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How to distinguish China from Japan

I don’t want to offend anyone by this article, but there are people in the world who confuse culture, religion, traditions or any other facts of these two countries – China and Japan. In order to completely sort out the differences, I propose to compare the main points.


FOOTWEARHow to distinguish China from Japan

The Chinese do not take off their shoes

Unlike the Japanese and the Koreans, the Chinese do not take off their shoes when they enter the house. But there are exceptions, therefore, entering the house, it is better to clarify.

The Japanese take off their shoes

In all houses, many hospitals, restaurants and some offices you should be take off your shoes. Therefore, the socks must be always clean. According to the rules of decency noses of the shoes need to be turned around facing the door. If you forget to do it or do not pay attention unknowingly, the host or the staff of institution will do it for you. It is noteworthy that if you visit the restroom, you will find for this purpose special slippers.


CEREMONIES

How to distinguish China from Japan

The Chinese do not bow

Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese do not bow every time when they want to greet someone or to say goodbye. The Chinese can only bow down in the case of very great respect to the person at a special ceremony or celebration. In times of dynasties, when a guest came to the emperor, he had to make a deep bow and touch the floor with his head nine times. There were no other bows.

The Japanese bow

The bows are an integral part of the Japanese life. They do not notice it and bow even while talking on the phone. The bows are divided by the depth and the duration: a welcoming bow – 15 °, a respectful bow – 30 °, a bow of the highest respect – 45 ° and a bow of admiration – touching floor by the head. Read more about how to greet people in different countries.


RELIGION

How to distinguish China from Japan

In China – Confucianism / Taoism / Buddhism

Since the beginning of the history of China, none of the religions was the dominant and did not require unconditional adherence. One person could profess several religions at once.

In Japan – Shinto

National religion of Japan is Shinto. The Japanese believe that everything around them is endowed with deities and spirits, even a stone. Shintoists also believe in magic, totemism (the worship some animals) and fetishism (the belief in the supernatural power of amulets and talismans).


MARTIAL ARTS

How to distinguish China from Japan

In China – Wushu and Kung Fu

Wushu (is translated as “martial arts”) – a Chinese gymnastics, which brings together all kinds of martial arts. The word “Kung Fu“, which often also denotes martial arts. Though, in China it may mean any activity in which you can improve, starting from the martial arts and ending with singing and cooking. Actually, Kung Fu is work on yourself.

In Japan – sumo, judo, aikido, karate, jiu-jitsu

The art to kill, or so-called bujutsu – the historical basis of all martial arts in Japan. All self-respecting samurais and ninjas master this art. The main purpose is a quick and effective neutralization of the enemy. It is a struggle in which there are no rules, because all means are good in a fight. And to complete the battle they don’t shake hands but just kill.


FOOD

How to distinguish China from Japan

In China – Peking duck, dim sum, fried rice, century egg and turtle soup

Traditionally, there are only five tastes. The peculiarity of the Chinese cuisine is the presence of as many as eight tastes: in addition to sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and salty every Chinese will name you more fragrant taste (well prepared dish has a special flavor), unleavened (unlike the taste of rice and bread) and gold (like the taste kumquat).

In Japan – sushi, rolls and sashimi

The main delights of the Japanese cuisine are the dishes of raw fish, the most popular of them – sushi and rolls. During cooking, the fish is not subjected to heat treatment in order to preserve its natural taste. Also in Japan people like it when the meal consists of many small dishes – so that you can appreciate the art of the cook and do not overeat at the same time. In the classic version the Japanese aristocrat had 15-20 small dishes on the dining table.


SITTING

How to distinguish China from Japan

The Chinese sit on chairs

It is believed that the “eastern people” prefer low surfaces: mats, pillows and table tops, barely rising above them. However, the inhabitants of China prefer to sit on chairs, but not kneeling on the floor, as the Japanese. The tradition went from the noblemen, who wanted to be higher since the end of the VI century: because the higher a person is, the higher his status. Every Chinese dreamed of the day when he would sit on the chair. Gradually, such furniture has become a common part of the Chinese interior in families of different social circle.

The Japanese sit on knees

Seiza (“sitting on knees”) in Japan – a science that can be learned. This position is an integral part of a number of traditional Japanese rituals such as tea ceremony, meditation, some martial arts and calligraphy.


MEDICINE

How to distinguish China from Japan

In China – acupuncture

The acupuncture specialists believe that each organ has its own area on the human body – the so-called meridians. For example, if you have a liver pain, the acupuncture is performed in the area of feet or ears. In the body there are about 700 points, each of them has its own name and is located at its meridian. By inserting needles into these points the professionals affect the energy, eliminating pain in the corresponding organ.

In Japan – Shiatsu (pressing by hands)

Shiatsu has appeared only in the 40s of XX century, when the physician Tokujiro Namikoshi noticed his mother suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. She pressed on the sore spots, massaged, rubbing them, and felt better, the pain decreases. So he devoted himself to the study of this issue and has developed a special treatment method based on point touch of fingers – Shiatsu, one of the types of manual therapy.


SYMBOLS

How to distinguish China from Japan

In China – Dragon

One of the main representatives of the Chinese culture – a collective character. It is described by a camel’s head, the horns of a deer, the demon’s eyes, the neck of a snake, the carp’s squama, the claws of an eagle, the paws of a tiger and the ears of a cow. In contrast to the European dragon, it is not that good, but at least wise. The Chinese dragon is easy to distinguish from dragons of the other cultures: it has five toes on his feet.

In general, there are nine kinds of dragons in China: the celestial; the spiritual; the underground; the dragon of hoards; the winged dragon that lives in the water; the horned; the yellow; the arrived one from Luo River in order to teach other creatures to write; and the royal.

In Japan – Sakura

Sakura – the national symbol of Japan. Traveling around the country, you can see the image of sakura on the emblem of police and armed forces. The botanical name – Prunus serrulata. Every year, watching the beauty and fragility of the cherry blossom, the Japanese philosophize that beautiful is not eternal.

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