Westernization Of The West And The Rest

Decent Essays

The phrase “the west and the rest” is often discussed in regards to how westernization perhaps influences and even trumps other cultures. Westernization is defined as a “cause (a country, person, or system) to adopt or be influenced by the cultural, economic, or political systems of Europe and North America” or to “be in the process of adopting or being influenced by the systems of the West” (New Oxford American Dictionary). This implies that it is frequent that other cultures are exposed to Western cultures and then adopt the customs to be their own, and indeed this has occurred in several Eastern countries. Another concept that is discussed often is globalization, which is defined as “the process by which businesses or other …show more content…

Architecture changed as well, notably figures such as Katayama Tokuma who created the Akasaka Detached Palace in Tokyo, which was inspired by the Palace of Versailles. The palace abandoned traditional Japanese style materials and décor, since the Meiji period was focused on adopting new materials and styles. Gradually, there was return to the blending of Japanese and Western styles in the 1800s. Painting was also affected by Westernization, particularly the introduction of oil painting by Charles Wirgman. Over the course of the 1800s, several art schools were formed in Japan that focused on teaching Western-style techniques, for example Hakuba-Kai. Ultimately, Japanese artists “wholeheartedly plunged into European ways. Painters adopted oil and canvas, a mode totally foreign to their tradition. Nude oil paintings appeared, together with the old standby the still life study” (La Plante 265). Westernization brought about the yōshoku, which translates into “western food.” This was developed again during the Meiji era, and includes foods such as katsu, beefsteak, and omurice. Notably, these foods all appear quite Western in style but still retain certain Japanese qualities, such as presentation and technique. Finally, fashion was quite influenced by Western culture. At first interaction, “Japanese ladies…took to hoop skirts and gentlemen to hats and tails” (La Plante 263). Additionally, the seifuku, or Japanese school uniform, was heavily

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