Accept Other Cultures or Close a Country?

by Chika Oki

As the world is becoming more and more globalized, almost all cultures in the world are now shared. Like “california roll,” there are many cases that one culture is changed into a completely different one from the original. Some worry this situation saying that originality of culture of each country is disappearing. On the contrary, accepting other cultures makes one country’s culture more diverse and sophisticated and enriches people’s life.

Japanese animation is a good example which shows good effect of spreading culture. Now, a lot of Japanese animations are broadcasted around the world because they are popular for its creativity and beauty of pictures. Also, some movies are based on Japanese animations or novels. One example is a Japanese traditional animation, “Astro Boy,” which was made more than sixty years ago by Osamu Tezuka, Japanese cartoonist. It is called “Tetsuwan Atomu” in Japan, and it became popular in the United States since 2000’s. This animation describes the human dream of making a real, kind robot, which lives with people and keeps the world’s peace. This animation also inspired scientists’ desire of making a human-like robot, and they have succeeded to make robots which speak, run, and think themselves like human beings and completely look like a human. Another example is Japanese favorite movies made by Hayao Miyazaki. In his movies, he describes human’s natural foolishness and wonderfulness straightly with beautiful pictures and gives us some important messages. His movies are now translated into many languages and enjoyed all over the world. His movie definitely stimulated activated the world’s animation industry. Thus, knowing other cultures leads the domestic industry to progress and diversifies people’s thought or creation. Moreover, Japanese animation are now progressing and keeping foreign people amazed, so spread of cultures doesn’t mean that one culture loses its originality.

Then, what if a country keeps other country’s culture from coming in? From 1639 to 1854, Japan was closing its country, and keeping foreign cultures away. All trade had been prohibited except trade with China and Holland. Japan had no way to know what was going in the world, and consequently Japan became an isolated nation. Soon after Japan opened its country, Japan was treated unequal by other powers because Japan didn’t know how Europeans and Americans think. This shows that ignoring other cultures means ignoring other thoughts or sense of values. Keeping other cultures away narrow your thoughts and sometimes hides the bad point in a country which should be improved. Therefore, all countries should accept and share other cultures positively.


James Brooke, Heart of Japanese Animation Beats in a Robot Boy, The New York Times, 2003

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