Anth 338 – Section 1
February 27, 2012
On an ordinary Saturday afternoon, my sister and I made our way to 1st St. and Central Ave. from a failed attempt at another left-to-be-unnamed cultural epicenter, which was a very disappointing trip. Little Tokyo proved to be quite the opposite, as I was able to ascertain a much deeper understanding of the Japanese culture because of it, and at the same time was able to reflect on the differences and similarities of my Filipino heritage. From what I was able to gather, the Japanese and Filipino cultures have quite a few significant differences, but have more similarities than I originally anticipated.
As the name would suggest, Little Tokyo is fairly little, with its borders…show more content…
The Nisei, meaning a 2nd generation Japanese American, started the week long festivity over 60 years ago to celebrate their pride in being both Japanese and American in Little Tokyo. With the exception of Nisei Week, many of these events emulate the kinds of activities Japanese would observe in their homeland. The store employee told me that many small parts of Japan have its own festival. “In my city, we have a fireworks festival like every year”, she said. It seems these festivities serve as a reminder of Japanese heritage in a country inclined towards American values. According to the Japanese American student, Little Tokyo does not resemble any specific place or region in Japan, it merely creates a “general feel” of the culture.
For the most part, traditional cultural values and constructions are strongly honored among the people of Little Tokyo and those living in Japan. For example, many of the people I spoke to maintained monogamous relationships and grew up in homes where it was highly valued. Moreover, divorce is uncommon for these relationships, unlike here in America where divorce rates are exceptionally high. It likely has something to do with the way the Japanese people present themselves out in the public sphere. The store owner told me the Japanese are very mindful of appearances, and how people would think of you because of it. Certain things like divorce may in turn cause