Life-Changing Lessons from Japanese Culture
The East Asian nation of Japan is uniquely cosmopolitan—a culturally rich locale that values its traditions and origins while lingering over a perceptive worldview. Simply put, the people of Japan are unlike any other people in the world. The Irish poet Oscar Wilde once wrote that “the whole of Japan is pure invention.”
Whether or not you’re able to see Japan’s cultural environment for yourself someday, you can always learn something about it from an outside perspective. Different cultures can teach us more about ourselves, diversity, our humanity, our behaviors, and our values. Here are a few life-changing lessons from Japanese culture to think about today.
Seek Out Order and Natural Harmony
An important aspect of Japanese etiquette calls for cleanliness and order, which can change a person’s perception of the world around them. This principle calls for simplicity and expression in a poised, natural manner. From patiently lining up in a queue to get on the subway to willingly keeping peace when things go astray, the Japanese have a clear trust that set systems will work out for the best. This calm, harmonious behavior is beneficial in an ever-turning, chaotic world. You can truly find order everywhere in your surroundings if you seek it.
Eat Well, Appreciate Nature, and Walk Often
The Japanese people organically incorporate healthy lifestyle decisions into their everyday lives. Well-being and nutrition are natural benefactors of a mindset that focuses on consumption, daily habits, and appreciation of local resources. Staple ingredients in Japanese dishes are fresh, colorful, and whole. Children are taught not to waste their food and only consume what their bodies need.
Food in Japan is an art form in itself. Even the history of Japanese Wagyu beef showcases the value placed in agriculture, standards, and sustainability. Everything has worth, and everything deserves appreciation and tender, loving care. As an asset-bound island with limited space, the Japanese have learned how to effectively make the most out of the very least and to honorably do the best with what’s around them. Isn’t that a wonderful human strength?
Be Respectful and Responsible Every Day
Politeness is a no-brainer in Japan—it should be part of every interaction you have with any human being, regardless of familiarity or differences. This level of respect is one of the greatest life-changing lessons from Japanese culture. From the use of honorifics in language and regard for the elderly to significant care for the community, there’s no limit to the everyday actions that demonstrate mutual respect and responsibility in society. In an assertive world, the ability to be selfless and put others first is precious to what it means to be human.
- Culture Greetings