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How valid is the popular image of Japan as homogeneous and harmonious? Use a variety of examples from contemporary Japanese society to back up your argument.

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Introduction

How valid is the popular image of Japan as homogeneous and harmonious? Use a variety of examples from contemporary Japanese society to back up your argument. Dylan Isaacs - 010128253 The popular image of Japan as a homogeneous and harmonious is not nearly as valid as it seems. The aspects of Japan which could be argued are of this nature are enforced by both Western media and the impressions that Japanese society and media gives out. Japanese society has always strived and aspired toward this ideal, to such an extent, that an impressive illusion of homogeneity and harmony has been created. This is probably not something which many native Japanese consciously consider; it is more likely that many of them believe the illusion as much as Westerners do. There is a great deal of cultural diversity in Japan, which, although greatly increased in the post-war period, was previously more heterogeneous than one might initially imagine. ...read more.

Middle

Japanese women are generally portrayed as motherly housewives; they appear to play a relatively small part in the business world and are equally not directly very active in political matters. Those few Japanese women who have been recognised as beneficial to their society and culture have been affiliated with the arts. Japanese family life is viewed as at worst amicable. The offspring are obedient and seem happy to learn about and follow the culture and traditions of the previous generations. Japanese schooling has proven to be one of the most successful educational styles to date. The Japanese have always put a great emphasis on formal learning, students most often simply memorising information parrot-fashion. Although very different to Western schooling where far more free thought is promoted, Japanese schooling seems very effective for them. With ninety-four percent of students attending senior high school and around a third of these going on to higher education, Japanese Universities turn out a sizeable number of graduates on an annual basis. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many firms are reluctant to employ anyone who has left another firm, especially straight onto the same wage. This seems to be something of an unwritten law amongst businesses designed to keep one's employees faithful to the company. most Japanese tend to work in one job or for one firm for their entire lives. Again, this reinforces the group ethic which the Japanese government seems to be so eager to impress. History textbooks (particularly concerning the 20th Century war periods) are something of tomes of propaganda which, instead of presenting facts and deriving opinions from such facts, the opposite is done. That is, to present a take on a historical event and then to attempt to support this usually biased view with carefully chosen statistics. The Japanese seem very reluctant to admit to mistakes from their past, and have gone as far as to pass a law which states that all educational textbooks must be approved by the Ministry of Education. ...read more.

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