We read the book by Yutaka Yazawa “How the Japanese Live” and imbued with the mysterious energy of the Land of the Rising Sun. And also discovered incredible facts, five of which you will learn in this article.
One person, two names
Until recently, the Japanese had an amazing and very romantic custom of having two names. The first name was true. Only the closest people knew him, tk. the Japanese believe that there is a strong spiritual bond between the true name and the person. The second name is everyday. It could be some kind of nickname, pseudonym or name of crafts. If the boy’s name was Taro, it means that he was born first. If Jiro – then the second, etc. Echoes of the two-name tradition still exist in Japan.
Did you think that all Japanese are super-smart and geeks who never leave school day or night? But no. The Japanese really just hate exams. And in order not to pass them, they came up with a very cunning scheme – private schools. These are private schools in our country – something expensive and prestigious. And there it is an escape from unnecessary bureaucracy and preparation for exams, which neither Japanese children nor their parents like so much. Why are there no exams in private schools? Everything is very tricky. A private school is usually not just a school, but a whole range of educational institutions: from primary school to university. Upon entering primary school, the student takes a simple exam, and then moves between classes until graduation without any entrance exams. Convenient, isn’t it? But in public schools you need to pass exams in full. Therefore, everyone who graduated from state educational institutions considers themselves to be almost the highest caste.
Marriage customs in Japan
Until 1900, the Japanese did not in any way connect wedding and religion. They simply had no such thing as “marriage is in heaven until death.” There were no bureaucratic institutions like our registry office. The wedding was a celebration within the family, and lavish celebrations were organized only by the wealthy segments of the population. Over time, things got a little more complicated. Added bureaucracy, and the “young” wanted western celebrations. Catholic weddings are in vogue now. And from this a little embarrassment arises. Japanese non-Catholics come to temples and ask them to be married. To which they receive a refusal and a request to leave. Catholics don’t like it too much that unbelievers use their temples for amusement. But the demand must somehow be satisfied? Therefore, pseudo-temples began to open everywhere, in which one can “get married” in the Western manner. But Buddhist temples in Japan are not so popular for weddings. People do not want to celebrate weddings there, because they associate such places with death and mourning.
Why are the Japanese so … perverts?
The main question that interests all of us. By the way, did you know if you buy an iPhone in Japan then you won’t be able to turn off the camera shutter sound? This was done on purpose because illegal filming of female body parts in public places is very common. So why are seemingly very modest Japanese such perverts? The fact is that until the 19th century, Japan was a very free country in terms of relations. Many Japanese were polygamous, they did not condemn extramarital affairs, even poor men could have multiple wives. Everything was open. The artists competed in ukiyo-e, the creation of erotic prints. The best prints were those with the most revealing details. The practice of yobai – “night adventures” – was spread throughout Japan. However, that all changed with the arrival of Western culture 150 years ago. Since then, the Japanese have become more restrained, but, you understand, some habits, apparently, are imprinted in the genes and they cannot be avoided anywhere …
“In the beginning, the woman was the sun”
In Japan, special treatment of women. Woman is the beginning of everything, the Sun. Early Japan had many successful female rulers. Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed that a woman has closer ties with the gods than a man. The supreme deity in the pantheon of gods – Amaterasu – is also a woman. The propaganda of masculine images in Japan began very recently, in 1867, when Emperor Meiji came to power. The authorities needed something to oppose the Western imperialists, to instill fear, to flaunt force. And women faded into the background a little. Now everything is gradually returning to its origins.
“How the Japanese Live” is an incredible book, imbued with Zen and some incomprehensible and subtle energy of the Land of the Rising Sun. Great decoration inside and out. Once you pick up a book, you will not want to let go of it until you have read it. For this special thanks to the publishing house “MYTH”. Therefore, if you are interested in Japan as much as we are, then definitely take this copy.
Instead of an afterword. Waka – Japanese poetry
”Swirling Maple Leaves
among the autumn mountains,
Though for a moment united
Don’t fall hiding everything from sight,
So I can see
Once again, the home of the beloved!”
(Unknown author, c. 759)
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