Difference Between Korea And Japan

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History shows that Korea and Japan have a close relationship from a long time. It is most probably because of the similarities in their economic growth and other developments. But there are various differences that are quite visible on a proper study of the two countries.

Fact 1 Geographical Differences

Korea is a large peninsula that lies on the eastern part of the Asian continent. It consists of a number of islands too. Korea is divided into North Korea and South Korea and North Korea is larger in area as compared to South Korea. About 70% area is covered by huge mountains.

Japan lies off the Korean Coast and is an Archipelago of islands. There are four main islands namely the Honshu, Shikoku, Hokkaido and Kyushu Islands. Nearly 3/4ths of the total land area is covered by mountains. Japan is a land of volcanoes having 200 volcanoes in all among which 60 volcanoes are active.

Fact 2 Religion

The religious beliefs and practices are mostly based on Buddhism and Confucianism in South Korea from a very long time. The theory of Confucianism that society as a whole is the most important way of life had great influence on the Koreans. However, recently, Christianity has also gained great prominence in Korea and is one of the dominant religions along with Buddhism.

Japan is a country of mixed religions. Although, Shinto is the indigenous religion in Japan, there are many people who had been influenced by Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism of China and Christianity of the Western countries. According to Shinto religion, the emperor is considered to be a descendant of God and some theories of Buddhism have also been included in it. Confucianism taught them the idea of society and hierarchy. There are few Christians in Japan but Christmas celebrations are enjoyed amidst much fun and gaiety.

Fact 3 Art And Architecture

Buddhism had great influence on the style of art and architecture, paintings, calligraphy and literature as well in Korea.

Fact 4 Other Differences

North Korea is basically a communist country and demonstrations are quite common here. It has a closed economy whereas, Japan and South Korea enjoy a fast growing economy and are more developed countries as compared to North Korea. However, there is great disparity in the income of the Koreans whereas the Japanese are quite well off and have a high standard of living especially those who hold high positions and officials in government services.

Language difference between the Koreans and Japanese is distinct. The Koreans have their own dialects known as Hangul that has been used from the 15th century. In Japan, people use various dialects that have developed from Chinese dialects and 3 scripts are used in Japan that owe their origin to Chinese scripts also.

Japanese wrestling is well known throughout the world as Sumo and the Korean wrestling system is called Sirium.

Japan experiences volcanic eruptions quite often. So most of the houses are made of wood. The floors are made of rush matting referred to as Tatami. Brick buildings with floors made of oiled paper is a tradition in Korea and floor heating is also a common affair. There are studio apartments in the high-rise buildings too.

There are certain differences between Korea and Japan in their body language. The Japanese greet each other with multiple bows especially when thanking of bidding farewell. But the Koreans bow only once. The sitting postures are also different especially at the tea tables.

The traditional dress of the Japan is the “Kimono”. Koreans have their own distinctive styles and shiny suits, straight hair with low fringes, huge sunglasses are common in Korea.

Japanese cuisine is less spicy than Korean dishes. European delicacies are enjoyed in Japan.

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