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This blog post is of general nature and is not supposed to prefer one culture above the other. Since Japan and China are both very interesting and exotic cultures, the focus lies on understanding the commonalities and differences between these two cultures for the sake if intellectual satisfaction and basic knowledge.


Japan is a big consumer of seafood because of their geographical nature. The iodine intake of a japanese person per day is up to ten times higher than of people from other countries. Chinese people do not like to eat dairy products, a lot of Chinese are lactose intolerant because they are lacking a certain enzyme to digest it, just like with alcohol. That does not mean that Chinese don’t drink. There is a lot of alcohol consumption and forcing each other to test ones abilities to absorb a lot of alcohol e.g. during business meetings when establishing new relationships. In Japan alcohol serves the purpose of stress relief and relaxation.

Religion and Tradition

Certain cultural heritage like temples, books and other stuff was wiped out during cultural revolution in China. Japan still has all of its cultural heritage and you will find lots of temples and shrines when traveling in Japan. Both countries are strongly influenced by Buddhism, which came from India, however the Japanese Buddhism is different in its tradition and rituals. In their core, all the eastern religions aim towards enlightenment, which is described as the state of emptiness in Zen-Buddhism in Japan. Next to Zen there is Shinto, China by large-scale is known for Confucianism and Taoism. In China, Confucian values dominate the society, Japan is mostly dominated by Buddhism.


Mainland China is a communist state. The national party of China fled to Taiwan after WWII. Japan is a democratic constitutional monarchy.


Japan has reached its peak, China is still a country of growth and opportunities. People in Japan are living on debt, use more credit cards, everything is more about maintaining stability than growing and prospering. The Japanese currency is called Yen, Chinese currency is called Chinese Yuan. China has the second largest economy after US, Japan has the 3rd largest economy in the world.


Chinese is a tonal language where the meaning of a word is changing with the different pitch. Japanese is not a tonal language.

Chinese names usually have one syllable e.g. Wang or Feng. Japanese names have three syllables in average and end with a vowel e.g. “Kawasaki, Hiroshima etc.”. Japanese is a very standardized language among Japan while China has a lot of varieties like regional and local dialects e.g. Mandarin, Wu and Cantonese, etc

Chinese has only one written language while Japanese has Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji. Most Chinese and Japanese characters are similar to each other due to their ancient origin. Japanese kept the traditional version of Chinese characters while Mainland China is using the modern simplified version.


Both cultures are collectivism oriented and reject individualism, both cultures do not reward a behavior where an individual is standing out from the crowd. The society is collective and harmony driven. Japanese people tend to be more reserved and hold back even more than Chinese when it comes to things like public affection. Unlike in China, talking loudly in public places is considered rude in Japan.

Japan is a very creative society, that provides good services and likes to please others. It’s digital products have influenced the whole world, being the second best entertainer next to US.


Why do Chinese hate Japanese ?

This claim is not very accurate, especially with the young generation today but the answer lies in the past. In 1937 the Japanese soldiers killed nearly 300000 People during the Nanjing-Massacre. Murder happened in the most brutal and inhumane fashion. In the nanjing-museum you can find memorials and scenes with examples of how brutal and gruesome it was. People were literally slaughtered like cattle, one head chopped after another with corpses lying on each other and the japanese soldiers smiling to each other while holding the sword.

Potential Military Conflict

According to other internet sources, Chinese expect a military conflict with Japan. The opinion poll survey found that 53% of the population in China expects a military conflict. Only 29% of the population have similar expectations on the other side. In total, 87% of the population in China dislikes Japanese. Japanese expert Jeff Kingston has noted that the media in Japan is deliberately trying to influence people’s attitude towards the People’s Republic of China. There is a creation of mutual hatred by the media on both sides. ( 15.09.2014)

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