Social Customs And Traditions
Japan's Family Customs - The rise and diversity
In Japan holidays occur one after another during Golden Week, from the end of April to the beginning of May. Holidays also occur for New Year and the middle of August for Bon festival. Vacations are concentrated during these three periods. Japanese travelling abroad during this period reaches a peak. Taking annual vacations has become an accepted company policy even taking days off has now become easier. An amendment of the Labor Standard Law, carried out in April 1997, implemented a 40-hour week.
When the holiday stretches to 3 or more days activities in the areas of self-enrichment including family communication increases. Based on the activities and polled opinions of those 15 years and older, the shorter the holiday, the more one indulges in pastimes like gambling in Japan. When the holiday is 2 to 3 days long, gambling decreases and activities such as driving, enjoying the outdoors and outdoor sports increase.
Karaoke, animation, computer game software and pachinko have become popular. With the shift to economy travel, these types of leisure are expected to become even more popular. Karaoke is a Japanese invention that has been sweeping the world. A song is selected and played. People sing into a microphone equipped with echo effects to the selected song.
Horse racing the gambling favorite to flourish on a par with pachinko. The betting tickets sold by the Japan Racing Association, have been marking profits yearly. Go is played by 2 players. The objective of capturing the opponent's stones and covering the board with one's own stone color. Shogi resembles chess, the 2 players face each other. The objective being to capture the opponent's king.
On Shogatsu, the New Yeart Japanese will write resolutions for the year to come and follow the tradition of thanking the gods who oversee the harvests and for ancestral spirits who protect the family. There are special days for celebration all throughout the year from religious to just fun without any special significance. Celebrations include those that take place in the night during summer
The Japanese have had a pattern of belonging to at least two religious groups. That has been true since the Edo period, that is 1600 to 1868. A long time in which these patterns became very deeply entrenched. Added to that, Christianity came to Japan in modern times during the Meiji period, beginning in 1868, and it achieved a very strong social influence in the country. Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan. Its deities are called kami. The kami may be deified human beings. In some eras of history, the Emperor has been considered a kami. Shinto is a religion that's restricted to Japan. It hasn't tried to proselytize or make converts in other places.
The Japanese traditional culture was founded based on the Shinto religion and other religions while incorporating those, and has changed with times. However, even though it changed drastically on a superficial level, the Japanese traditional culture has an aspect of being able to point out very Japanese coherent elements and trends. Even if rooms in the house changed from zashiki to a Western-style room, the custom of taking off shoes when entering a house is not changed.