Emotions, Morality, Gender Roles and Aggression from the Japanese Perspective

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Emotions, Morality, Gender Roles and Aggression from the Japanese Perspective
The Japanese culture is one rich with history and tradition. When many people think about the land of the rising sun, they get intrigued with the mystery and tranquility of this culture. In watching the Karate Kid II as a child and adult, I have always been fascinated with the Japanese concepts of respect, dignity and honor. In the face of adversity these three concepts are more important than to give into a breakdown of self-restraint. These concepts are of great importance to the Japanese people and their culture. It is a society that has many thousands of years of cultural development, because of that and their deep pride in their culture Japan is a very safe place to be. Japanese people tend to be indirect as a way of showing respect and politeness.

The Japanese culture has made many contributions to society today in areas such as language, visual arts, literature, cuisine, gardening, anime and martial arts. Martial arts such as karate, judo, sumo and jujitsu have origins in Japan. The contributions this culture has left have had a great impact upon many generations of the world. Sushi is found in most developed countries. Dojos are also found in most areas of developed countries. Culture plays an integral role in the psychological processes of each individual. In this course, we have discussed extensively emotion, morality, gender roles and aggression.

Emotions are a part of every human’s life. Emotions are the vehicle that drives how we express ourselves and how we behave throughout the course of our daily life (Matsumoto & Juang, 2008). Collectivistic cultures, such as Japanese, value groups over individuals; this results in harmony and cooperation. In the Japanese culture, emotions are said to be interactive and reflects social contexts as opposed to the inner-self. In Japan, the expression of emotion is controlled. In Japan, the expression of anger is less acceptable it because it threatens authority and harmony within relationships (Miyake & Yamazaki, 1995). The opposite emotion such as sadness is more acceptable in the society because it serves to be a less threat to the society.

As with emotion, cultural display rules are viewed important parts of any given culture (Safdar, Friedlmeier, Matsumoto, Yoo, Kwantes, Kakai, & Shigemasu, 2009). They can be defined as culturally accepted rules, which are learned by individuals early in life through the socialization process. These rules influence how people from any culture with respect to what express emotion that particular culture has deemed acceptable or unacceptable (Safdar, et al., 2009).

When thing go awry in a relationship, for instance, the American culture tends to blame the environment or situation around them for the cause of the breakup, however Japanese culture internalizes and takes blame for the break up. According to Matsumoto & Juang (2008), in the Japanese culture, the person has the responsibility to ensure that the relationship works. This is in contrast to the American culture in which events just happen and the break up is the by-product of the events that transpired. Japanese people do not express emotions openly as is done in the American culture.

Morality, generally, refers to either personal or cultural values, code of conduct or social behaviors that dictates what is right and what is wrong. This does not mean that morality is equal among various cultures but that this is what a particular culture sees as being correct in their society. Lebra & Lebra (1986) states, “Japanese morality is regulated by the highly sensitive social radar built into each individual”.

Japan has a very strict moral code and the Japanese people endeavor to keep to it as best they can. The world in turn views the Japanese as rather morally...
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