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Study in Japan: Language & Culture

Jun 1, 2017

When referring to facts about Japanese culture, multiple things come across our minds. From the cherry blossom trees opening the Sakura season every spring, the colourful classic kimono dresses, the alternative Harajuku Style and Japanese cosplay, to the famous national sport of Sumo wrestling, Karate, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu or calligraphy and origami, the list in unending! 

Japan is a country that has been influenced throughout the centuries by the Chinese dynasties, but has maintained its own unique identity and has given a lot to the contemporary world.

Japan's culture originates from the Yayoi people who settled in Japan between 1000 BCE and 300 CE. Japanese society and civilization is homogenous, since 98,5% of the country’s population is ethnic Japanese. The Japanese culture is described by the values of harmony, social conformity and  consensus decision making. A major characteristic of Japanese people is their polite manners and punctuality.

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Are you eager to learn more interesting facts about Japanese culture? Karaoke was invented by a Japanese drummer in the 1970’s and modern selfies have their origin in the Japanese Kawaii culture! Have you ever wondered about the history of the famous Samurai warriors? 

During the Heian Period, Japan was facing a civil war where independent kingdoms were fighting each other. Japanese lords requested defense and as a result, highly trained warriors called the Samurai appeared. Samurai warriors are still an element of the Japanese pop culture. 

Another fact about Japanese culture is the automotive industry, since Japan is the home country of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, Honda and Subaru car brands, widely known for their durability and quality. Not only that, but the country is a pioneer in the gaming and comics industries and home country of Pokemon, Manga and Anime and the creation of high quality electronic products. Products and brands we all use in our everyday life such as Sony, Nikon, Canon or even Nintendo are Japanese!

Japanese Food Culture

Last but not least, the Japanese food culture, as one of the most globally-loved food cultures. It is based on rice, dashi and miso soup and is widely known for sushi, sashimi and ramen dishes. Who can say no to tempura or the famous rice wine called sake? The Japanese cuisine is based on fresh fish and vegetables and it is one of the most balanced diets in the world, a fact that is reflected in the high life expectancy of the Japanese citizens. 

Japanese food culture is equally influenced by the Chinese and also western food cultures. Japan is also involved in a big competition with France, coming second, when it comes to the global record of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Table manners play a crucial role in the Japanese food culture. Leaving a messy plate or misplacing the chopsticks is a no for Japanese people. Instead, fold your napkins and use the chopstick holder. Dishes in Japan are equally significant as the food they serve! Plates are especially picked by the chefs, are mostly hand-painted and as a customer, you are also expected to ask the chef or the waiter for the history of the plate! 

Japanese Language Facts

The national language of Japan is Japanese. The earliest trace of Japanese was found in a Chinese document from 256 AD. Although many people confuse it or parallelize Japanese with Chinese, the truth is that they do not share any similarities, since the Japanese belongs to the Japonic language family. The grammar of the language is very simple, since nouns are not declinated and gender articles or plural and singular distinctions are absent. 

A unique Japanese language fact is that the writing system consists of three different character sets, the kanji, the hiragana and the katakana. What is more surprising is that Japanese texts can be written in two ways: In Western style, in horizontal rows from the top to the bottom, or in traditional Japanese style, meaning in vertical columns from the right to the left side of the page. Both writing styles are extensively used today, so don’t be surprised when visiting the country! 

Japanese language has almost 130 million speakers and is a very fascinating language to learn that will boost your resume and make you stand out. So why not learn Japanese even before your study journey begins? It will be a great opportunity to test yourself and explore new linguistic paths! That way you can even apply for a Bachelor’s in Japan, which are mostly taught in Japanese language.

Study in Japan - Overview

Over 300,000 international students choose Japan as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter Japan to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status. You will also be required to bring certain documents with you to passport control at the airport, which we cover as well.

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Japan.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Japan may vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Japan. To cover the rest of the costs, there’s plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

Education System 

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Japan? Japan is among the top study destinations for students, given its diverse programs, affordable education and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Japan!

Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Japan, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.


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Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.