Saturday, October 17, 2009

Edo Japan Essay

During the Tokugawa Shogunate in Medieval Japan, young people lived a way totally different from now. This period, also called Edo Japan, young people's education, dining, lifestyle, and even thinking has a lot of differences from our lives now. It was a very interesting and attractive age.
Young people in Japan had busy but colorful lives. They were well-caltivated. One of their traditions, tea ceremony, emphasized the way to treat guests and taste tea. It uaually took a long time, so it made the young people more patient. Some other might do sumo-a kind wrestling-a Japanese origional sport which has been popular since Edo Japan. It was only practiced by boys, and the sumo wrestlers were respected and honored. However, Japanese young people couldn't just play. They still had many things to learn. Generally, the would succeed their parent's job. One reason is that the government forced them to inherit their parents' job. The government didn't want people to change their status because it was easier to manage that way. Another reason was that learning things from their parents was the easiest way to survive. Although teachers in schools helped to educate people to know how to read, they didn't teach them how to earn money to live. So Japanese young people were tired and busy as we are now.
In addition, some other aspects of their lives differed a lot from ours as well. Their lives were more difficult. Nevertheless, they had better lives than in other countries at that time. During Edo Japan, young people were able to bathe in every town. There were public baths throughout Japan, and they still are now. This brought about the invention of the Japanese bath robe. Young people could also get food on the street and in restaurants. Restaurants at that time provided snacks such as sushi, lunch boxes, and miso soup. All the food was fast enough to suit the rapid pace of Japanese life. In contrast to other nations, life in Japan was very convenient and advanced, yet their way of thinking was not modern. Japanese young people, especially the samurai, showed their loyalty and respects to the emperor. Perhaps their Feudailism and forbidding policy caused them to have limited experience and outlook, but they made brilliant contributions to their own culture.
With no doubt, Japanese young people had amazing lives in a prosperous Japan. They lived hard but delightful lives. Today, we can still see some of Japanese traditions around us, which means young people in Edo Japan had already lived this way. Isn't this impressive?
(Reference are given in : Edo Japan, Wikipedia, Japanese History, Ukiyoe Painting)

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