Archive | November, 2016

Get to Know More about Japan before You Travel to This Beautiful Country

Tourists from all over the globe would, at some point in their lives, want to see the beautiful Japan – from its cherry blossoms, to watching traditional dance performers, to listening to string instruments played by geishas, or tasting their exotic cuisine. The Japanese have strong ties with tradition and their pride is expressed in regional dialects and culinary specialties. Here are some useful pointers to fully understand the people and culture of Japan:

 

Symbols of Japan

japanJapan has three national identities:

  1. The beautiful cherry blossoms. They are the country’s national flower. For the Japanese, to view a flowering tree is to have a good omen for the year.
  2. The national flag. A big, red disc is in the middle of the white rectangular flag with stripes of red and white forming like rays of the sun.
  3. The chrysanthemum. This is a flower with medical healing properties for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, chest pain, colds, and fever.

 

Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is a combination of regional and traditional foods. The traditional favorite, sushi, is a round ball of vinegar-flavored cooked rice filled with raw fish, vegetables, and egg. It is eaten alone or with foods with broth. Tonkatsu is another delicious dish of deep-fried pork, which, when eaten with a sweet red bean paste called wagashi is accompanied with a drink of rice wine or sake. these complete an authentic Japanese meal.

 

Fashion Trends in Japan

In the early days, the people wore separate tops and bottoms. Not until the Heian period that the fabric was sewn together in straight lines and became the traditional kimono. Styles varied for different people at different occasions. The maiko, an apprentice of a geisha, wore a kimono with elaborate hair ornaments and food accessories to attract a danna or male patron. For warriors, costumes were more colorful and thicker. Due to the western influence in the Meiji period, the government ordered civilians to wear kimonos only at weddings, tea ceremonies, or summer festivals.

 

The Music Market

Japan has the largest music market in the world with Japanese performers dominating album sales worldwide. Japanese music is contemporary as it is rooted with Chinese influence. Stringed musical instruments like the shamisen was based on the sanxian, now known as sanshin brought to Japan by Chinese merchants. The shamisen has a long neck and a rectangular body with only three strings attached to it. This is played by a maiko using a bachi, or what westerners call a pick. Tunes are either instrumental or accompanied with lyrics, but with the same melodic sound from an acoustic guitar Adelaide, as featured in https://www.globalmusicrevolution.com.au/collections/guitar-store.

As these instruments touch the heart, they are the perfect background music for yoga, slow dance, meditative reading, tai chi, or for a deep sleep. Like many other cultures, Japanese has also evolved through the years.

It is no wonder then that many of us are into Japanese culture, especially in our perspective in life, way of living, food and fashion preferences.