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Life in Japan

Information and Communication Technologies(ICT) 2nd Exam Ege Dincer 9-G 1

Ege Dincer 9-G Most Japanese people do not exclusively identify themselves as adherents of a single religion; rather, they incorporate elements of various religions in a syncretic fashion known as Shinbutsu shūgō. Shinbutsu Shūgō officially ended with the Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order of 1886, but continues in practice. Shinto and Japanese Buddhism are therefore best understood not as two completely separate and competing faiths, but rather as a single, rather complex religious system. Japan enjoys full religious freedom and minority religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism are practiced. Figures that state 84% to 96% of Japanese adhere to Shinto and Buddhism are not based on self-identification but come primarily from birth records, following a longstanding practice of officially associating a family line with a local Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine. About 70% of Japanese profess no religious membership, according to Johnstone (1993:323), 84% of the Japanese claim no personal religion. In census questionnaires, less than 15% reported any formal religious affiliation by 2000. And according to Demerath 65% do not believe in God, and 55% do not believe in Buddha. According to Edwin Reischauer, and Marius Jansen, some 70–80% of the Japanese regularly tell pollsters they do not consider themselves believers in any religion. Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas.


History Prehistory and ancient history

The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A Paleolithic culture around 30,000 BC constitutes the first known habitation of the Japanese archipelago. This was followed from around 14,000 BC (the start of the Jōmon period) by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer culture, who include ancestors of both the contemporary Ainu people and Yamato people, characterized by pit dwelling and rudimentary agriculture. Decorated clay vessels from this period are some of the oldest surviving examples of pottery in the world. Around 300 BC, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon. The Yayoi period, starting around 500 BC, saw the introduction of practices like wet-rice farming, a new style of pottery, and metallurgy, introduced from China and Korea. Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han. According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago during the 3rd

century was called Yamataikoku. Buddhism was first introduced to Japan from Baekje of Korea, but the subsequent development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China. Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710). The Nara period (710–784) of the 8th century marked the emergence of a strong Japanese state, centered on an imperial court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara). The Nara period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literature as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired art and architecture.The smallpox epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan’s population. In 784, Emperor Kammu moved the capital from Nara to Nagaoka-kyō before relocating it to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto) in 794.

Byōdō-in (1053) is a temple of Pure Land Buddhism. It was registered to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged, noted for its art, poetry and prose. Lady Murasaki’s The Tale of Genji and the lyrics of Japan’s national anthem Kimigayo were written during this time.[31] Buddhism began to spread during

Monuments of Ancient Kyoto”.

the Heian era chiefly through two major sects, Tendai by Saichō, and Shingon by Kūkai. Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo-shū, Jōdo Shinshū) greatly becomes popular in the latter half of the 11th century.

Feudal era Japan’s feudal era was characterized by the emergence and dominance of a ruling class of warriors, the samurai. In 1185, following the defeat of the Taira clan, sung in the epic Tale of Heike, samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo was appointed shogun and established a base of power in Kamakura. After his death, the Hōjō clan came to power as regents for the shoguns. The Zen school of Buddhism was introduced from China in the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and became popular among the samurai class. The Kamakura shogunate repelled Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281, but was eventually overthrown by Emperor Go-Daigo. Go-Daigo was himself defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336.

Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto (Higashiyama period in Muromachi Period, c. 1489). It was registered as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic


Ashikaga Takauji establishes the shogunate in Muromachi, Kyoto. It is a start of Muromachi Period (1336–1573). The Ashikaga shogunate receives glory in the age of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and the culture based on Zen Buddhism (art of Miyabi) has prospered. It evolves to Higashiyama Culture, and has prospered until the 16th century. On the other hand, the succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyo), and a civil war (the Ōnin War) began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period (“Warring States”). During the 16th century, traders and Jesuit missionaries from Portugal reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. Oda Nobunaga conquered many other daimyo using European technology and firearms; after he was assassinated in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in 1590. Hideyoshi invaded Korea twice, but following defeats by Korean and Ming Chinese forces and Hideyoshi’s death, Japanese troops were withdrawn in 1598. This age is called Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573–1603). Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi’s son and used his position to gain political and military support. When open war broke out, he defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Ieyasu was appointed shogun in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo (modern Tokyo). The Tokugawa shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyo;[36] and in 1639, the isolationist sakoku (“closed coun-

try”) policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868). The study of Western sciences, known as rangaku, continued through contact with the Dutch enclave at Dejima in Nagasaki. The Edo period also gave rise to kokugaku (“national studies”), the study of Japan by the Japanese.

Modern era On 31 March 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the “Black Ships” of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa. Subsequent similar treaties with Western countries in the Bakumatsu period brought economic and political crises. The resignation of the shogun led to the Boshin War and the establishment of a centralized state nominally unified under the Emperor (the Meiji Restoration). Adopting Western political, judicial and military institutions, the Cabinet organized the Privy Council, introduced the Meiji Constitution, and assembled the Imperial Diet. The Meiji Restoration transformed the Empire of Japan into an industrialized world power that pursued military conflict to expand its sphere of influence. After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894– 1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea, and the southern half of Sakhalin. Japan’s population grew from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million in 1935.

Ege Dincer 9-G

at Pearl Harbor and declared war, bringing the US into World War II. After the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender on 15 August. The war cost Japan and the rest of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere millions of lives and left much of the nation’s industry and infrastructure destroyed. The Allies (led by the US) repatriated millions of ethnic Japanese from colonies and military camps throughout Asia, largely eliminating the Japanese empire and he Meiji Emperor restoring the independence of its (1868–1912), in whose conquered territories. The Allies name imperial rule was restored at the end of the also convened the International Tokugawa shogunate Military Tribunal for the Far East on 3 May 1946 to prosecute some The early 20th century saw a Japanese leaders for war crimes. brief period of “Taishō democraHowever, the bacteriological recy” overshadowed by increasing search units and members of the expansionism and militarization. imperial family involved in the World War I enabled Japan, on war were exonerated from crimithe side of the victorious Allies, nal prosecutions by the Supreme to widen its influence and terriAllied Commander despite calls torial holdings. It continued its for trials for both groups. expansionist policy by occupying In 1947, Japan adopted a new Manchuria in 1931; as a result of constitution emphasizing liberal international condemnation of democratic practices. The Allied this occupation, Japan resigned occupation ended with the Treaty from the League of Nations two of San Francisco in 1952 and Jayears later. In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi pan was granted membership in Germany, and the 1940 Tripartite the United Nations in 1956. Japan Pact made it one of the Axis Pow- later achieved rapid growth to ers. In 1941, Japan negotiated the become the second-largest economy in the world, until surpassed Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. by China in 2010. This ended in The Empire of Japan invaded the mid-1990s when Japan sufother parts of China in 1937, pre- fered a major recession. In the cipitating the Second Sino-Japabeginning of the 21st century, nese War (1937–1945). In 1940, positive growth has signaled a the Empire then invaded French gradual economic recovery.[51] On Indochina, after which the Unit11 March 2011, Japan suffered ed States placed an oil embargo the strongest earthquake in its reon Japan. On 7 December 1941, corded history; this triggered the Japan attacked the US naval base Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, one of the worst disasters in 4 the history of nuclear power.

The typical Japanese meal consists of a bowl of rice (gohan), a bowl of miso soup (miso shiru), pickled vegetables (tsukemono) and fish or meat. While rice is the staple food, several kinds of noodles (udon, soba and ramen) are cheap and very popular for light meals. As an island nation, the Japanese take great pride in their seafood. A wide variety of fish, squid, octopus, eel, and shellfish appear in all kinds of dishes from sushi to tempura.


decorative sushi selection


Sticky, short-grained rice is the staple food in Japan. Uncooked rice is called kome. The cultivation of rice in paddy fields traditionally required great cooperation between villagers and this is said to have been central to the evolution of Japanese culture. Their are several thousand varieties grown in Japan, with Koshihikari and Akita Komachi being among the most popular. Rice is also used to make mochi (rice cakes), senbei (rice crackers) and sake (rice wine). Rice can also be cooked with red beans (sekihan), seafood and vegetables (Takikomi gohan) or as a kind of watery porridge seasoned with salt (kayu) which is very popular as a cold remedy. Onigiri are rice balls with seafood or vegetables in the middle, usually wrapped in a piece of dried seaweed (nori). They are traditionally part of a packed lunch or picnic. Individually wrapped onigiri, usually a triangular shape, make a good snack and are available at convenience stores.

Noodles - Udon and soba

Udon noodles are made from wheat flour. They are boiled and served in a broth, usually hot but occasionally cold in summer, and topped with ingredients such as a raw egg to make tsukimi udon, and deep-fried tofu aburaage to make kitsune udon. Soba is buckwheat noodles, which are thinner and a darker color than udon. Soba is usually served cold (zaru soba) with a dipping sauce, sliced green onions and wasabi. When served in a hot broth, it is known as kake soba. Served with the same toppings as udon, you get tsukimi soba, kitsune soba and tempura soba.

Noodles - Ramen

While udon and soba are also believed to have come from China, only ramen retains its image as Chinese food. Ramen is thin egg noodles which are almost always served in a hot broth flavored with shoyu or miso. This is topped with a variety of ingredients such as slices of roast pork (chashu), bean sprouts (moyashi), sweetcorn and butter. Ramen is popular throughout Japan and different regions are known for their variations on the theme. Examples are Corn-butter Ramen in Sapporo and Tonkotsu Ramen in Kyushu. Instant ramen (the most famous brand is Pot Noodles), to which you just add hot water, has become very popular in recent years

Seafood & Meat

Japanese people consume a lot more fish than is typical in western countries and this is said to be a major factor in the country’s relatively low rate of heart disease. Seafood is eaten in just about any form you can imagine, from raw sushi and sashimi to grilled sweetfish and clams. The spread of ¥100 kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurants has made


sushi into a homegrown fast-food that offsets some of the influence of imports like McDonalds.Many people are surprised to learn that meat consumption was illegal in Japan until the ban was lifted during the Meiji Restoration in the 1870s. As the country opened up to western culture, eating habits also began to change. Now meat is increasingly part of the everyday Japanese diet, with yakitori (grilled chicken), yakiniku (Korean barbeque), gyudon (beef bowl) and of course the standard fare of foreign and local hamburger chain restaurants ubiquitous across the country. This has led to an increase in related health problems, though the Japanese still maintain their position as the world’s longest-living people. Japan’s consumption of fish has its controversial side as well. The country buys up about three quarters of the global catch of tuna, for example, which has driven the bluefin tuna close to extinction. As sushi was traditionally an expensive food eaten mainly on special occasions, some blame the cheap and ready availability provided by kaitenzushi for this situation. The consumption of whale meat was relatively minor and restricted to small coastal communities until the end of WWII, when the U.S. occupation forces pushed whale as a viable source of much-needed protein. As a result a whole generation of Japanese grew up eating whale meat in their school lunches, a practice that continued even despite international shift toward conserving whales threatened with extinction. But in the 21st century, the consumption of whale and dolphin meat seems to be dying out, regardless of right-wing pressures to maintain this “pillar of Japanese food culture.”. This video is a light-hearted look at the traditions of eating at a sushi restaurant (not to be taken too seriously!)

Soy products

The humble soybean (daizu) is used to make a wide variety of foods and flavourings. Soybeans and rice are used to make miso, a paste used for flavouring soup and marinating fish. Together with soy sauce (shoyu), miso is a foundation of Japanese cuisine. Tofu is soybean curd and a popular source of protein, especially for vegetarians. These days, even tofu donuts and tofu icecream are available. Natto, fermented soybeans, is one of the healthiest but also the most notorious item on the menu. With a pungent smell and sticky, stringy texture, natto is easy to hate straight away. Japanese people themselves tend to either love it or hate it. It is usually served with chopped onions and a raw egg and mixed into a bowl of rice. Economy

The Tokyo Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Asia.


ome of the structural features for Japan’s economic growth developed in the Edo period, such as the network of transport routes, by road and water, and the futures contracts, banking and in-

surance of the Osaka rice brokers. During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy. Many of today’s enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia. The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s during what the Japanese call the Lost Decade, largely because of the after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000. The economy showed strong signs of recovery after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period. As of 2011, Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP, and the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of purchasing power parity. As of January 2011, Japan’s public debt was more than 200 percent of its annual gross domestic product, 6

the largest of any nation in the world. In August 2011, Moody’s rating has cut Japan’s long-term sovereign debt rating one notch from Aa3 to Aa2 in line with the size of the country’s deficit and borrowing level. The large budget deficits and government debt since the 2009 global recession and followed by earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 made the rating downgrade. The service sector accounts for three quarters of the gross domestic product. Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Agricultural businesses in Japan cultivate 13 percent of Japan’s land, and Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global fish catch, second only to China. As of 2010, Japan’s labor force consisted of some 65.9 million workers. Japan has a low unemployment rate of around four percent. Almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007. Housing in Japan is characterized by limited land supply in urban areas.

A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by Toyota, one of the world’s largest carmakers. Japan is the second-largest producer of automobiles in the world.

Japan’s exports amounted to US$4,210 per capita in 2005. Japan’s main export markets are China (18.88 percent), the United States (16.42 percent), South Korea (8.13 percent), Taiwan (6.27 percent) and Hong Kong (5.49 percent) as of 2009. Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, electronics, electrical machinery and chemicals. Japan’s main import markets as of 2009 are China (22.2 percent), the US (10.96 percent), Australia (6.29 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.29 percent), United Arab Emirates (4.12 percent), South Korea (3.98 percent) and Indonesia (3.95 percent). Japan’s main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs (in particular beef), chemicals, textiles and raw materials for its industries. By market share measures, domestic markets are the least open of any OECD country. Junichiro Koizumi’s administration began some pro-competition reforms, and foreign investment in Japan has soared. Japan ranks 12th of 178 countries in the 2008 Ease of Doing Business Index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world. The Japanese variant of capitalism has many distinct features: keiretsu enterprises are influential, and lifetime employment and seniority-based career advancement are relatively common in the Japanese work environment. Japanese companies are known for management methods like “The Toyota Way”, and shareholder activism is rare. Some of the largest enterprises in Japan include Toyota, Nintendo, NTT DoCoMo, Canon, Honda, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, Nip-

pon Steel, Nippon Oil, and Seven & I Holdings Co. It has some of the world’s largest banks, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (known for its Nikkei 225 and Topix indices) stands as the second largest in the world by market capitalization. Japan is home to 326 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 or 16.3 percent (as of 2006). Science and technology

The Japanese Experiment Module(Kibo) at the International Space Station.


apan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly technology, machinery and biomedical research. Nearly 700,000 researchers share a US$130 billion research and development budget, the third largest in the world. Japan is a world leader in fundamental scientific research, having produced sixteen Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry or medicine, three Fields medalists, and one Gauss Prize laureate. Some of Japan’s more prominent technological contributions are in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineering, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors and metals. Japan leads the world in robotics production and use, possessing more than half (402,200 of 742,500) of the world’s industrial 7

robots. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan’s space agency; it conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, and leads development of rockets and satellites. It is a participant in the International Space Station: the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) was added to the station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2008. Japan’s plans in space exploration include: launching a space probe to Venus, Akatsuki; developing the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to be launched in 2013; and building a moon base by 2030. On 14 September 2007, it launched lunar explorer “SELENE” (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) on an H-IIA (Model H2A2022) carrier rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. SELENE is also known as Kaguya, after the lunar princess of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Kaguya is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program. Its purpose is to gather data on the moon’s origin and evolution. It entered a lunar orbit on 4 October, flying at an altitude of about 100 km (62 mi). The probe’s mission was ended when it was deliberately crashed by JAXA into the Moon on 11 June 2009.



have been in Japan for two weeks. Their lifestyles are different than us. For instance, the eat fish in the morning or some sea foods. I wanted to do my project about the Japan because I found there interesting .In addition, their believes are different from us and we may say that Japan is completely different country from Turkey. In the following booklet, I will talk about their believes, foods, technology, economy and their history.

Life in Japan