The Political, Economical, Social, and Cultural Aspects of Japan
Japan has a particularly homogeneous culture. In fact, both racially and culturally, Japan is the most homogeneous of the world's major nations. This situation has allowed Japan to Westernize its economy and yet maintain a unique sense of identity. It began in 1639, when Japan's rulers begin to notice the conversion of thousands of Japanese to Catholicism by Portuguese missionaries andby the potential for dissidents to form military alliances with foreign nations that suppressed Christianity and Japan sealed the island form the rest of the world. It wasnot until 1853 with the arrival of an American naval squadron under Commander Matthew Perry that Japan was opened to the outside world. The Japanese had developed a strong sense of national consciousness and pride in their own culture. The Japanese realized in the 1860’s that they had to adopt Western technology, to modernize their society if they were to avoid Western domination. Their culture was able to absorb foreign influences without losing its uniqueness. Thus, the Japanese proved themselves extremely flexible in borrowing from other cultures while maintaining their own.
Japan is mostly a middleclass society. Those at the bottom of the social scale are either foreigners, Koreans, or native Japanese. Japanese think of themselves as belonging to a relatively classless society, even though they are mainly a middle class society. Many working-class Japanese rank themselves as middle class because of Japan;s prosperity in the 1980’s, which allowed them to enjoy high level of consumption of goods and services. Thus their sense of well-being inflated their self assessment of class position. An estimated four percent of Japan's population qualifiesas upper class. The upper class consists of those who run the large corporations, the conservative politicians, and senior bureaucrats that collab…


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