JAPANESE CULTURE

Japanese culture has undergone major changes over the centuries, from the country's native culture, called Jōmon (縄 文 時代 Jōmon-jidai), to modern culture, a hybrid combination of Asian, European and North American influences.

In this article, I will point out various aspects of Japanese culture that you may not have known about.


1) In Japan there are ONSENs.

The ONSEN are thermal baths with very hot natural waters linked to geothermal springs distributed throughout the territory. They can be outdoors but also indoors, they are not only an attraction for tourists, since for the Japanese they are a real meeting place where a `` communion in nudity '' is allowed and you can meet many people in a more familiar environment.

Generally there is a separation between women and men and no clothes are allowed, you have to access the spa completely naked, this is because there is the belief that even clothes can dirty the water, in fact very often tattooed people cannot enter.

Some onsen boast the company of special animals: wild monkeys.


2) The national sport is baseball, followed by sumo.

Sumo is a form of hand-to-hand combat in which two challengers face each other with the aim of landing or ousting the opponent from the combat zone called dohyō.


3) Famous is the cherry blossom.

For the Japanese, the period from April to May is a very important moment because they enjoy the spring flowering of the cherry trees.

The real protagonists are the SAKURA, the cherry trees in their ornamental variety, which color the streets, gardens and lakes with pink. It usually happens that many move from the cities to the most famous places in Japan where they can watch the show, admire nature, celebrate with a picnic. There are also forecasts, similar to the meteorological ones, to understand when the flowers will bloom and how long their explosion will last.


4) The Buddhist temples.

The Buddhist temples, appear in unthinkable places, are hidden among the trees in the woods, are surrounded by lakes with green waters, are in perfect communion with the landscape.

The Japanese since ancient times have attributed spiritual and sacred powers to the various elements of nature and for this they have revered them as deities.


5) They possess the arts '' of the ephemeral ''.

They are like real Japanese art forms .. we find the tea ceremony or the art of arranging flowers according to particular rules inspired by the sense of harmony of the universe.

These activities are like spiritual paths, which allow you to rejoin the beauty and serenity of past times.


6) A theater made of masks.

Theater is a great artistic expression in Japan, born in the fourteenth century.

It is characterized by a particular slowness in the actions and by the protagonists whose face is covered by typical masks that hide all types of facial expressions. The actors move with signs that always acquire codified and precise meanings and the roles are fixed, four to be precise. The stories always belong to five categories: there is the representation of divinities, the one about warriors, women, demons and then the one that can juggle between different themes. The accompaniment is performed by instruments such as the flute and drums.



7) They are inspired by nature.

Japanese painting always has a connection with nature. There are many artists who have dedicated themselves to the landscape, transforming it into a subject of pure contemplation that transmits serenity, peace, a sense of dream and the marvelous. The favorite subjects, in fact, return in various eras and declined on different materials - silk, terracotta, paper. In most cases, such as Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, these are scenes taken from legends, portraits of everyday life, expanses of the sea, mountainous landscapes, forests as far as the eye can see, riots of flowers.


8) Importance to skin care.

In Japan there is a canon of beauty that is defined as BIHAKU, BI, beautiful, HAKU, white. In fact, the whiteness of the skin has always been associated in women with the concepts of purity and nobility and is contrasted with a darker complexion synonymous with lower class. This is also why there are many products on sale in Japan for skin whitening.


In this regard it is good to remember the GEISHA woman. Women who wear elaborate hairstyles that leave the neck uncovered, considered one of the most sensual points in a woman, and dye their face white to achieve the purest ideal of female beauty. Today their figure is often confused with that of a luxury courtesan.


9) They often wear kimonos.

The kimono is the traditional dress of Japan that has a T shape, wide sleeves that can even reach the ground and a tubular bust. It is worn by men and women and is usually paired with sandals or flip flops that are worn with a specific sock type. The typical ones are usually made and decorated by hand and can have different decorative motifs that sometimes are also linked to the season - flowers, animals, elements of nature -. There are kimonos for different occasions, from the most formal to the most private and familiar ones. The most precious and elegant ones are in silk and their elegance is also given by the colors and the matching accessories.