Japanese Culture And Cultural Awareness

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Cultural Awareness Understanding culture plays a crucial role in maintaining and forming international relations. It serves as a political backbone in peace and fosters agreements among nations previously foreign to one another. Culture provides an outlet for individuals to witness the variety of people on the planet we share. To gain knowledge and appreciation for a culture other than my own, I have chosen one far from what I am accustomed to, the Japanese culture from the island of Japan. Japan is located to the east of North and South Korea, China, and Russia. It consists of four main islands in the North Pacific Ocean. Throughout much of its early history, being a nation of separate islands caused for cultural and ethnic distinctions. The idea of accepting these differences was not present until 1994 (“One People, One Race?”). Japanese is the main language with about 121 million users. Significantly, there are several other languages known as the Ryukyuan languages that are specific to the people from the smaller neighboring islands of Ryukyu and Okinawa. The languages’ use ranges from nearly extinct to approximately 1 million users. They are mutually unintelligible which means they are unknown by one another. Also, the Japanese have Eastern and Western dialects that are unintelligible to each other, with Hyojungo or standard, proper Japanese and Kyutsugo or common, slang Japanese (“Japanese.”). The variance in languages makes for a very diverse nation in the area of
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