relocation of the ancestors of the Japanese people on the Japanese archipelago from the continent and the emergence of a culture of Jomon. Modern Japanese culture was strongly influenced by Asian countries (especially China and Korea), Europe and North America.

One of the features of Japanese culture is its long development period in complete isolation of the country (sakoku policy) from the rest of the world during the reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which lasted till the middle of XIX century — beginning of the Meiji period.

The culture and mentality of the Japanese was influenced by an isolated territorial situation of the country, geographical and climatic features, as well as specific natural disasters (frequent earthquakes and typhoons), which resulted in a kind of Japanese attitude to nature as a living creature. The ability to admire the immediate beauty of nature as a feature of national character of Japanese, found expression in many art forms of Japan.

The history of Japanese culture:

The Jomon (10 thousand years BC — 300 BC) — first examples of ceramics, jewelry and female figurines the dog

The Yayoi (300 BC — 300 ad) — the transition to agriculture, irrigated rice cultivation, bronze and iron bells dotaku


Kofun (IV century BC — VI century BC) — dissemination of culture burial mounds, sculptures, haniwa, the origin of ancient Shinto and related cults

— Asuka (593-710) — borrowing samples of Chinese culture, Taika reforms, the creation of codes of laws

Nara (710-794) — penetration into the country of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, the creation of literary works “Kojiki”, “Nihon Seki”, “Manyoshu”, “Kapuso”

Heian (794-1185) — start using syllabic alphabets hiragana and katakana, the construction of Itsukushima Shrine, the creation of “Tale of Genji”, the emergence of style in painting, Yamato-e

Kamakura (1185-1333) — formation of the samurai class

The Muromachi (1333-1568) — the emergence of the theatre but

— Sengoku Jidai (1467-1568) — penetration into the country of Christianity

The Azuchi-Momoyama (1568-1600)

Edo (1600-1868) — the establishment of the Tokugawa dictatorship, politics sakoku, the suppression of Christianity and the fall of the Shogunate, the rise of Kabuki and style Ukiyo-e

Meiji (1868-1912) — the end of the period of self-isolation, the beginning of capitalist development, the emergence of Japanese cinema

Taisho (1912-1926)

Showa (1926-1989)

Japanese language and writing

The Japanese language has always been an important part of Japanese culture. The majority of the population speaks Japanese. Japanese is an agglutinative language and is characterized by a complex system of writing consisting of three different types of characters — the Chinese characters kanji, syllabary hiragana and katakana.

The word “Japan” written in kanji

The most ancient known form of the Japanese language is called the old Japanese language, it was formed by borrowing the Chinese writing system and characters and was used until the beginning of the Heian period. In the process of further development of the Japanese language, classical Japanese then called the or late old Japanese language, they have added new ways of writing — two syllabary hiragana and katakana, which led to a significant development of Japanese literary language and the flourishing of Japanese literature.

In the modern Japanese language is quite high is the percentage of words borrowed from other languages (the so-called gairaigo). Japanese names are written in kanji, consist of first name and last name, the last name is specified first.

The Japanese language is one of the most difficult to study. For the transliteration of Japanese characters used different systems, the most common are Romaji (Latin transliteration) and the system Polivanova (writing Japanese words in Cyrillic). Some of the words in the Russian language were taken from the Japanese language, such as tsunami, sushi, karaoke, samurai, etc.

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