HISTORY. According to legend Japan was founded in BC by the emperor Jimmu, a descendant of the sun goddess. In the first centuries the country was. researching Japanese culture, customs, manners, etiquette, values, and wanting to Japanese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 99%. For example, if I were to say that Japanese people are on the whole more Japanese people, language, and culture, I will be making generalizations that do .
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Japanese Culture and Society is a diverse and deeply interesting field of study. range of topic of interest in Japanese Culture and Society. The economy has been highly developed in Japan and its GDP per capita has exceeded US thirty thousand dollars. The total GDP calculated on a basis of. My research is on the so-called "theory on Japanese culture" (Ninon bunka ron). on Japanese culture which represent the inferiority complex of the Japanese.
What could possibly compel one to travel halfway around the world, to a country whose culture is so vastly different, and historically been once an enemy and also a land of mystery to a westerner? Scholars such as Thomas Lamarre, David Surman, Koichi Iwabuchi and Anne Allison have written extensively on the subject, investigating how Japanese culture has moved into the west, and inspired the next generations, capturing their imaginations. Perhaps one of the most influential of these Japanese media is computer and video games; their reach has extended far beyond that of console and screen.
It is these very idiosyncrasies that Surman writes of which are of interest when discussing the flow of culture and its movement through the medium of Computer and Video Games. Characters are the fetish object of otaku. As important as these characters own functions and effects are, it is also their exportability that is most intriguing.
An art movement, design philosophy and way of creation that has been the major influence of Japanese commodities made with export sensitivity. This is a key tension when discussing the flow and influence of Japanese culture to the western world; arguably, these elements are not as much removed completely as they are minimized and repressed. The very elements that are sent down to the farthest point of cultural engagement are the very same that the obsessive, otaku-like frenzy of information gathering and deconstruction of a work reveals and influences its audience.
As the children engage with these commodities for longer periods of time, with much richer scrutiny that the average person would devote, these cultural traces and odours are absorbed by the audience. From these arguments, we see a distinct continuity of perception. In its Superflat form, Japanese culture has infiltrated the minds and imaginations of countless fans and audiences around the globe.
However, it is of key importance to investigate where in fact these cultural traces go. Rather than obliterated completely, these stylistic flourishes of culture and heritage are relocated to a less overt place.
As style articulates itself in so many forms, so too does this transfer of culture. Style provokes immediacy, since it ensures a naturalistic consistency across all representational and non-representational elements within the text. A sensibility that like our own world, the constructs, laws and rules that the object abides by are consistent and within the realm of its suspension of disbelief.
When a player of a particular game interacts with the environment, Style speaks of the very cultural traces that Murakami and Iwabuchi remark as removed, and rather than obliterate these parts of the design process, articulates them in ways the creators often sub consciously include in their works. Contents of the Thesis In this thesis I will argue that the cultural odour of Japanese commodities is not necessarily removed entirely, rather, it is pushed deep below the surface of these Superflat commodities, Superflatism generates a hidden sphere of meaning and history; the more surface tension there is, the more pressure builds instead.
These images still speak to and through the history they are trying to forget. Chapter One shall discuss the notion of Style as Experience. Through the experience of playing a game, distinct cultures are communicated to the player. As play experience builds, so does the culture of play and ultimately, the communication of Eastern and Western cultures are conversed within the universe of the game.
Chapter Two shall investigate Style as a Centre of Production, where the centres of production within games are the very vessels that communicate style and culture. As style articulates itself through that central part of the game, which is the point by which the entire production process revolves, those schisms of culture and whispers of odour are unleashed, and the neutrality of the product is laid bare by the hands of its creators. Chapter Three shall take a more in depth look at the dynamic between eastern and western cultures.
Specifically, the process of exchange evident in the Westernization of Japan from the early Meiji Restoration to the conclusion of World War II, and the Easternisation of the west in the late eighties and nineties. Evolving into a Master It is a very normal start to the school day. It may sound strange to many; however, this routine is not so alien to many of my own generation. As youngsters we were enchanted utterly and completely by the spell this franchise. This characteristic distinguishes it from other electronic games that have become increasingly difficult over the years, demanding intense concentration and single minded often solitary absorption into the alternate worlds they construct.
Through the obsessive fandom forms around characters and designs this in turn influences on the realm of gaming. The experience or rather, the style then has filtered through both its saturation across so many diverse audiences, and its simple-surface, yet ultimately complex iceberg like game design.
Victory Road: Isolated incidents of violence of and addiction are seized by gaming detractors and presented as indicators of deeper problems in gaming communities and proof that adolescents are passive and uncritical consumers of computer games and game messages. Through knowledge, Players from all backgrounds are equalised in this playscape.
From its initial release, the landscape of gaming was changed forever. The series released as one enormous wave of cross media commodities. The international appeal of the series is undeniable. With production headed by creator Satoshi Taijiri and Art direction by artist Ken Sugimori, the games design used the childhood experiences of both men to create its own unique play and visual style. As a boy, his favourite pastime had been collecting insects and crayfish, an activity that involved interactions with both nature exploration, adventure, observation, gathering and society exchanges and information-sharing with other kids.
A game junkie otaku himself from the age of twelve…Taijiri became as hooked on these virtual worlds as he had once been on nature. From Taijiri, we now cast our eyes to the lead artist of the series, whose designs have arguably been the main cause of the series incredible success.
The very experience of appreciation and interaction with either digital or visceral goods is the driving force behind these designs. In Fig. July 5. Guyana, South America. Most notably, however, there are many aspects of Mew's design that are lifted from the process of embryogenesis. It's smooth, pink, has a large head, and is often depicted in a uterus-like bubble. What better way to represent the prototypic form of Mewtwo than by using the prototypic form of life itself?
He gives those monstrous yet familiar silhouettes from the past renewed agency in the form of eyes and expressions which cut through the viewer.
From the pseudo-scientific creation of Mew, we now cast our eyes to Fig. The major commonality of these myths is the idea of a single creator forming from outside of the chaos of the universe, and then seeking to tame it and give birth to all creation.
Each person involved with the game design adds their own signature to the work they are producing. Of key note is the game producer, who oversees all elements of production and ensures that the entire operation is running smoothly. Throughout the Final Fantasy series, there have been two producers who will be of key focus in this chapter of study.
These two designers are of key interest, as they both have left a distinct mark on the many titles they have been involved with producing. From this examination, we shall also see how personal traces are imprinted by the designers, and to a further extent, how a specific design culture accumulates from continued, serial projects. I think I'm better at telling a story. Sakagcuhi and his team were speaking to legions of fans of fantasy literature, dungeons and dragons and universes of the Tolkien fantasy genre and also that of science fiction.
The Opera House scene is one that I personally worked on the script and how the actions played out in the scene. That's something I think has stuck in players' minds. Also, the scene at Daryl's grave Along with the continual development of the hardware, that is what we are good at.
It is in contrast to their forebears, that Final Fantasy VI, VII and VIII were high technological fantasies, full of rusting metal wrecks and gleaming metropolises - very different to the previous games. However, whilst they may not share the same themes as preceding games, the three aforementioned are marked in their characterisation as Final Fantasy games, as they express themselves no different from the preceding games. You haven't quite told the story. Final Fantasy XI was a return to the tropes of the old with some of the new.
The scale is different, but the burning enthusiasm and the dreams behind the scenes are the same as in the majors.
However, it is still a game born from the techniques and know-how we gained from our earlier works. Using these as a base, we added a healthy amount of groping in the dark and produced this new style of play.
G Slusser in D Surman, p. The player makes the world visible through both the practice of play and their own knowledge, which stems from the centres of production that the creators speak through. It is not that these two series were incompatible; rather, the focus of this study is to illustrate the ways in which each has articulated their own personal style into their game designs.
Without Matsuno, the universe is ultimately mistranslated. For as much as for as much as Final Fantasy XII tries to employ the same centralization of characters proven through narrative, it draws more from its history with Matsuno and centralising process of his own Ivalice. Worlds Collide In the two examples, we have seen the ways in which the centre of production directs the style being articulated.
As such, we can see that perhaps, Matsuno never intended to reinvent Final Fantasy through the injection of his own design principles and methodology.
The creators represent themselves through the centres of production, and are thus able to communicate with their audiences through the game world. Worlds Align Throughout this chapter, we have examined the role of the creator in the game play experience, and as such illustrated the notion of a centre of production allowing for exchange between parties.
Worldliness thus is these centres of production the creators forming a history with the experiences of the player. This history in turn creates a consistency, which is what forms the basis of serial game play and understandings of genre and varying forms. In the examples of Matsuno and Sakaguchi, we see that despite narrative content changing frequently, the consistency of the world is made plausible by the shared history of these developers with their audiences.
Both parties speak to each other of the two sides of game design, the process of creation and the process of consumption. Players in turn, gain knowledge and worldliness of not only narratives, but of game designs themselves. As illustrated in the previous examples, the people who interact with games as players or creators build their own histories, which can be as deep and complex as the stories embedded in the games. One game series famous for its own deep and complex web of history is the Metal Gear Solid series by Kojima Productions.
Following the exploits of the main character Solid Snake, the player is given scenarios that span over decades of Solid Snake's life, a military agent and sometime-mercenary dispatched to end conflicts rather than start them. The series is successful in allowing players to experience the Hollywood blockbuster style of presentation it is renowned for, however it is of interest for this chapter, that the series not only retrospectively draws from its own history of the narrative, but also of Japanese history, the place where the seemingly westernised series originates from.
The ability of the series to create the new with a sensibility to history is that very facet which makes Metal Gear Solid and its media so recognizable in the realm of gaming culture and wider popular culture. The way in which style presents as retrospection then, is as a method of homage and cultural pastiche. Past Archetypes He is the quintessential hero. Sons of Liberty main character, and new recruit soldier, Raiden. To win they must overcome the fear of death…Warrior heroes are perhaps no more than the expression of the vicarious triumph over the ultimate universal fear no living human being ever totally subdued.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Konami, players are once again reunited with Solid Snake, albeit a tired and weary, war torn old man. Sentiments about the individual and society are symbolized in the motif of wandering that is represented in the archetype of the Wanderer. The Exile expresses the view that, since man is a social animal, life alone is a living death.
Loneliness is the worst suffering…The Vagabond expresses the view that, since man is a free spirit, the individual is severely restricted by other people, particularly his own…The Pilgrim expresses the view that, since man is a religious being, the individual cannot be ultimately satisfied by any society in this world. It is here we can see how these archetypes add an air of familiarity to the somewhat baroque plot, allowing for the vast amount of film and game references to endlessly loop and overlap.
What occurs is a complication of the hero Snake, in this case rather than the impervious hero of action cinema, the character reflects more the nature of traditional Japanese cinema, a character that is all-powerful though not without the faults of humanity. In this way, Snake reflects the heritage of Kojima himself, as the re-invented Samurai warrior.
Solid Snake: He is the perfect soldier, unquestioning of his authority and unrelenting to his enemies, not once does Solid Snake abandon or deviate from his mission. This mission is to destroy Metal Gear and avert a nuclear crisis. What does this communicate of style as retrospection? So far, we have established the classical archetypes, in which the creators have drawn from in creating each form of Snake, and their relationships to the design process. What is important to consider is the very presentation Metal Gear Solid chooses to convey.
There is a distinct Hollywood flavour to not only the first game, but the series as a whole.
Solid Snake as the Loyal Retainer is a caricature for the state of the feudal Japanese political landscape. The feudal Japanese who were so strong in martial terms were just as stalwart in their servitude; thus, Snake serves as a reminder to players of the time especially Japanese as an embodiment of resilience and undying loyalty.
By being loyal to the mission or job at hand, one will be successful. This leads us to Metal Gear Solid 2: So as to lead Snake to his much anticipated confrontation and somewhat personal gain of triumph. From the two games, style articulates as retrospect as a historical compendium.
What emerges is that Metal Gear Solid plays with the notions of cultural origin, mixing western aesthetics with Japanese mythic archetypes.
Naked Snake, Old Snake and Kojima: Future Metal Gear Solid 3: Guns of the Patriots Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater opens with a soldier skydiving out of a plane and landing in a jungle.
He rises, and removes his helmet.
Underneath is the face of Naked Snake or Big Boss as he becomes known as at the end of the game and for the duration of the subsequent games in the timeline of the series. The world of Metal Gear is constantly in reference to its past, of wars, conflicts and people. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater allows the player to experience the very beginning of the narrative world, so that when they enter the final conflict depicted in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots, players whom have kept up with the series are entering the new play-scape with a historical knowledge, the reward for this being the player themselves becoming the historical compendium by which plausibility and consistency is communicated through.
Through the process of serial play, we are greeted to the finale of the series in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Because these prints could be mass-produced, they were available to a wide cross-section of the Japanese populace—those not wealthy enough to afford original paintings—during their heyday, from the 17th to 20th century. It has gained widespread international fame for its focus on harmony, color use, rhythm, and elegantly simple design.
It is an art centered greatly on expressing the seasons, and is meant to act as a symbol to something greater than the flower itself. Traditional Japanese clothing distinguishes Japan from all other countries around the world. The Japanese word kimono means "something one wears" and they are the traditional garments of Japan. Originally, the word kimono was used for all types of clothing, but eventually, it came to refer specifically to the full-length garment also known as the naga-gi, meaning "long-wear", that is still worn today on special occasions by women, men, and children.
Kimonos come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Men mainly wear darker or more muted colors, while women tend to wear brighter colors and pastels, and, especially for younger women, often with complicated abstract or floral patterns. The kimono of a woman who is married tomesode differs from the kimono of a woman who is not married furisode.
The tomesode sets itself apart because the patterns do not go above the waistline. The furisode advertises that a woman is not only of age but also single.
The style of kimono also changes with the season, in spring kimonos are vibrantly colored with springtime flowers embroidered on them.
In Autumn, kimono colors are not as bright, with Autumn patterns. Flannel kimonos are most commonly worn in winter; they are made of a heavier material and are worn mainly to stay warm.
One of the more elegant kimonos is the uchikake , a long silk overgarment worn by the bride in a wedding ceremony. The uchikake is commonly embellished with birds or flowers using silver and gold thread. Kimonos do not come in specific sizes as most western dresses do. The sizes are only approximate, and a special technique is used to fit the dress appropriately.
The obi is a very important part of the kimono. Obi is a decorative sash that is worn by Japanese men and women, although it can be worn with many different traditional outfits, it is most commonly worn with the kimono. Most women wear a very large elaborate obi, while men typically don a more thin and conservative obi. Most Japanese men only wear the kimono at home or in a very laid back environment, however it is acceptable for a man to wear the kimono when he is entertaining guests in his home.
For a more formal event a Japanese man might wear the haori and hakama , a half coat and divided skirt. The hakama is tied at the waist, over the kimono and ends near the ankle. Hakama were initially intended for men only, but today it is acceptable for women to wear them as well. Hakama can be worn with types of kimono, excluding the summer version, yukata. The lighter and simpler casual-wear version of kimono often worn in Japanese summer festival is called yukata. Formal kimonos are typically worn in several layers, with number of layers, visibility of layers, sleeve length, and choice of pattern dictated by social status, season, and the occasion for which the kimono is worn.
Because of the mass availability, most Japanese people wear western style clothing in their everyday life, and kimonos are mostly worn for festivals, and special events.
As a result, most young women in Japan are not able to put the kimono on themselves. Many older women offer classes to teach these young women how to don the traditional clothing. Happi is another type of traditional clothing, but it is not famous worldwide like the kimono. A happi or happy coat is a straight sleeved coat that is typically imprinted with the family crest, and was a common coat for firefighters to wear. Japan also has very distinct footwear.
Tabi , an ankle high sock, is often worn with the kimono. Tabi are designed to be worn with geta, a type of thonged footwear. Geta are sandals mounted on wooden blocks held to the foot by a piece of fabric that slides between the toes.
Geta are worn both by men and women with the kimono or yukata. Japanese architecture has as long of a history as any other aspect of Japanese culture.
Originally heavily influenced by Chinese architecture , it has developed many differences and aspects which are indigenous to Japan. Examples of traditional architecture are seen at temples , Shinto shrines , and castles in Kyoto and Nara.
Some of these buildings are constructed with traditional gardens , which are influenced from Zen ideas. Some modern architects, such as Yoshio Taniguchi and Tadao Ando are known for their amalgamation of Japanese traditional and Western architectural influences. Garden architecture is as important as building architecture and very much influenced by the same historical and religious background.
A primary design principle of a garden is the creation of the landscape based on, or at least greatly influenced by, the three-dimensional monochrome ink sumi landscape painting, sumi-e or suibokuga. In Japan, the garden has the status of artwork. In the Nara period , Buddhist statues were made by the national government to boost its prestige.
Wood has traditionally been used as the chief material in Japan, along with traditional Japanese architecture. Statues are often lacquered , gilded , or brightly painted, although there are little traces on the surfaces.
Bronze and other metals are not used. Other materials, such as stone and pottery , have had extremely important roles in the plebeian beliefs. The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern.
Local music often appears at karaoke venues, which is on lease from the record labels. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western Music and is based on the intervals of human breathing rather than mathematical timing.
Noh had its origins in the union of the sarugaku , with music and dance made by Kanami and Zeami Motokiyo. Kabuki appears in the beginning of the Edo period from the representations and dances of Izumo no Okuni in Kyoto.
Recent attempts to reintroduce actresses in kabuki had not been well accepted. Japanese puppet theater bunraku developed in the same period, that kabuki in a competition and contribution relation involving actors and authors. The origin of bunraku , however is older, lies back in the Heian period. These sports are still widely practiced in present-day Japan and other countries. Baseball , Association football , and other popular western sports were imported to Japan in the Meiji period.
These sports are commonly practiced in schools, along with traditional martial arts. Baseball, soccer, football, and ping pong are the most popular sports in Japan. In addition, there are many semi-professional organizations, which are sponsored by private companies: Through a long culinary past, the Japanese have developed sophisticated and refined cuisine.
In more recent years, Japanese food has become fashionable and popular in the United States, Europe, and many other areas. Dishes such as sushi , tempura , noodles , and teriyaki are some of the foods that are commonly known.
The Japanese diet consists principally of rice; fresh, lean seafood; and pickled or boiled vegetables. The healthy Japanese diet is often believed to be related to the longevity of Japanese people. Japanese popular culture not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present day, but also provides a link to the past.
Popular films, television programs, manga , music, anime and video games all developed from older artistic and literary traditions, and many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, much like the traditional forms, provide not only entertainment but also an escape for the contemporary Japanese from the problems of an industrial world.
When asked how they spent their leisure time, 80 percent of a sample of men and women surveyed by the government in said they averaged about two and a half hours per weekday watching television, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers or magazines.
Some 16 percent spent an average of two and a quarter hours a day engaged in hobbies or amusements. Others spent leisure time participating in sports, socializing, and personal study. Teenagers and retired people reported more time spent on all of these activities than did other groups.
Many anime and manga are very popular around the world and continue to become popular, as well as Japanese video games, fashion, and game shows. In the late s, the family was the focus of leisure activities, such as excursions to parks or shopping districts. Although Japan is often thought of as a hard-working society with little time for leisure, the Japanese seek entertainment wherever they can. It is common to see Japanese commuters riding the train to work, enjoying their favorite manga , or listening through earphones to the latest in popular music on portable music players.
A wide variety of types of popular entertainment are available. There is a large selection of music, films, and the products of a huge comic book industry, among other forms of entertainment, from which to choose. Game centers, bowling alleys, and karaoke are popular hangout places for teens while older people may play shogi or go in specialized parlors.
Traditional Japanese ceremony at Itsukushima Shrine. Lolita fashion is a fashion subculture that is highly influenced by Victorian and Edwardian from the Rococo period. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the book, see Japanese Society book. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
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