PODCASTFun facts, life lessons, and unique characters brought to life.
Land Of The Rising Son Podcast
Welcome as we explore the intricate mind, spirit, and soul of the Japanese.
Join me on our incredible journey as we explore the inner regions of the mysterious Japanese minds.
When Westerners first encounter the Japanese writing system, which is an application of the much more ancient and complex Chinese system, they look at it from several different perspectives. Still many others look upon Japanese with a degree of arrogant superiority for the Japanese to have adopted such a difficult way of writing, certainly in these peoples own mind they think the Japanese writing system is a clearly a handicap that is impossible to overcome.
One can say that to the Westerner eyes that Japan is the land of contradictions, everything good or positive about Japan always seems to have a flipside that is negative or unfavourable. Indeed you could say this about all societies, but here this contrast may appear to be much more pronounced.
There are two very important words in Japanese with deep meaning but no equivalent sentiment in the English concept of language. Itadakimasu and gochiso sama are very important parts of the dining etiquette in Japan. Itadakimasu is said just before eating, it literally means “to receive” or “accept ” but in this context more like a DNA infused Japanese Way in a ritualistic connotation, you could almost say it’s like a prayer.
With only a few exceptions, virtually every interaction with the Japanese of any kind begins with, and is based on, a personal obligation as opposed to what some would regards as higher principles. The Japanese have traditionally been known for their generous hospitality that they typically bestow upon visitors and on people with whom they want to develop a professional or business relations.
Fundamentally, the Japanese are weary of people who are good talkers, equating this habit and demonstrations of such ability with unprincipled, untrustworthy behaviour. While we can say there is also a similar attitude towards overly talkative people in the West as well, here in Japan, the negative response to people who talk way too much has a much more deeply rooted culture connotation, and far more important in the overall scheme of things even up until this very day.
Japan has traditionally been noted for the extraordinary exclusivity of its culture and this has been recognized as one of the more serious handicaps when the Japanese deal with the outside world. To make things even more complicated Japan’s exclusivity complex is based upon group membership.
In Japanese as in other Asian cultures, the stomach has traditionally been considered the centre of one’s being or life, and in that sense this area of the body is fundamentally the equivalent of the mind or heart in a western context. In Japanese, the abdomen is the source of temper, courage, resolve, generosity, pride, and so on, as well as being the site of an instinctive or telepathic-like ability making it possible for some especially skilled people to read other peoples minds.