Comparing Japanese And American Culture Essay

581 words - 3 pages

American and Japanese Cultures
Culture plays a vital role in defining a group of people, helping to shape the way they live, the traditions they carry out, and how they’re viewed by others. That being said, cultures vary greatly worldwide; some customs that are normal to Americans may seem strange to those living in Japan such as entertainment in America and Japan, Respect for Women in American and Japanese Cultures, and The Individual in America and Japan.
To begin with, American and Japanese cultures both place an emphasis on film and video as a form of entertainment. In America, it’s not unusual for the media to pay a great deal of attention to new film releases and upcoming television premiers. Similarly Japanese culture focuses on motion pictures for entertainment, mainly through the promotion of “anime,” the Japanese contribution to the animation ...view middle of the document...

Certainly, Americans value productivity and contributions from women in the workplace; however, because they respect the rights of women, American institutions are likely to give women time away from work for child birth, for instance. In Japan the story is different. The Japanese culture discriminates against female workers, discouraging them from taking leaves of absence from work. In America, except in the most extreme of cases, it would seem crazy to deny a woman the right to stay at home with her newborn child; however, staying at work is more common in Japanese culture, where perhaps, there has not been much change on how Japanese society sees the rights of women.
In addition to differences regarding gender, Japanese and American cultures also differ in the way they view the individual. The United States is viewed as being an individualist culture, in which people view themselves as separate from everyone else, striving to be the best that they can while meeting individual goals. Japan, on the other hand, is a collectivist nation, in which people aim to be helpful and kind, identifying themselves by the groups to which they belong, instead of by individual values and characteristics. The Japanese collectivist view encourages people to belong to groups and follow the norms that goes along with such groups, differing form the American individualistic view in which differing from norms is more acceptable, as it allows one to express his or her unique characteristics. In Japan, someone being unique and standing out would be frowned upon; whereas it is commonplace in the United States. With Americans preferring to be individualistic and the Japanese supporting a collectivist view, it is obvious that there are differences between Japanese and American cultures and customs.
In conclusion, although these countries are on opposite ends, we do share some differences but we also share some similarities, which was fun to read about.

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