Japanization of Foreign Culture and Co-existence | Nihongo Sprit [日本語道] Series #4

Author: Katsuyuki Hasegawa

Nihongo Sprit Series : Japanese Mythology

Warming up Audio

Click to listen easy listening English and Japanese by professional narrators.


Japanese WordFurigana English Word Example Sentence (Japanese & English)
西洋 せいよう Western 西洋からは日本は東の果てに位置する島国として見られています。
From the Western perspective, Japan is seen as an island nation located at the easternmost end.
島国 しまぐに island nation 日本は美しい島国であり、豊かな自然と文化が魅力です。
Japan is a beautiful island nation, known for its rich nature and culture.
孤立した こりつした isolated 日本は古くは孤立した環境にありましたが、今では世界との交流が盛んです。
Japan was once in an isolated environment, but now it actively engages in interactions with the world.
外国文化 がいこくぶんか foreign cultures 日本は外国文化を受け入れつつ、独自の文化と融合させてきました。
Japan has embraced foreign cultures while integrating them with its own unique culture.
漢字 かんじ Chinese characters 漢字は中国から日本に伝わり、日本語の表記に重要な役割を果たしています。
Chinese characters were introduced to Japan from China and play an important role in the written form of the Japanese language.
仏教 ぶっきょう Buddhism 仏教はインドで誕生し、中国を経由して日本にもたらされました。
Buddhism originated in India and was brought to Japan via China.
ぜん Zen は日本で開花し、世界中に日本の文化として広まっています。
Zen blossomed in Japan and has spread worldwide as part of Japanese culture.
精進料理 しょうじんりょうり Shojin ryori 精進料理は仏教の修行から生まれた健康食であり、日本の伝統的な料理の一つです。
Shojin ryori is a healthy cuisine that originated from Buddhist practices and is one of Japan’s traditional dishes.
日本人 にほんじん Japanese people 日本人は独自の食文化において、味覚を追求し、料理を進化させることに長けています。
Japanese people excel in pursuing flavors and evolving dishes in their unique culinary culture.
ラーメン らーめん ramen ラーメンは日本の代表的な麺料理であり、世界中で「日本料理」として愛されています。
Ramen is a representative noodle dish of Japan and is loved worldwide as a part of Japanese cuisine.
料理 りょうり world cuisines 日本では外国の料理も共存し、中国料理や韓国料理、西洋料理などが食べられています。
In Japan, foreign cuisines coexist, and you can enjoy Chinese, Korean, Western cuisines, and more.
日本酒 にほんしゅ sake 日本酒や焼酎は、ビールやワイン、ウイスキーなどの世界のお酒と共存して楽しまれています。
Sake and shochu coexist with alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and whiskey from around the world and are enjoyed in Japan.
お茶 おちゃ tea お茶は中国から日本に伝わり、日本の文化に欠かせない飲み物となっています。
Tea was introduced to Japan from China and has become an indispensable beverage in Japanese culture.
近代化 きんだいか modernization 近代化が始まった明治維新以来、日本では日本文化と外国文化の融合が進んできました。
Since the start of modernization during the Meiji Restoration, Japan has seen the fusion of Japanese and foreign cultures.
和室 わしつ Japanese-style room 近年はフローリングのみの家も増えていますが、まだ和室のある家も多く存在します。
While the number of houses with only wooden flooring has been increasing in recent years, there are still many houses with Japanese-style rooms.
伝統行事 でんとうぎょうじ traditional events クリスマスやハロウィンといった海外の行事が受け入れられつつも、ひなまつりや七夕、節分などの伝統行事も行われています。
While overseas events like Christmas and Halloween are embraced, traditional events such as Hinamatsuri, Tanabata, and Setsubun are still celebrated.
共存 きょうぞん coexistence 外国からの文化は日本の文化と共存し、日本文化に統合されたり、日本風に改良されたりしてきました。
Foreign cultures have been coexisting with Japanese culture, integrating into it while also being adapted to suit the Japanese style.

Let’s build up your reading skill

Izanami (いざ波)

From a Western perspective, Japan is an island nation located at the easternmost tip of the Eurasian continent.

西洋から見れば、 日本はユーラシア大陸の最東端に位置する島国です。

Izanagi (いざ凪)

Because of its isolated environment, Japan showed interest in foreign cultures and actively adopted them.


Izanami (いざ波)

In ancient times, it evolved by taking Chinese characters and Buddhism mainly from China and rearranging it to fit the Japanese style.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Buddhism was born in India and came to Japan via China. Although it declined in India and China, it is still spiritually and culturally integrated in Japanese society.


Izanami (いざ波)

Zen, which blossomed in Japan, has spread throughout the world as Japanese culture. Shojin ryori (vegetarian cuisine), which was born out of Buddhist practice, is another example of healthy food.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

The Japanese are adept at thoroughly pursuing tastes that suit the Japanese palate and evolving existing dishes into something new.


Izanami (いざ波)

In recent years, ramen and many other dishes have spread throughout the world as “Japanese cuisine.”


Izanagi (いざ凪)

While foreign foods are being fused to be more Japanese, other world cuisines such as Chinese, Korean, and Western cuisines are also being eaten together.


Izanami (いざ波)

World alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and whiskey, which came from the West, are also coexisting with sake and shochu.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Tea (green tea), which came from China, is now an indispensable drink in daily life, but coffee and black tea from the West are equally prevalent.


Izanami (いざ波)

Since the Meiji Restoration (19th century), which marked the beginning of Japanʼs modernization, there has been a fusion of Japanese and foreign cultures in various fields.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

There are shrines next to urban skyscrapers, or old-fashioned streets like Asakusa in the midst of a modern city.


Izanami (いざ波)

The techniques used to create traditional buildings such as shrines have been handed down to this day.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Japan is home to many companies that have been in business for more than 200 years, including the oldest company in the world, which has been around for more than 1,400 years which is the largest number in the world.


Izanami (いざ波)

Coexistence of Japanese and Western cultures can be seen in various areas.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Although the number of houses with only wooden flooring has been increasing in recent years, there are still many houses with Japanese-style rooms with tatami flooring.


Izanami (いざ波)

The kotatsu is a heating appliance that warms the lower half of the body, mainly the legs, and it is still used by some households as a place for family gatherings.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

While overseas events such as Christmas, Halloween, and Valentineʼs Day are accepted as events, traditional events such as Hinamatsuri (Dollʼs festival), Tanabata (Star festival), and Setsubun are still held.


Izanami (いざ波)

Many national cultures that were invaded or heavily influenced by foreign nations were threatened with extinction, including their languages.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

However, Japan has taken culture from abroad and integrated it into Japanese culture by letting it coexist, or by modifying it in a Japanese style.


Finally, let’s listen to it in Japanese only!

Now you can comprehend the Japanese-only audio

Eager to dive deeper into this topic? Why not discuss it during a real lesson?

Please register as a We member for free to join the conversation on this topic. Once registered, you’ll receive a free interactive lesson as a gift to you!

Foreign cultures have coexisted with Japanese culture in diverse ways.
Let us know if you have heard anything interesting

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related posts