Japanese special skill

In a TV program about 20 years ago, a African man dressed in ethnic costumes said as follows in fluent Japanese.

Japanese lifestyle has quite Americanized, but since Japan has a long history and a unique traditional culture, Japanese should respect them more.

He does not understand. My response to him is “This is Japan”.

Japan has been actively adopted foreign cultures and customs from ancient times. However, only convenient places are available for us. Then we will improve it and add it to our culture.

For example, kanji(漢字).Kanji is important in constructing the names of Japanese and Japanese text. It imported from China long ago. But, Kanji is an ideogram. Even now China also assigns kanji in foreign languages and foreigners’ names in consideration of pronunciation and meaning of every letters. Coca cola is “可口可乐”, President Trump is “特朗普总统”. How troublesome.  So our ancestors invented phonetic letters katakana (カタカナ) and hiragana (ひらがな) based on kanji. So in Japan, foreign words can be expressed with phonetic characters.

Or Neapolitan. It is spaghetti seasoned with ketchup. It tends to be thought of as the origin of Naples in Italy, but it is different. In fact it was made by a Japanese and named Napoli without permission.

And curry. After being transmitted to Japan via the UK, it developed its own as a Japanese style curry.

Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc. are established as annual events not related to their original meaning in Japan.

Japan is such a country from long ago.

Kimono, 着物
Japanese wear such traditional clothes, only on special days. For example their wedding ceremonies. But there are also many people who choose Western-style.

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