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Homechinese poemsThe Japanese Way of Taking In by Lin Wei~ 林巍《日本人的吸收方式》with English Translations

The Japanese Way of Taking In by Lin Wei~ 林巍《日本人的吸收方式》with English Translations

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The Japanese Way of Taking In

The statement that “Japanese will copy everything suitable to them” in a simplified and practical way may signify a popular view of Japanese attitude towards foreign cultures and technologies. Japanese writing characters and cares illustrate well this approach.
The Japanese writing system borrows Kanji from Chinese, and creates Hiragana, Katakana characters of its own, with an inconsistent outlook; similarly Japanese cars are made of multinational ideas and advantages with appropriate modifications.
Here is a historical story: when Germen sold their first car to the Japanese, they were pretty much convinced that their partner would come back to them very soon with a bulk order based on the car’s high quality. However, they were very disappointed to find out that the Japanese had replicated their car with a slightly improved model, and consequently they didn’t need any order anymore.
Geographically, Japan is located in between China and the Korean peninsula, a position immune from foreign invasion, capable of taking in foreign cultures and technologies with a high degree of autonomy.
The Japanese adopted Chinese writing, legal system and Confucianism, but left the eunuch system, the imperial examination system, and “same surname marriage prohibition” of Confucian doctrine, which were deemed to be contradictory to Japanese culture. Similarly, when embracing Buddhism, the Japanese made it more tolerant religion by allowing monks to marry and eat meat.
In breed livestock, Japanese didn’t learn the techniques of castration from the Chinese either. Western advanced technologies, once imported to Japan, would all be copied and modified to make them finer and cheaper. There is surely something to be learnt from the Japanese way of taking in things from the outside world.

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