Chinese VS Japanese Culture Similarities [Cultural & Society Similarities]

‘Hold on, Chinese and Japanese cultures are different?’ this is a question that might come to your mind as you go through this article. It’s 2021 and let’s be honest, if you still think so, you are living under a rock. 

Chinese culture and Japanese culture appear to be similar to the foreign eyes, but in reality, small cultural differences exist between these two nations. We will discuss Chinese VS Japanese Culture throughout this article.

Chinese VS Japanese Culture Similarities

Since the beginning of these two civilizations, their cultures have been a matter of contention amongst historians. The Chinese culture had a great influence on the Japanese culture. 

However, over time, the Japanese culture has emerged and evolved, marking its own cultural identity. As a result, the two civilizations have developed several similarities and differences.

Chinese VS Japanese Culture Similarities Explained

Chinese VS Japanese Culture Similarities Explained

Confucian Values

Confucian values

One of the connecting threads that bind these two cultures is Confucianism. They follow the Confucian values: respect for parents, love within the family, righteousness, loyalty to the state or government, honesty, and humaneness.

Interesting fact: The Chinese show more loyalty to their family compared to the Japanese. Whereas the Japanese show more loyalty to the groups, they belong to. 

Mindset and Collectivism

Both the cultures have similar mindsets in terms of being ‘a collectivistic culture’. They share a strong sense of collectivism, where the needs and goals of a community are prioritized more over the needs of an individual. 

This interdependence on each other explains why people in China and Japan have a healthier social life. 

Religion And Buddhism


Prior to the arrival of Buddhism, the Chinese and Japanese were said to be polytheistic. They believed in the existence of many gods. 

Gradually, Buddhism became the dominant religion in both cultures. However, it is worth noting that some people still have polytheistic beliefs. 

Traditional Gender Roles and Strong Family Roots

Traditional Gender Roles and Strong Family Roots
Indian family celebrating a birthday party

The Chinese and Japanese culture follows the normal patriarchal system of inheritance where the eldest male in the family serves as the head of the family. 

The social order dictates the utmost respect for elders in the family. Extended families with very strong roots are very common.  

Differences Between Chinese Culture And Japanese Culture

Differences Between Chinese Culture And Japanese Culture

Differences Between China And Japan

There are a few major differences between China and Japan when it comes to business. Here are a few key points to ponder:

  1. China has been the world’s second-largest economy for a number of years now, and its businesses are increasingly global in scope. This has led to a number of Japanese companies opening their own operations in China, in order to take advantage of the country’s vast market potential.
  2. In terms of taxation, Japan is one of the more tax-friendly countries in the world. This is partly due to the country’s long history of Confucianism, which emphasizes filial piety (duty to care for one’s parents and ancestors). As a result, businesses operating in Japan usually have much less trouble complying with tax regulations than their Chinese counterparts.
  3. China is home to a large number of entrepreneurs and start-ups, which is reflected in its high rate of innovation. Japanese businesses, by comparison, are often more cautious when it comes to making sweeping changes or investments. This may be due to the country’s past experience with economic instability and wars.

If you’re looking for insights into how these two countries stack up against each other when it comes to business, check out our blog post on the topic!

Chinese Heterogeneity And Japanese Homogeneity

Chinese Heterogeneity And Japanese Homogeneity

If you notice carefully, you can see a very evident difference between these two cultures: cultural diversification.  The Chinese culture is rich in diversity as it entails a varied blend of different ethnicity, culture, dialects, food habits, dresses, and local customs.

China had always opened itself to several nationalities, from Indians to Europeans, for trade and business.  This exposure caused the styles, practices, and beliefs of different cultures to be incorporated into the Chinese one, making a heterogeneous culture. 

As for ethnicity, the country is home to people of different backgrounds like Koreans, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Mongolians, and Uighurs.  On the other hand, the Japanese culture is a homogenous society where 98 percent of the population is descended from Japanese ancestors. 

Over its history, Japan has managed to isolate itself from external influences, unlike China, for which the country has been less exposed to different cultures. This is why they have a unique and distinct culture. 

China And Japan Business Similarity

China and Japan are both countries with a rich history. They have a lot in common, including a number of business similarities. Here are just a few:

  1. Both China and Japan are rapidly expanding economies.
  2. Both countries have a strong focus on innovation and technology.
  3. Both countries are leaders in the Asian region, and are rapidly expanding into other regions as well.
  4. Both countries have a long history of manufacturing and exporting products.
  5. Both countries are known for their high-quality products and services.

Similarities Between Chinese and Japanese

There are many similarities between Chinese and Japanese, including their writing systems, cuisine, and culture. Here are five of the most notable ones:

  • Both Chinese and Japanese characters are composed of small units called ideograms. These characters are unique to each language and can represent a wide range of concepts and ideas.
  • Like Chinese, Japanese is a writing system that is largely based on phonetic principles. This means that individual sounds are represented by specific symbols in the script.
  • Both Chinese and Japanese cuisine is highly complex and varied, with dishes that often use a variety of spices and flavors.
  • Both Chinese and Japanese cultures are heavily steeped in tradition and history. They value order and hierarchy, and place a high value on education and intellectual achievement.
  • The two languages share many words that were borrowed from each other over the years. For example, the word “chopsticks” (Chinese: 棍子; Japanese: おうちゃん), which is used to eat rice with chopsticks, is also derived from the character 棍 (chop).

Linguistic Differences and Dialects

This might come to you as a shock, but the Chinese language and Japanese language are not the same! It’s time to burst your bubble because they have much more differences than you would probably think. 

Yes, both the languages share a significant number of the letter that is quite similar, but their pronunciation, function, and grammatical rules are completely different. 

The Chinese language has only one writing script (Mandarin Chinese) but multiple spoken dialects that use the same script, such as Mandarin, Wu, and Cantonese. 

In comparison, the Japanese language has three different writing scripts (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji) but only one dialect, which is Japanese.

 If you feel Chinese is the most complicated language, then we bet you haven’t heard the Japanese language properly? The three different scripts make the language even more complex. 

Interesting Fact: The different scripts serve different purposes. For instance, Kanji is usually used daily, Hiragana is used in Japanese native words, and Katakana is used for foreign words. 

  •  Names

An interesting difference is that the names vary according to the culture. Chinese culture names are usually monosyllabic and end with a consonant like Lee, Ma, and Lu. Whereas, in Japanese culture, names are polysyllabic and usually end with a vowel-like Minata, Hayate, and Yuzuki.

  • Religion

China is a communist country, so the majority of the people opt for the communist ideology of atheism. But that doesn’t mean they do not have religious beliefs at all. Few still practice traditional Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese Folklore to some extent. 

In this regard, Japanese people are far more religious. Along with Buddhism, they follow a native religion called Shintoism, which revolves around the ideology that kami- gods or spiritual entities-inhabits all things.  Japanese people merged both the philosophies from Buddhism and Shintoism harmoniously and made it their distinctive Japanese religion. 

The kami or spirit of ancestors are given celestial strata in Japanese shrines, and they cohabit with their traditional Buddhist pagodas.  Nowadays, some Japanese people also follow the Christian marriage system.

  •  Internal and External Collectivism

As mentioned above, both Japan and China have collective cultures, but there is a slight difference in the type of collectivism they follow. China has an internal collective society, while Japan has an external collective society.

Chinese people tend to be family-oriented. As a firm believer of Confucius, the Chinese emphasize family loyalty more and give their families the highest regard. This isn’t the exact case for Japanese people. 

Instead, they are more socially oriented. Three things are very important for them: social status, social hierarchy, and social order. They are more concerned about how society will perceive them.

  • Mannerism and Work Ethics

Undoubtedly, people from both of these cultures are extremely polite and formal, but Japanese people are on a different level. Japanese culture puts a lot of emphasis on societal harmony. This could account for the high level of self-discipline and decorum expected from them. 

Japanese are stricter in maintaining proper protocols and etiquette, like a polite approach and softer voice tone, even in normal conversation. They are more composed and restrained in terms of their behavior. 

So, it is very unlikely that you will encounter Japanese people quarreling or yelling at others in public. Sometimes they even mute their phones while traveling because it is considered discourteous, according to them. 

Tip: Next time you encounter Asians laughing loudly at the bus station, don’t greet them saying ‘Kon’nichiwa.’ Say ‘Nǐ hǎo’ instead!!

Chinese people are straightforward, whereas Japanese people are more reserved. They tend to keep things to themselves rather than opening up. 

For instance, when you receive a gift in Chinese culture, you open it instantly and share your enjoyment with your friend. In Japanese culture, it’s the exact opposite. 

Fun fact: Japanese people are so formal that if you are a year or two older than them, they will be super formal and give you a lot of respect!

  • Cuisine

China and Japan are well-known for their unique culinary skills. Even though China’s cuisine has inspired Japan’s cuisine, both are exclusive in their ways. 

Owing to the fact that Japan is an island, seafood is their specialty. Sushi, katsu, yakisoba, and udon are the real deal when it comes to seafood. They like to eat raw and fresh food. 

They use a negligible amount of oil to make their food, so the food is healthier. On the other hand, China uses many oil, flavors, and spices to temper the food and make them stand out to the people. 

It offers a diversified cuisine because of its large geographic extent and external influence. Noodles and rice are the traditional and main ingredients that exemplify Chinese cuisine. 

Rice is a common meal in both countries, but they are made differently. In China, rice is fried and mixed with eggs, vegetables, and sauce. In Japan, the rice is often served as a bowl of sticky rice. 

Interesting fact: While both cultures use chopsticks for eating, how they do so vary. Chopsticks in Japan are shorter with rounder ends compared to the ones in China. 

Final Thoughts

A closer look will reveal how different both of the cultures are. China has a voluminous culture in terms of dialect, food, and customs. Japan has a more reserved culture with a harmonized and standardized society. 

So, in reality, our thinking does not change the Chinese VS Japanese Culture factor. Overall, every nation has its own distinct culture. We hope that this article taught you the culture of both the Chinese and Japanese. 

So, one of the most commonly asked questions around is “What is the difference between Chinese and Japanese culture?”

While there are many similarities between the two cultures, there are also some notable differences that can be quite surprising.

This blog was designed to help you better understand the similarities and differences between Chinese and Japanese culture so that you can have a more rounded perspective when interacting with either one. Keep reading to learn more!


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What Are Some Cultural Ideas Shared by Both Japan and China?

There are a number of shared cultural ideas between Japan and China, including a love of art, literature, and cuisine. Additionally, the two countries share similar Confucian values which emphasize hard work, loyalty, and obedience to authority.

China also places a high importance on education, which is why many students who study in Japan return home to work in their home country’s industries.

What Are the 3 Similarities of Japan and China?

1.Both countries alphabets look similar. non atives wont be able tp distinguish between them.
2.Both countries have a rich history and culture that is often cited as being some of the best in the world.
3.Both countries are known for their high-quality manufacturing industries.

Similarities Between Chinese and Japanese Art?

There are many similarities and differences between Chinese and Japanese art, but one of the most striking is the use of perspective in both traditions. While Chinese artists often use a three-dimensional perspective, Japanese artists are more likely to use a two-dimensional perspective. This allows for a greater level of realism in their work, which is often associated with the aesthetic of Japan.

Similarities Between China and Japan Government?

There are a number of similarities and differences between China and Japan government that warrant mentioning. For one, both countries have a long history of centralized rule. This has led to similar systems of government, such as a strong military and a tightly controlled media.

On the other hand, Japan has had a much more individualistic approach to politics, which has helped to foster a more innovative economy. Japan also has a more diversified population than China, which contributes to its greater economic stability.

Overall, the two countries have experienced different forms of modernization and development, which has led to some distinct differences in their respective governments. These similarities and differences are worth noting if you are interested in learning more about the history and workings of Chinese and Japanese governments.

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