The things for which Japan is well known include its cuisine, aesthetic tradition, bonsai trees and its role in the Second World War. According to About.com expert Setsuko Yoshizuka, Japanese cuisine emphasizes raw and cooked seafood, rice and green vegetables. Soy foods, such as miso and tofu, also play central roles in Japanese kitchens. Culinary presentation is extremely important and demonstrates the marriage of Japanese cuisine and cultural aesthetic principles.Know More
One of the most notable aspects of Japanese aesthetics is "wabi-sabi," or the beauty of imperfection. According to this principle, designs that are perfectly symmetrical and well proportioned are not as beautiful as those that contain at least one noticeable flaw.
Two other Japanese aesthetic principles are "mono no aware" and "yugen." According to Bradley Park, a professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, mono no aware refers to the poignant beauty of transience and change within the natural world. The concept of yugen includes shadowy darkness, mystery and the impossibility of clear discernment. Clouds are an excellent example of this principle.
Japanese aesthetics have a huge influence on the bonsai tradition. Bonsai involves the cultivation, gradual training, pruning and shaping of otherwise ordinary trees into miniature versions of their standard-size counterparts. According to Bonsai Empire, the term "bonsai" means "container," and is a reference to the pots and trays in which bonsai grow. Bonsai trees are not genetically altered or bred to be small. Their size is a function of careful bonsai cultivation techniques.Learn more in Modern Asia
Japan's birth as a nation, depending on the definition of nation used, could be as dated 10,000 years ago, when a hunter-gatherer society called the Jamon developed. Its birth date also could be identified as 710 A.D., when the first strong central government developed in Nara.Full Answer >
The Meiji Restoration, which occurred in Japan in 1868, was significant because it shifted political power from the shogun to the emperor, a shift which helped Japan modernize swiftly. This swift modernization allowed Japan to become an economic and military rival of the Western colonial powers.Full Answer >
The League of Nations' response to the Manchurian Crisis of 1931 was a resolution that Japan should withdraw from Manchuria. The Japanese thoroughly ignored the resolution and continued their expansion. In 1933, Japan and China signed a truce, but the area remained in Japanese control.Full Answer >
Though clothing in Japan varies from person to person, the Japanese are internationally known for both their traditional kimonos and their involvement in Cosplay (the practice of dressing in costume or like a fictional character). They are also known for their varying Lolita styles.Full Answer >