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The Japanese and the Russians (Overview)

The paper presents an overview of the works on Russian and Japanese characters. The author identifies several frequent characteristics based on particular climate conditions. Japan refers to the monsoon civilization that is characterized by collectivism in labor and groupism and commitment to their group in everyday life. The Japanese are able to respond quickly to the circumstances and to adapt to changes; they have sense of organization; they are committed to particularistic-situation ethics.

Russia belongs to the steppe civilization with its own characteristics that is characterized by community, patriarchal relations, idea of mutual aid and equalization. Main Russian features are kindness, humanity, sincerity, compassion, endurance, patience, optimism. However, they have such traits as deceit, uncommunicativeness, dishonesty, cruelty, slowness, waste, intrusiveness, laziness, lack of refinement. Russian people treat particularly 1) time — they do not care about tomorrow; 2) property — there is no evident border between their own things and others’; 3) work — they separate work and personal life.

In religious and spiritual life, Russia and Japan have significant differences. In Russia, there is a commonality of interests and goals, daily life and morality are based on religion, their religious consciousness relies on specific teaching and the cult of the Virgin Mary. The Japanese live in a multipolar spiritual environment with no unity of norms, practices, rituals.

Keywords: the Japanese, the Russians, image, Orthodoxy, Buddhism, community, groupism.

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