Japan: A Look at It's Social Issues

A class project in Mr. Smith's English 10 at Cardinal Newman HS

Project Overview

Project Proposal

Name: Caroline Geng

Period: 1

Nation of your choice: Japan

Rationale (or explanation why you are curious about this country): Japan has a very complex relationship with China, they have resemble culture and lifestyle. Those two country also close to each other. And some Japan's culture came from China. In China, we have many things about Japan, for example: Japanese restaurants, Japanese cartoons, Japanese TV shows, many people are leaning how to speak Japanese, etc...

Summary (of what you already know about the history, geography, culture, and social issues): Japan is an island country located on the Pacific Ocean, east of China and Korea, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south. Most of Japan's islands are mountainous, and many are volcanic; the highest peak is Mount Fuji. Japan is the world's second-largest economy and one of the world's leading industrialized countries. It is a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, one of the oldest legislatures in Asia. Despite its rugged terrain, it is one of the most populous—and one of the most densely populated—countries in the world. Its capital Tokyo, with over thirty million residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the world.

Prediction (about what you think you will discover or hope to discover during your research): I think I will discover about Japanese culture. I will discover about: food, cherry blossoms, hot spring and kimonos. There are the historical and cultural heritage: a lot of Japanese people are very ancient temples of worship, belief in the gods, such as spiritual support, and has a special memorial day to worship, they promised desire to pray the gods bless, let the freedom of religious belief.All of those things is Japanese culture, they all are amazing.

Discussion (of the importance of this nation in the global community, i.e., the “so what?”): Japan is a member of the UN, the G7, the G8, the G20. A major economic and political power, Japan is a developed country and has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fifth-largest exporter and fifth-largest importer. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world's eighth largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan ranks high in metrics of prosperity such as the Human Development Index, with the Japanese population enjoying the highest life expectancy of any country in the world and the infant mortality rate being the third lowest globally.

New York Times Topics: Japan

#1 They Say, I Say

Student Name: Caroline Geng

Period: 1

Title of article (in quotation marks): Japan's Household Spending and Retail Sales Decline

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): The New York Times

Essay Author: Reuters

Date of Publication: FEB. 26, 2015

Essay main idea/thesis statement: Japanese households cut spending more than expected and retail sales fell.

Quote: The Bank of Japan believed that "the mixed data will keep the central bank under pressure to maintain its stimulus, although Haruhiko Kuroda, the bank's governor, has emphasized that he sees no need to ease again soon."

Comment: I agree that no need to ease again, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe Japan's economy has long been ailing. But it now also has to contend with a strong yen, thanks in part to loose monetary policy in the rich world. That alone gave the Bank of Japan reason to act. So too did criticism that it has not done enough to spur the economy, which has inspired Japanese politicians to suggest legislation to weaken the central bank's independence. But the moves do suggest the BoJ is willing to respond to a worsening economic climate and to be sensitive to political pressure. The psychological boost that represents should not be discounted.

#2 They Say, I Say

Student Name: Caroline Geng

Period: 1

Title of article (in quotation marks): In Japanese Universities, Tradition Meets Globalization

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): The New York Times

Essay Author: Miki Tanikawa

Date of Publication: Dec.7, 2015

Essay main idea/thesis statement: Japan's college and university need to become more international.

Quote: In Yuko Tanaka's view, "That is based on a total misunderstanding. We are not doing it just for corporations. The universe of social activism is also expanding and we need to mobilize knowledge of the world to accomplish our goals."

Comment: I agree that we need to mobilize knowledge of the world to accomplish your goals, because my experience of going abroad confirms it. There are some advantages of going abroad. First of all, a perfect chance to broad our horizon. We will have the chance to get close to different culture and different people. During our stay in other countries, we can view exotic scenery and different values of other people, which will deeply affect our future value about the world and personal life, as well as job expectation. In addition, a good test for our courage, independence and perseverance. Going abroad can be a very good training to enhance good spirit in hardship. On the other way, maybe the education system of foreign country is more advanced than ours. We can get more knowledge in a better-equipped educational environment. Last but not the least, practice an authentic language. The best way to learn a language well is to get involved in its language environment and experience it by us.

#3 The Big 5

Title of article (in quotation marks): Safeguarding a Culinary Heritage

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): The New York Times

Essay Author: Gwen Robinson

Date of Publication: Jan. 16, 2014

1. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE (Focus on who. Who wrote the text? Who was it written for? Why did the writer write it?): Focus on the whole world people, because I think this article can make people attach importance to culinary heritage. Gwen Robinson wrote the text. I think this article was written for domestic residents, especially for young people. Because the writer wants us to know the current situation about traditional cuisine, he hopes everybody can start to pay more attention to protect the "intangible cultural heritage".

2. CONTENT AND THEME (Focus on the what. What is the text about? What is the author’s message?): This article focus on the "intangible cultural heritage" - traditional Japanese cuisine. The text about Japanese cuisine is ornate arrangements of delicacies, but Japanese cuisine has a endanger situation. Maybe the Japanese cuisine needs changing and evolving, because Japanese cuisine tastes are shifting toward Western cuisine, younger Japanese have been turning to high-end Western cuisine and fast-food chains, and many aspiring young chefs are turning to Western cuisine.

3. TONE AND MOOD (Focus on the how. What is the writer’s tone? How does the text make the reader feel? What kind of diction is used to create a certain tone/mood?):  Focus on how the Japanese traditional cuisine is decline. The text make the reader feels regretful, and sorry. The words about now young people choose not learn and eat Japanese traditional cuisine are create a certain tone/mood.

4. STYLISTIC DEVICES (What stylistic devices does the writer use? To what effect? Common devices: irony, sarcasm, rhetorical questions, figurative speech, analogy, metaphor, etc.)  The writer uses analogy. The writer is comparison between Japanese traditional cuisine and foreign cuisine, it shows how decline Japanese cuisine it is.

5. STRUCTURE (What kind of text is it? What structural conventions are used?)

This is a new item. It used other cuisine and the situation of Japanese cuisine emphasis Japanese cuisine is endanger, people should start to realize protect their own great culinary heritage.

#4 The Big 5

Title of article (in quotation marks): Japan and China Inch Toward Mending Ties

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): The New York Times

Essay Author: Martin Fackler

Date of Publication: March 19, 2015

1. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE (Focus on who. Who wrote the text? Who was it written for? Why did the writer write it?) This article focus on who cares about Sino-Japanese relationship. Martin Fackler wrote the text, writer wants to tell us the news that China and Japan's relationship are become a little bit better. Even it's a small step, but also very important for the two countries.

2. CONTENT AND THEME (Focus on the what. What is the text about? What is the author’s message?) He focus on the attitude of two countries. The article is about the meeting of the security issues, and the advanced of China-Japan relationship.  And the author's message is this time China and Japan are trying to ease tensions in the East China Sea,  and maybe it is a sign of Japan and China inch toward mending ties.

3. TONE AND MOOD (Focus on the how. What is the writer’s tone? How does the text make the reader feel? What kind of diction is used to create a certain tone/mood?) Focus on how those two countries have interaction. The text make reader feels relieved and happy. The words about Sino-Japanese relationship are used to create a certain tone/mood.

4. STYLISTIC DEVICES (What stylistic devices does the writer use? To what effect? Common devices: irony, sarcasm, rhetorical questions, figurative speech, analogy, metaphor, etc.)

5. STRUCTURE (What kind of text is it? What structural conventions are used?)

This is a new item. This article used to quote and recommend many dialogue, sentences, and instance.

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