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  • Elementary Student Version

1. Korea and Japan: Understanding Each Other

To get along like good neighbors, people need to know each other well.
How is Japan different from Korea? How is it the same?
Let’s compare food from the two countries.
Korea and Japan have different ways of placing chopsticks.
Korean people place their rice bowl on the table and use a spoon to eat from the bowl. Japanese people hold the rice bowl in their hands and use chopsticks to eat from it.
The traditional dresses worn by the women of each country are different as well. While Korean hanbok grows wider from top to bottom, the Japanese kimono remains very narrow.
You can understand each other better if you know one another’s differences.
So knowing about others is the first step to understanding!
There sure are a lot of differences between Korea and Japan!
The traditional housing culture in each country is also different. Korean people heat the floors of their homes using a heating system known as ondol.
Japanese people live in homes with floors that were covered with tatami straw mats.
If it were not for these straw mats the floors would be sticky because Japan is an island country with a humid climate.
While Korea used to be a society of Confucian scholars,
Japanese society was dominated by a samurai class.
This text was adapted from “Far Country, Neighbor Country 7 (Japan)”

■ Let’s sum up Korea and Japan’s similarities and differences.

In both countries (  ) are used for eating meals.
Clothing and Textiles
If the people in the two countries know each other’s differences, they can understand each other better. Both Korea and Japan are making efforts to know and understand each other. To correct historical distortions, historians from both countries form research groups. There are also exchanges in green farming production technology as well as other areas between Korean and Japanese cities. In addition, substantial exchanges are being made through ties between Korean and Japanese schools as well as summit meetings between Korea’s president and Japan’s prime minister.
The discussions and debates held through these types of exchanges and cooperation are Korea and Japan’s efforts to solve any problems between them and promote their friendship.

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