Cultural differences regarding Japan and Marijuana
Japan’s history with relation to marijuana is different than in the United States. Prior to occupation by US forces, nearly 200,000 farm households cultivated hemp (Fulford 2003). It was not until the US imposed anti-narcotic laws that Japan faced issues of legal/illegal debate. During WWII, Japanese Imperial Army soldiers were allowed to smoke marijuana to ease the stress of battle. The smoke of the marijuana plant also held spiritual values in some religious ceremonies. In 2003, Yasunao Nakayama was approved to cultivate marijuana for experimental and commercial purposes. In fact, at the time of the article, his vehicle was powered by hemp oil. While the country’s roots include the acceptable and wide-ranging uses of marijuana, their Ministry of Health & Welfare takes a position that marijuana is highly addictive, causes brain damage and makes youth antisocial.
Cultural differences between the United States and Japan create a challenge when presenting a persuasive argument. An author must consider the point of reference of the reader when developing content. Some evolutionary changes have taken place in each culture making them different and affecting the perception of one group towards another. In Japan, sixty percent of problem drinkers are salaried business men that claim part of their company loyalty is measured by their willingness to get drunk with clients or coworkers (Miline 2002). This may have been viewed as acceptable in past American history also, but the majority of American workers tend to separate their work from social and many American companies have policies against alcohol at company sponsored events. This is just one example of the ways that perception varies depending on the social or economic climate of a region. In American movie culture, it was often portrayed that alcohol was served in the corporate executive office, while business was conducted. At one point smoking was...
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