Education played an important role in Japanese life. Almost all Japanese can read and write. Japanese language is not so easy. First, you have to learn the three forms of spoken Japanese. They are intimate, polite, and the honorific. Intimate is used when you’re at home. Polite is used in well-educated companies. Honorific is used to show respect to your elders.
There are different ways of writing. They are Kanji (used for picture words), Hiragana (used for sounds), and Katakana (used for foreign words borrowed from China.), and Romaji (used for words in Roman). The older you get the more you have to memorize these writing systems.
Nine years of school is required for Japanese children. During this time students get a great deal of homework. They receive special assignment in the summer. After six years in elementary school and three years in junior high, they take a special exam. If they pass they can go to senior high. Students who want to go to collages must take another exam. If they pass they can go to collages, universities, and technical schools in Japan.
Religion played an important part in Japanese life. At first, most Japanese followed the Shinto religion. This religion is like nature worship. It teaches that sea, trees and other forms of nature are like gods. Japanese also added ancestor worship to their Shinto beliefs.
In 1870, Shinto became the country’s religion. After the World War II, Shinto was no longer the country’s religion. Many people still believe in other parts of Shinto. More than 80,000 Shinto shrines and 75,000 Buddhist temples spread around Japan. Shinto has been great influences on the way Japanese think, especially their feeling toward older people, traditions, and nature.
Buddhist is one of the major religions in Japan. Buddhist was found in India. It spread across South Asia and reached Japan in 552. Today there are four Buddhist parts in Japan: Zen, Jodo, Shin, Nichiren. Buddhist has influence life in Japan especially its art.
A lot of people live in the cities. They usually live in apartments. The reason a lot of people live here is that banks, stores, and other business are nearby. Living in this place is hard because cities are crowded.
Rural life is hard because business and other jobs are not nearby. People have to farm and grow crops themselves.
What are Japanese homes like? It depends if you are in the city, or the rural. Rural house are usually one or two stories high. In cities people live in apartments. Almost 3 fourth of the people live in the cities, but 1 fourth live in the rural area, many homes are arranged in a traditional way. Straw mats cover the floors. Only wealthy families have central heating. Most rural families use electric or gas heaters for heat or cooking. Japanese usually put western-style furniture and carpets. When it’s time for bed, they spread out quilts on the floors. Many western-style appliances can be found in Japanese homes.