Thursday, March 26, 2009
globalization and japan
Globalization is present in Japan in everything from fashion to fast food. Having one of the world's strongest economies, Japan sends its influence everywhere and also brings in many new trends and cultural elements. Restaurants from India, Mexico and everywhere in between are frequented by Japanese people sporting everything from bohemian to American "Grease" style outfits. The global influence on Japanese popular culture is evident everywhere you look, but it is not only the newest trends that are reaching and leaving Japan's borders. Religion in Japan is the result of globalization that occurred as early as 5th century BC when Buddhism came to Japan from China and Korea. The Japanese people currently acknowledge three major religions in their culture: Shinto, Buddhism, and Christianity. Japan's origin and political lineage were set up by ancient Shinto traditions. This history is still evident today in many shrines scattered throughout its cities and landscapes, but now one can find many Buddhist pagodas such as those pictured and buddha statues alongside these shrines. These two religions exist side by side in Japanese culture and do not conflict in the eyes of most Japanese. Another religious global influence has been the spread of Christianity which arrived with missionary Francis Xavier in the 16th century. Though it is less prevalent than the other two traditions, Christianity influences traditional and popular elements of Japanese culture. Weddings are often conducted with a Christian priest and vows and jewelry often highlight virgin Marys and crosses. The foreign influence in Japanese popular culture has boomed, but with every visit to a shrine or friends' wedding, we are reminded of the culture than reached these shores without the help of internet sites and TV shows. For more information on the mixed religion of Japan, click here.