OUTLINE ON THE JAPANESE PEOPLE

5

1250

Most of the workforce in Japan, which numbered 65.1 million as of 2010, consists of 70% working in services, 26% working in industry, and 4% working in agriculture (United States Department of State, 2011). Less than 15% of the land is arable, and farming is fiercely protected and subsidized, though not enough to make it a full-time occupation (United States Department of State, 2011). 42% of the workforce consists of women, and while labor unions are prevalent throughout the country, representing about 10 million workers as of 2007, their main focus is on those with full-time employment, leaving others such as those who work from home without representation (United States Department of State, 2011). Since it would be impossible to delve into all the specific facets of Japanese life and culture, five elements have been chosen for representation. These include the Japanese language, Japanese art, marriage and family as they relate to Japanese society, and the religions of the Japanese. It is hoped that through careful research insight may be gained into these parts of the Japanese culture. III. Statement of purpose, introducing your focus group The purpose of this focus group was to gather information on the country of Japan and its people, specifically the facets of the Japanese language, art, marriage, family, and religion. Working together and individually, these aspects were researched to the best of our ability through the use of books and internet sources. Dictionary use was also prevalent, as the definition of the five areas were a vital and integral part of basic information, before finding out how the culture of Japan viewed them. IV. Discussion It is known that Japan has a culture with a high work ethic and mainstream language, and it is expected that research will support this. Since Japan is a small country with no viable means of expansion, as it is surrounded on all sides by water, the focus group expects to find information about how the people live in multigenerational homes, as well as how the educational system is geared towards helping Japanese children find their place in their country while taking care of their elders. Further research should reveal how marriages are handled in the country as well as how family and family planning fit in with the life plans of those wishing to raise any children. A curious point of discussion may be how life has changed in Japan since World War II due to their participation on the side that was not victorious. V. Five Main Elements of Japanese Culture 1. Language – The words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Japan is mainly divided into two subcultural regions, Eastern and Western, with language being a very minor element of all of the differences found between the two (Sugimoto, 2010). The Japanese have one main language, but distinctions in dialect. These dialects are so great that a person outside of one prefecture (area) of Japan may have trouble distinguishing the dialect of another (Sugimoto, 2010). The language of residents in the upper-class neighborhoods of Tokyo is regarded as “