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Japan the most westernized nation in non-Western civilization?

underooz

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Hello! My name is Kimiko and I am new to posting in here!

Anyway, the reason for me posting here is because I have to do this paper for my Western Civilization class and I am looking for as much help as possible. I've always had a love for Japan, so I decided to incorporate it into my paper and the only thing I came up with is arguing that Japan is a westernized country.

Here is my thesis statement:

More than 130 years have passed since the Meiji Restoration, when Western culture was, for the first time, introduced to Japan. Since then, Japan has struggled to imitate the Western countries to achieve modernization. Consequently, Japan is the most westernized nation in non-Western civilization.

Can anyone help me with this? I was thinking of comparing Japan to the other non-western countries like China or India, things like lifestyles, arts and culture (literature, architecture, movies), the economy (jobs, banking system), government (armed forces) and technology...

(also, things like food, sushi vs. burgers and sake vs. beer and sports, sumo wrestling and martial arts vs. baseball, etc.)

Also, I need to know how I will measure this, in other words, what is "westernized" and what does it mean? I don't know where to start!

Thank you for reading my post. ::bows::

-------Kimiko-------
 

Maciamo

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I don't know if Japan is the most Westernized or not. Singapore, the Philippines, etc. are also very Westernized Asian countries. Then all depends on your definition of "Western". I had started a discussion about this a few months ago. You'll find everything that has already been said in this thread
 

Mandylion

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Watch your terms and make sure you define them well. Is your usage of westernization to imply becoming like the west in simply an operative, practical, sense or become like the west in a deeper, philosophical, core of ones being type thing? I would tend to agree with your thesis if it limited westernization to the political and economic spheres, but not if you extend it into the cultural and philosophical. Here things get really murky and you need to watch yourself. Are you in a master class or something like that? If so, watch yourself on comparing Japan and other Asian ways of thinking when trying to make distinctions between the westernized and un-westernized worlds. Heck, I can think of enough similarities between Asian and segments of the Deep South region of the US to make you question the validity of cultural regionalism to begin with. :)People will probably find enough similarities to put some serious holes in your thesis if you stick to an uncompromising position like ツ“Japan is the most westernized nation in non-Western civilization.ツ” A better tact might be to pursue a more poltico/economic based thesis that allows for some compromise.
 

grass jelly

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I would think HK as being the most Westernized, being under the British for 155 years up until 窶?7. And yes I know HK is not a nation.

However, some would argue that it had the criteria of being one, considering it had a healthy self sustaining economy that ranked pretty high even among countries (although that may not be true anymore due to economic down turn and recent events), a whole culture that spawned uniquely from outside influences, etc.

Anyway, I窶冦 just babbling. :eek:
 

Squareboy

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Japan is getting more westernized everyday, this could be bad, as of now, this asian culture is what makes Japan interesting, do you really want Japan to become just like England? if Japan were just another western civilization, it would loose it's appeal, whould it not? as for the most westernized Nation in Asia, Singapore is definitely it.
 

Onigiri

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I don't think Japan is the most westernized non western country. I agree with Mandylion is saying. You must have a well understanding of Japan, and other asian countries before you give a presentation. I think there are a lot more westernized asian countries that has been ruled by the Europeans for a long time, like the Philipines.
 

Chinaman

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hahaha. when china becomes the second most (if not the most) powerful nation in the world in 50 years, people would be discussing "which western nation is the most easternized?" but this is silly.

it's more appropriate to talk about which nation, east or west or whatever, has more political, economic and military power in the world so far and in the future.
 

Enfour

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All depends on your definitions.. I would agree with Macimo and suggest that Singapore would be more westernised. Even though Japan is "modern" it is still very asian - food culture etc.
 

senseiman

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I have to agree with what Mandylion said. Remember that the Meiji restoration occured not because Japan wanted to accept Western culture, but precisely because they wanted to keep western culture out. The Meiji government stressed the importance of importing western technological and scientific know how because it needed these to defend Japan from the west. The people who supported the Meiji rebellion were even more nationalistic and isolationist than the Tokugawa shogunate, which had shut out the world for more than 200 years, so it isn't at all accurate to say that Japan has been trying to imitate western culture fro the past 130 years.
 

Mae

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Japan, some said they are really good in copying, they often copy western construction structure, like the eiffel tower and so.I don't agree with that though. They are just too briliant to examine westerners work and combine them with their own inventions. Especially in the technology parts. But japan is not westernized, it's just a technological country, it still remains its beautiful culture and art works, and they're using japanese as their *life* language...That why some of their english is considered poor, i mean only a part of them...plezz don't misunderstand my pt, i'm just telling the truth...
 

senseiman

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I don't agree that Japanese are good at copying western style buildings at all either. Have you ever seen an American style house in Japan? They are absolutely hideous. They have the general structure right but all the details are wrong. Usually they use plastic exteriors in the most inappropriate colours (flourescent pink, etc.) imaginable. They have no yards to speak of so the front door opens up straight onto the street. Traditional Japanese houses can get away with that, but American houses are designed to fit into a landscaped yard and look really out of place without one. They also tend to have fewer and smaller windows and no basement.

This kind of misappropriation of architecture is sad, because these things are usually built in the middle of neighborhoods filled with beautiful Japanese style houses and the effect is to ruin the ambience of the entire area in which they are built.
 

Mae

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yeah, i've indicate that it's not yet a westernized country coz the culture and the art works of it still remain and dear senseiman, westerns don't just mean America...
Ja mata..><"
 

senseiman

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Dear Mae,

Given the fact that I am not an American, I realize that the term westerners doesn't just apply to Americans. I was just using the case of American houses as an example to illustrate a larger point about Japanese borrowing of items from other cultures gone awry.
Thank you,
Senseiman
 

Maciamo

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Japan secretly aspire to be Western... hough it did very well at Meiji to absorb Western knowledge and adapt a similar structure of government, education and economy, on an artistic point of view Japan has tried and still tries to copy the West, but failed, justly because it remains Asian culturally, through its language, history, arts and traditions. Nevertheless, this failure to copy has produced a modern culture of its own, which has become influencial enough to be adopted by a part of the Western population especially with the anime, manga and J-pop.

However, Japan longs for more Westernisation. Everybody wants to learn more and more English, adopt more foreign words and open more to the world by travelling and studying abroad, which all are among Japan's most flourishing business - which, BTW, is far from being the case in the USA.
 

Mae

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Originally posted by senseiman
Dear Mae,

Given the fact that I am not an American, I realize that the term westerners doesn't just apply to Americans. I was just using the case of American houses as an example to illustrate a larger point about Japanese borrowing of items from other cultures gone awry.
Thank you,
Senseiman
Thankx for your information senseiman. I'd thoroughly understood your case, i've MISunderstood ur ealier pt anywayzz..Of coz u knoe westerns don't just mean Americans, b'coz those who doesn't knoe are too easy to be fool..as what we say - stupid. Apologize sent from Mae to Senseiman. -_-
 

norak

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As Mandylion said, economically and politically Japan is Western but maybe culturally it is not. And there is nothing inherently wrong with borrowing knowledge from someplace else. Most aspects of Western Civilization, I assume, had its roots in Ancient Greece, not America. A significant proportion of mathematics was developed in China (the binomial theorem, Pascal's triangle) and the Middle East (trigonometry). In my opinion, two diagnostic features of a Western nation are individual rights and capitalism. Japan has both. The problem with the definition is that most industrialised, prosperous nations tend to be inhabited by Caucasians, so many mistakenly infer from this observation that Western is just a euphemism for White, when in fact it isn't.
 

lacon

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Hi,

i feel that Japan is not really westernized. she possess her own cultural identity that distinguish herself from the rest of the world.

in my opinion, westernization means following the western culture where western could mean anywhere from Europe to America.

Singapore may seem to be westernize but she has her own unique culture like any other country :) It is a multi racial country where not all western ideas can be accepted by all.

:p
 

budd

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hey, anybody got any links to

pakistanian
jamaican
chinese
african
etc
bbs/forums?
i want to check them out to see if they have tired redone topics like this also
iran got tanks? they must be trying to be like america!
blah
 

Nobita

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i have a simple question.
what is the difference between 'westernisation' and 'modernisation'?
how are you going to link these concepts in your essay?
is japan westernised or modernised?
 

Maciamo

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Originally posted by Nobita
i have a simple question.
what is the difference between 'westernisation' and 'modernisation'?
how are you going to link these concepts in your essay?
is japan westernised or modernised?

We have discussed this extensively here. It's actually very difficult to define what means "western". Japan is usually seen as a modern country, but on a number of aspects it is quite backward -especially social, legal and medical aspects.

Socially, unequality between sexes, the fact that people usually need to be married to live together, etc. show that Japanese mentality is still 50 years behind Western countries.

Legally, there is the fact that children can be "abducted" any country in the world, that in case of divorce the mother usually gets exclusive charge of the children and the father just forget about them as if they never existed, that rape is considered normal by some politicians, or that the government always wins trials when citizens sue them...

Medically, doctors often do fatal mistakes in hospitals, which has been a big concerns in the population recently. A journalist has written a best-seller book ( shiroi kyotou ) on the subject of these medical malpractises, which is soon to become a TV series. Otherwise, doctors prescibe antibiotics for anything as benign as a cold, most small doctors lack the technology of their Western counterparts (my opinion is that Japan's medical facilities is nearer from what I've experienced in India).

Japan's system and institutions are called modern, because they have been Westernized, first from Meiji, then again after WWII by the Americans who imposed the changes (constitution, economic system, etc.). So in every aspect where Japan isn't modern, it is just not Westernized enough, which means that, from a Western point of view of course, a country cannot be modern if it is not sufficiently Westernized. No country refusing westernization (Arab world, China...) has ever been able to prove modern.
 

Nobita

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>>Macciamo
i agree with you. defining these two concepts is absolutely important.
in addition, it will be important to examine the meaning of the development
of Japan both (partially) westinised and modernised. otherwise,
it makes me think 'so what?', because the conclusion that
'japan is both westernised and modernised' makes nonsense.
it's a routine thesis, isn't it? it's just mentioning the fact, but nothing more.
is it so important work?
 
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