Skip to comments.Does Japan really belong to “western countries”?
Posted on 10/22/2009 11:01:37 AM PDT by chinaboy
Few days ago, I have seen a section of article Eiffel Tower, New York's Empire State Building, Tokyo TV Tower are western three famous buildings it amazes me, here the Tokyo TV Tower isnt in Japan. Traditionally in geography and culture Japan belongs to east, but why the international presses reported japan as a western country? Does Japan really belong to western countries?
Given its economy, political system and defense alliances, I think Japan, at least for a large part, considers itself ‘western’.
Japan is a capitalist democracy. It’s people are free. It is a prosperous nation based on Western principles that happens to be located in the Far East. What don’t you understand?
By some measures, yes. It’s form of government, political/diplomatic alliances and secular humanist culture all identify it within the ‘western civilization’ sphere. But one could argue these are superficially, even artificially imposed (such as the model of government by the U.S. after WWII). At a deeper cultural level there are still non-western elements, though I’m surprised how thoroughly they’ve disappeared from prominence in Japanese culture (to the small degree I know of such matters.)
Please do remember that reporters, journalists, news persons, etc and so on, are, for the most part, complete, utter and useless fools.
You have to look real hard to find a group of people more naturally prone to be stupid to the point of retarded.
Reporters will always get it wrong if given half a chance. They’ll be wrong in substance, wrong in detail, wrong in assumption, wrong in identification, wrong in namings, you name it, if it can be done wrong, they’ll do it.
Journalism, in our culture, is where people go to find work when they don’t want to just sit on their asses and suck up welfare, but can’t qualify for anything useful due to lack of skills, lack of brains, lack of understanding and lack of basic ability to comprehend or discern fact from fancy.
Not sure how you define westernize. Western countries are the most modern countries, so Japan have adopted alot of the lifestyle. Is it being western or just being modern?
South Korea, Japan, Hongkong, Singapore are advanced modern/western countries, compariable to the best in the west
Oh, i see, from the economic point of view, Japan belongs to the Western capitalist countries,it was a American protectorate.
what do you want to say, is rich belongs to eastern and poor belongs to Eastern?
what do you want to say, is rich belongs to Western and poor belongs to Eastern?
It was an American protectorate in that we defeated Japan in World War II, occupied it, established a democratic form of government (which Japan has done an excellent job of maintaining), established a free-market economy, set Japan on its feet and left. Japan is a Western capitalist country because IT’S PEOPLE ARE FREE. They are not enslaved by their government, economically, politically, or in any other way.
Are you trolling for a fight?
Let me answer that: Yes, he is.
I don’t think you’re being honest. People who post vanities like that and snap prepared answers at people who think they’re entering a polite discussion are trolls. Why are you doing this?
YEAH, ITS PEOPLE ARE FREE, LIKE A BIRD. LOL, Just kidding, now I see.
i know it is a political issue! I just have some confusion.
I can only assume, from your profile, that you are unfamiliar with the concept of freedom, in the Western sense. Perhaps your government allows you access to google. Try googling “self-determination.”
I think its greatest links were world war two, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the subsequent American Marshall Plan to rebuild their nation (and keep Japan from communism). The gifts of money and technology made their “great leap “ possible. After this were one on one communications with stronger links established, with America supporting the nation through buying their products....
I am learning japanese in my leisure time, and find it intersting, a really different culture from china, there is no need to angry.
Who’s angry? Perhaps you need to google “projection,” in the freudian sense.
I don’t think these labels make sense anymore
Here is a great example of a contradiction: INDIA
It has a FREE electorate with genuine democracy (with its own share of corrupt politicians). Elections are held in India and the losers always hand over power to the winners. There has never been a military coup in India since it became independent.
It is a capitalist society, with some goverment interference on the European model
It is secular with no state imposed religion
It has freedom of speech, religion, free assembly and property.
It has a working judicial system
All of the above would classify it as a “Western” country. Maybe it is not too rich today but in a few decades it shoudl be a middle income country
However, on visiting India, I belive it is hard to find a MORE Eastern place than India.
It is Eastern in its major religions (Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism) except for Islam
It is Eastern in its culture, language
It is Eastern in its value system etc
So, don’t know where the labels fit
I have no idea what you were talking about. What do you mean?
Yes, and I would add South Korea and Taiwan.
yeah, good example, thank you.
welcome to FreeRepublic Chinaboy
Taiwan is not a country.
thank you, I do not come for a long time.
Taiwan is a country, no matter what your Overlords tell you, and ITS PEOPLE ARE FREE.
You are scaring me, hehe.
Oh really? But I just know that, at no time in history has Taiwan been a state in its own right.
Taiwan is not a country, no matter what your Overlords tell you, and it is part of China.
No matter what your propaganda tells you, Taiwan is a state in its own right, and its people are free.
No matter what your propaganda tells you, Taiwan was is and will alwaya a part of China, and it is a state or not the entire chinese people has the final say.
When was that? You must be thinking of the Philippines.
On balance then, Japan is an Eastern nation culturally that has a Western economic and political system and is part of the Western alliance. With the continuing rise of Eastern nations though, Japan is likely to gravitate more toward the East. A generation from now, Japan may be more aligned with Eastern nations than with the U.S. and Europe.
Your question is a good one. I lived in Japan for many years, and I speak Japanese fluently. Ironically I began to ask your question MORE after I got there, and not less:
In some respects, Japan is very Asian, and yet, under some circumstances if someone (especially someone who looks like they’re from the USA or west Europe) casually asks a member of the Japanese elite, “Is Japan part of Asia?”, this questions will usually draw semi-angry denials.
My first experience with this came after I first arrived; I would ask Japanese doctors if they also studied “eastern medicine” at medical school. Now I laugh recalling that, because their reaction now seems so typical to me —they were either angrily silent, or they began laughing embarrassedly. I even had one famous surgeon tell me (if you can believe this); “JAPAN IS NOT IN ASIA...!”
Now, I must admit that there are many Japanese artists and artisans who richly relish the Asian tradition; their craft is deeply imbued with all kind of Asian stuff. And almost ALL Japanese are humbly but inwardly VERY proud of Japanese accomplishments. BUT:
In the mind of the average Japanese city-dweller, there *IS* a connection between the word “asia” and the adjective, “poor” or “dirty”. I am DESCRIBING, not PERSCRIBING a type of thinking here, OK? I want to be very careful about that.
When you say, “asia” to average Japanese people, mentally they see images of a poor neighborhood in Manila or Jakarta, or maybe a backward rural part of China, where 25% of people have Hep B, have no rights, and work as de-facto slaves. Or they picture desperate prostitutes, or disease-ridden scammers who manufacture counterfeit products.
In the future, this kind of mentality may change (it is a little already), but especially 20 years ago this type of thinking was (and still is) well-established.
About 45 years ago the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did a poll on US views of Japan, and they found that a large number of Americans did NOT know that it routinely snows in Japan —Americans had seen dramatic WW2 films that always showed Japanese snipers up in trees in one jungle or another, and everyone always looked really sweaty. Japanese realized that Japan SEEMED like most of the rest of asia.
So they did all kind of promotions on showing the monkeys in hot springs with snow on their head, and they hosted the olympics, and gave huge air-play that advocated the idea that JAPAN = SNOW. Snow is european, right? They also talked A LOT about the freaking “Japanese ALPS” —something that to me, having been the (real) alps seems totally ridiculous.
Japan is OK with being in Asia, but...does not like the idea of being OF Asia.
I guess that’s how I’d put it.
Japan was never a protectorate —most Japanese people would do 3 back-flips if they heard that.
It is true that from 1945-1947 Japan was “occupied Japan” and all products exported from Japan had to be stamped that way. Also for just those 2 years they had daylight savings time, their education system was reformed, their conglomerate system was techically dissolved, they got strange public decency laws, and the bureaucracy underwent a FORMAL system of reformation (which was totally ineffectual).
But Japan has never been colonized by any foreign power.
Only Japan’s hoppoRyodou remain occupied, by Russia.
Also until 1972 I believe that Okinawa had a slightly different legal status from mainland Japan —for a long time after the war you could drive on the right side in Okinawa (in fact originally Okinawa had been its own kingdom).
I didn’t say it was a protectorate, the other guy did. It was, however, defeated and occupied. The United States treated Japan much, much better than it ever treated any of the people it conquered. I trust they still appreciate that.
Yes, you are right! Sorry bout dat... ;)
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