Culture refers to customs, beliefs as well people’s practices. It encompasses their source of livelihoods as well as the immaterial phenomenon that they pass on from one generation to another. Culture is dynamic and this applies to all the societies in the world. For our discussion, we will be handling the Asian community. These people for several years, they have been having a culture that applies to a given community. This culture has been changing over time, due to acculturation as well as assimilation. As a result of intermarriages, culture has undergone many changes as they borrow different customs and practices from one culture to another. In this study, we will look into the similarities and differences between the Chinese and Japanese culture.
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Both the Japanese and the Chinese believe in the existence of a supreme being. In both societies, they have different sets of beliefs that apply to religion. This also applies to the beliefs that they hold regarding the origin of the supreme being as well as heaven and earth. The Japanese believe that the clean and pure part of the earth separated itself and formed heaven while the other part which had germs settled and formed the earth.
The activities preceding the creation of heaven and earth is that divine beings were then created and placed on the earth. It was then that the world was created, as well as soil, where plants grew and the fish also bred in water, all these were on the earth’s surface. Infact, this was the time that Kuni-Toko-tachi no Mikoto was recognized and transformed into a God. After that we had Kuni no sa-tsuchi no Mikoto, and later Toyo-kumu-nu no Mikoto, they formed the three deities (Varley, 99). They were all males and hence operated from heaven as they were the Gods. After that there were other eight deities who came into being and made up the supreme beings that were worshipped by people in Japan.
As for the Chinese before heaven and earth came into being, there was enormous darkness as well limpidity, there was mysterious quiescence, and still it was plainless, dim and dark. As a result nothing could be seen and hence, it was very obscure. Indeed, different form of creatures were made when ‘Dao’ started to grow. They developed into various shapes and sizes that were pure, and hence, they were able to be positioned differently. The heaven formed on the exterior side while the earth formed on the interior side. Hence the earth became fixed to the inside of the heaven. Heaven acquired its body from Yang and it was circular in motion; while the Earth acquired its structure from the Yin, and was therefore flat and quiescent. As a result of motion, it was ever moving from front to the back and the quiescence led to the conjoining as well as the transformation of the heaven. The heaven and earth were bound together through fertilization and hence, they came out of them various kinds of things that grew tremendously on the earth’s surface.
According to the Chinese religious beliefs, the creation of heaven and earth was marked by many dramas as well as chaos. They believe that there were two supreme deities who included: Hu, who was well known as the emperor of the Northern sea and Shu, who held up the emperor of the opposite southern side and had a magnificent control of the Hun-tun. This was a peculiar lace as it did not possess any orifices that could be used for sight, hearing, eating or breathing. The emperors therefore made a decision to fix the rates at which the orifice could be performed in a day; they therefore created openings so as to make life possible on Hun-tun (Murphey, 132).
Due to the happenings, Hun-tun left the face of the earth on day 7. At the time of his death is when the world came into existence and hence, Shu and Hu combined their names and came up with ShuHu which meant lightning. When lightning occurs, chaos erupts and this is when life is formed. The 7 openings that were made on HunTun represented the 7 mystical openings of the human heart and they mark man’s righteousness. It was then that the Goddess Nu-kua, modeled some yellow earth and made human beings as well as other creatures. Modeled became the noble and rich, while the drops became the humble and the poor.
Both societies value proper modes of behavior as they are meaningful and valuable. This is because they enhance good relations with one another. As for the Japanese, the same is the case, they value, good behavior and morals and this therefore dictates how people relate with each other. They also value outward appearances and they insist on people maintain proper hygiene as well as good grooming. The same is reflected in the manner of dressing as well as the manner in which they carry themselves. They are required to take a bath as many times in a day as well as eating healthy so that they may be able to stay healthy and clean always. Children are taught the same from their childhood so that they can uphold this behavior. They also believe in being stewards of nature and therefore, people are always informed by keeping their environment clean always as cleanliness is next to godliness. This therefore helps in emphasizing the point on keeping appearances presentable, as they affect how one relates to another.
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Social status is also very important for the Japanese community, as it indicates one’s social status as well as the identity they happen to hold in society. It also applies to people from different age groups as they are grouped together and are able to relate, (Varley, 106). For the social strata, it can group people of the same job group as well as those who work for the same company, which makes it easier to brainstorm and also as they all understand the same language. They also value group harmony which is known as wa, it is important as it enables groups to work together for a common good. It also eliminates Geo-centricism as people are able to put into consideration the views of others as they are more important than their own.
The same also applies to the Chinese community as they are divided into hierarchies as well as dynasties (Murphey, 123). This therefore leads to discrimination as those in the lower caste system do not often mingle with those of the higher social class. As for the intermingling, the people are able to come together when they share many things in common. The same also applies if they are of the same social class and if they need to create common goals and targets to be met. This therefore leads to cohesion as well as harmony for both societies. man story of the creation of humanity tells that were split, the
Murphey, Rhoads. A History of Asia. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995. Print.
Varley, Paul. Japanese Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003. Print. re were still no humans. Nu-kua modeled some out of yellow earth, but soon got tired of this process. Then she dipped a rope into the mud and dragged it around so drops fell off. Traditionally it is said that those beings she
beings, Hu (emperor of the northern sea) and Shu (emperor of the southern sea) who met quite a lot on the territory of the emperor of the center, Hun-tun. Hun-tun was unusual because he did not have any orifices for seeing, hearing, eating or breathing. Hu and Shu decided to fix Hu-tun at the rate of one orifice a day; they created openings for Hun-tun. Hun-tun (Chaos) died on the seventh day. At his death, the world came into existence. The combined names of Shu and Hu mean lightning. When lightning or an illumination of Light falls upon Chaos, life is created. The 7 openings are also linked in Chinese thought with the mystical seven openings of the heart, the mark of a righteous man.
A story of the creation of humanity tells the myth of the Goddess Nu-kua. Even after Heaven and Earth were split, there were still no humans. Nu-kua modeled some out of yellow earth, but soon got tired of this process. Then she dipped a rope into the mud and dragged it around so drops fell off. Traditionally it is said that those