Two Cultures, One Heart: A Comparative Analysis between a Japanese Matsuri and an American Festival
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While studying in Japan this past summer, I had the privilege of attending the Ise Ebi Matsuri in Hamajima with my host family, the Takenouchi’s. Matsuri literally translates to English as a festival. Ise ebi is the Japanese spiny lobster (Panulirus japonicus), a large crustacean averaging 25 cm in length. We currently live in an increasingly interconnected global Society. In order to function within this new world, we need to have a better understanding of various cultures outside our own. This study was an investigation into the phenomenon of matsuri, by comparing it with the more familiar American small-town festival. My hopes are that it will help to cultivate a greater appreciation for the Japanese people and their culture, which despite over half a century of trade and alliances are still a mystery to the American society at large.