Culture

The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric time Jōmon period, to its contemporary modern culture, which absorbs influences from Asia, Europe, and North America.

Japan has a fascinating and multifaceted culture; on the one hand it is steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years; on the other it is a society in a continual state of rapid flux, with continually shifting fads and fashions and technological development that constantly pushes back the boundaries of the possible. This is part of what makes it such a fascinating country to visit. If you are looking for something different you are sure to find it here! Today, the culture of Japan stands as one of the leading and most prominent cultures around the world, mainly due to the global reach of its popular culture

Kabuki

Attend a Kabuki performance to see outlandish costumes, dramatic stunts, high speed action and great story telling.

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese form of theater with roots tracing back to the Edo Period. It is recognized as one of Japan's three major classical theaters along with noh and bunraku, Kabuki is a highly stylised form of traditional theatre which uses exaggerated movement, costume and make up to convey additional meaning to its audience. The stage sets are also highly dynamic with the use of trapdoors, revolving platforms and walkways through the audience to facilitate swift change of scenes and to captivate the audience.. Plots are usually based on historical events, warm hearted dramas, moral conflicts, love stories, tales of tragedy of conspiracy, or other well-known stories.

Ikebana Flower arrangement

Ikebana (, "living flowers") is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.. Ikebana is the art of beautifully arranging cut stems, leaves, and flowers in vases and other containers that evolved in Japan over seven centuries. To arrange the stems and flowers exactly as one wishes, a familiarity with many different ways of fastening and positioning them is necessary. These techniques are what people attend ikebana classes to learn. Usually, three to five years are required to acquire these technical and expressive skills. It is also known as. Ikebana reached its first zenith in the 16th century under the influence of Buddhist tea masters and has grown over the centuries, with over 1,000 different schools in Japan and abroad.

Anime

Anime is a style of hand-drawn and computer animation originating in, and commonly associated with, Japan. The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media.Outside Japan, anime refers specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes.The culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan.[For simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as a Japanese animation product.Some scholars suggest defining anime as specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of orientalism.

Noh

A subtle blend of music, dance and drama dating back to the 14th century

if audiences take the time to understand the subtle nuances and symbolism of Noh it can be equally as enjoyable. Admittedly, it is slow paced and can be mistaken as monotonous at times but there is no escaping the fact that attending a Noh performance is a truly unique experience and hugely rewarding for those with a deep interest in theatre and tradition.

Plots are usually based around history, legend and literature with themes relating to dreams, ghosts and supernatural worlds. . Masks play an important role in depicting the characters and are designed with such skill and craftsmanship that an actor can portray various expressions with the smallest of head movements.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku.

Zen

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as Zen Buddhism. Zen school was strongly influenced by Taoism and developed as a distinct school of Chinese Buddhism. From China, Chan Buddhism spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan, where it became known as Seon Buddhism and Japanese Zen, respectively. Zen buddhisam which traces its roots to the Indianpractice of Dhyana ("meditation").Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice. Zen is a stripped-down, determined, uncompromising, cut-to-the-chase, meditation-based Buddhism that takes no interest in doctrinal refinements. Not relying on scripture, doctrine or ritual, Zen is verified by personal experience and is passed on from master to disciple, hand to hand, ineffably, through hard, intimate training.

Sumo

Sumo is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan's national sport

Deeply rooted in Japan's culture, sumo has a history of over 1,500 years. It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. and indeed sumo originated as a form of Shinto ritual. Though it has developed into a professional sport, elements of these rituals are still apparent, from the use of salt to purify the ring, to the shrine-like roof hanging above. Sumo tournaments, or basho, take place every two months in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka and are a truly fantastic way to spend the day. Though quintessentially Japanese, in recent times the number of foreign wrestlers has gradually increased and a growing number of non-Japanese excel at the sport and the complex set of cultural traditions it carries.

Sports

Sports in Japan are a significant part of Japanese culture. Both traditional sports such as sumo and martial arts, and Western imports like baseball and association football, are popular with both participants and spectators. Sumo wrestling is considered Japan's national sport. Baseball was introduced to the country by visiting Americans in the 19th century. The Nippon Professional Baseball league is Japan's largest professional sports competition in terms of television ratings and spectators. Martial arts such as judo, karate and modern kendō are also widely practiced and enjoyed by spectators in the country. Association football (Soccer) has gained wide popularity since the founding of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992. Other popular sports include figure skating, rugby union, golf and racing, especially auto racing.