8 Famous Japanese Cultures Until Now! – Sinaumed’s! Indonesian people, maybe even the whole world know that Japan has a variety of unique and interesting cultures. However, not many people know the history and the implied meaning behind the cultures of the country of Sakura.
The following is a review of the history and implied meanings behind some of Japan’s famous culture that has been lived for decades, even hundreds of years by its people.
8 Kinds of Famous and Interesting Japanese Culture
To get to know more about what Japanese culture is famous for and definitely unique, here is a complete explanation.
1. Geisha: Traditional Japanese Artist-Entertainers
Geisha is one of the many well-known Japanese cultures. Sometimes, for some people who are new to Geisha, they will think of Geisha as a “mysterious creature” and a part of Japan’s culture, as well as a traditional profession that is often misunderstood.
In Japanese, geisha means “people of art” or people who have skills in traditional Japanese arts, such as dancing, singing, music, or the tea ceremony. In other words, geisha are traditional entertainers in Japan.
Indeed, initially it was men who played the Geisha, but some men who pursued this traditional culture tended to decline, until eventually women replaced their roles.
Geisha have been around since the 18th and 19th centuries, and are still very popular today. Unfortunately, nowadays, this Japanese culture tends to decline, although there are still some Japanese people who still maintain Geisha.
There are other names for Geisha, namely Maiko and Geiko. The term began to exist and be applied in the Meiji Restoration era. The term Maiko is only applied in the Kyoto area, while the term Geiko is just another designation. That’s because Maiko is the name for beginner geisha.
Typically, this traditional Japanese culture (geisha) has indeed been taught and trained from a young age. Not only that, the average geisha house will also bring girls from underprivileged or poor families to live and practice there. Geisha houses are called Okiya.
Initially, novice geisha or maiko worked as maids, then as assistants to senior geisha, homeowners as members of their training and helpers with their education and maintenance costs as well. Even today, the culture of Geisha training is still found in Japan.
However, modern Geisha are no longer appointed and educated by Geisha houses (Okiya). This is because geisha are voluntary.
Until now, Geisha are still a big enough attraction from Japan itself, even from foreign tourists. However, for tourists who want to see Japanese culture on this one, they need to know some special locations, specifically in Kyoto, in order to find a geisha.
Quite a number of people admire Japanese culture and want to learn about it. However, because Japanese culture and language seem far from ours, it feels complicated and difficult. With the help of this book, the complexity will be unraveled. All aspects are discussed in a direct approach by Indonesians who have lived and studied in Japan, who until now have collaborated and interacted with the Japanese.
2. Matsuri: Festivals
Matsuri is a kind of cultural festival in Japan which is held in summer or summer. This matsuri is related to the festivals of the shrines, namely Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Actually, Matsuri itself is an event to pray and pray. It’s just that it doesn’t focus on the tourists who come. That’s because many visitors or tourists come just to see this Matsuri cultural festival.
Matsuri itself comes from the word matsuru which means to worship or worship. Matsuri means worship or worship of Kami. In the teachings of the Shinto religion, there are four elements in the matsuri, namely harai or purification, offerings, norito or reading prayers, and a feast.
Meanwhile, when viewed from the notion of secularism, Matsuri means holiday celebrations or festivals.
This matsuri begins with the reading of prayers performed by Shinto priests, both for individuals and groups of people, which are carried out in a place that is not visible to others.
The intent and purpose of holding this Matsuri is as a form of prayer for a successful harvest, business success, recovery from illness, and so on. Not only that, Matsuri itself is also held as a form of traditional celebration related to changing seasons or praying for the spirits of famous figures.
Matsuri itself is held in various places in Japan. Even though matsuri are usually held in temples, there are also those who hold matsuri in churches and/or do them without linking to a religious side.
The time of implementation and the meaning of the Matsuri ceremony also varies, depending on the purpose of the ceremony and the area.
Along with the development of the times, the holding of this Matsuri often deviates from its true aims and objectives. However, behind it all, this traditional side of Japanese culture is still being preserved today.
3. Sadou: Tea Ceremony
There are two types of tea ceremony or Sadou , namely Ochakai and Chaji. Ochakai is a tea ceremony that is somewhat less formal because usually Japanese people will invite their friends and relatives to carry out ochakai activities as a form of celebration of success or something like that. Then, Chaji is also a tea ceremony which is formal and very sacred in nature, and its implementation can even last more than 4 hours.
Initially, the tea ceremony originated from Buddhism ( Zen) brought by the Chinese in the 6th century. Then, this ceremony was often carried out by the Japanese until the 12th century when in that century a new variant of Matcha tea was discovered, namely tea from green tea powder.
Until finally in the 16th century, the tea ceremony continued to spread throughout Japanese society and became a culture that exists in Japan today. Even with a sense of pride, Japanese people always try to preserve this one culture to the international realm.
Sadou or tea ceremony has procedures for its implementation. The host must make preparations, such as arranging the room, decorating, preparing the Sadou ‘s equipment, and the like. In addition, guests also have their own procedures before being allowed to enter the room provided by the host. Then, there are also the sitting rules and procedures for receiving and handing over the tea bowl.
Behind it all, the Sadou or tea ceremony which has become Japanese culture has many meanings in life, for example, mutual respect and respect between hosts and guests. That way, this Japanese culture indirectly shows the character of the host which aims to create peace for one another.
4. Kimono: Traditional Japanese Clothing
The next famous Japanese culture, namely Kimono. Surely you are no stranger to hearing this term. Kimono is one of the traditional clothes from Japan which is well known to the international scene. Kimono which consists of ‘ki’ means wear and ‘mono’ means goods or things.
At first, the Kimono was a garment worn by the nobility only, namely around 794-1185 or in Japanese history known as the Heian period.
Then, as the times progressed, this kimono dress became more familiar and popular among the people, and it was even often worn by kabuki actors during performances and geisha.
However, in 1683, there was a violation against wearing Kimono, especially the expensive and flashy ones. Until finally, Kimono reappeared in the 19th century when Japan had begun to develop itself in the modern world.
Kimono clothing itself also varies, depending on the celebration that is held or carried out. For example, the kimono worn by single women will be different from the kimono worn by married women. The following will explain a little about the types of Kimono based on the celebration.
- Mofuku is an all-black kimono worn by women and men during mourning or mourning ceremonies.
- Tomesode is a very formal form of Kimono. The Tomesode kimonohas gold and silver colored motifs, worn by married Japanese women. Generally, Tomesode Kimono is worn to attend weddings.
- Iromuji is a kimono that has no patterns and consists of only one color. The Iromuji kimonocan be worn by all women, both single and married.
- Susohiki or Hikizuri is a special kimono worn by geisha or Japanese dancers. The difference between this kimono when compared to the usual kimono lies in its shape. The shape of the Susohiki or Hikizuri kimonotends to be longer and sweeps the floor.
- Furisode is a formal kimono for women who are not married, aka single. It is usually worn for special occasions, including coming of age ceremonies, tea ceremonies (Sadou) , and/or attending weddings.
- Komon is a kimono made of silk and has a pattern that almost covers the entire kimono. Generally, the Komon Kimono is worn during informal or casual events .
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5. Tako: Japanese Kites
The next Japanese culture is Tako. Tako means kite, while takoage means flying kite. In Japan, flying kites is one of the Japanese family’s favorite activities or activities that are carried out every New Year.
Even though Tako ‘s activities are not well known around the world, they are very well known in Japan. Apart from New Years, kites can also be found during cultural festivals.
Basically, most kites in Japan are made of washi paper with bamboo or cypress wood frames, and black or sumi ink, and use natural coloring paints in bright colors. The bamboo or cypress wood framework is referred to as bone, while the washi paper covering is referred to as skin.
The Japanese people think that Tako is not just a kite, but a work of art and culture of high value that should be preserved.
In fact, the Japanese government provides subsidies as well as allowances to kite artists whose works of art are then displayed and enshrined in a museum, namely the Tako no Hakubutsukan Museum , in Tokyo to be precise.
In the museum there are approximately 3,500 collections of kites from Japan and abroad, both in two dimensions and three dimensions.
Tako are usually flown during the Hamamatsu Matsuri, New Years and public holidays. Also at the Honen Matsuri or Harvest Festival, Tako are flown with rice stalks tied as a form of gratitude for a good harvest.
The biggest kite festival in Japan is in Hamamatsu which is located in Shizuoka Prefecture which is celebrated from May 3 to 5 each year. The implementation of the festival is a form of celebrating newborn babies in the city and praying for the health and future of the babies in Hamamatsu. This custom is known as Hatsudako.
Unlike other festivals, the Hamamatsu Festival is not related to religious or religious activities because this festival is usually held on the beach. This annual kite festival in Hamamatsu is known as Takoage-Gassen.
6. Origami: The Art of Paper Folding
Who doesn’t know Origami? Origami turns out to be one of the famous Japanese culture to the world stage. In fact, in Indonesia itself, the art of origami has been taught while sitting in kindergarten.
Origami has been around for a long time, since the first time paper was used, namely the first century of China, around 105 AD by Ts’ai Lun. later, in the 6th century around AD 106, the paper-making method was brought to Spain by the Arabs and Japanese.
In Japan itself, Origami is believed to have existed since the Heian Period around 741-1191. It started with Origami being used as a cover for bottles of rice wine or sake during worship ceremonies, women as well as children.
Then, Origami was increasingly used in Japan, which at that time was known as Orikata, Orisui, or Orimono . However, in 1880, this artistic cultural form was better known as Origami by Japanese people and the terms Orikata, Orisui, or Orimono were simply forgotten.
Around 1600-1868, to be precise in the Edo period, the development of origami was fairly fast because at that time paper supplies were not hard to come by. In fact, at that time, the supply of washi paper was still quite a lot.
As for Origami, it consists of the word ori meaning ‘folding’ and gami meaning ‘paper’. The material used is also paper or square cloth which is then folded to form the resemblance of certain objects or animals.
Because the art of Origami is often practiced by Japanese people, until now many people call Origami as one of the Japanese cultures that has been passed down from generation to generation.
7. Hanami: Flower Viewing
Hanami or what is known as the cherry blossom welcoming festival. Hanami is a tradition as well as a culture that has existed for thousands of years in Japan.
Initially, the Hanami festival was only held by nobles and the upper class. As time progressed, in the Edo period or around 1600, the activity of enjoying cherry blossoms was finally implemented by the wider Japanese community.
Meanwhile, in modern times, Hanami is held as a form of activity for picnics or gatherings, either with family, relatives or friends. They do these activities during the day or at night accompanied by lanterns while enjoying the blooming Sakura flowers.
For its implementation, the Hanami festival is only held once a year. This is because when the cherry blossoms bloom only in a certain period of time and for a short period of time. Generally, cherry blossoms in Japan bloom around March to May with a peak in April. When in bloom, the leaf color of the cherry blossoms will change in rhythm with the color of the flowers, which is pink or pink.
Behind this Hanami festival celebration , there is a special meaning for Japanese people. Usually, Sakura flowers will not bloom for a long time, so the Japanese will celebrate this beauty as a form of reminder that this beauty will not last long. Therefore, Japanese people make Hanami as a ‘short break’ activity from the hectic world of work.
As for places that can be visited to enjoy these Sakura flowers, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and other cities. However, it should be noted that not all places and parks in Japanese cities can be used to hold Hanami festivals.
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8. Hanabi: Fireworks
Hanabi is one of the famous Japanese culture among Japanese people. Hanabi is a spark and represents the beauty of fireworks as a part of Japanese culture which has been loved for a long time.
Since the Edo period, Hanabi has symbolized the arrival of summer in Japan with countless fireworks festivals that attract hundreds or even thousands of people.
In 1733, the Hanabi festival was held for the public to entertain the people and appease the spirits who had died due to poverty the previous year. As for Hanabi, it was held on the banks of Sumida, even today it is still ongoing.
Celebrating Hanabi is used as a place to enjoy the beauty of fireworks. That’s because seeing fireworks in summer is like looking at flowers in spring.
Each region in Japan has its own schedule for holding this Hanabi festival . Thus, the number and shape of the fireworks that are burned depends on the location. There are several schedules for the Hanabi celebration that Japanese people and foreign tourists should not miss, including the Adachi Fireworks Festival, Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai, Tenjin Hanabi Festival, Omagari Fireworks Festival, Nagaoka Grand Fireworks Festival, Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition, and Yokohama Sparkling Twilight.
That’s information about some of the famous Japanese culture, where the culture has been lived by the people for generations. If Sinaumed’s is interested and wants to broaden his knowledge regarding this land of Sakura, be it in terms of language, culture, and others, of course you can find, buy, and read his books at sinaumedia.com and sinaumedia Digital because sinaumedia has always been #FriendsWithoutLimits for those of you who want to gain knowledge. knowledge.
Hopefully this article can add insight to all of you!
Author: Tasya Talitha Nur Aurellia