Random similarities between Turkey and Japan

ii (iyi in Turkish, but with the same pronunciation as the Japanese いい) means good in both languages

Subjects are usually left out of sentences

One of the words for teacher is sometimes used as an all round honorific (in Turkish, Hodja and in Japanese 先生- sensei)

Nationalist education with a confused reaction to the nation’s previous incarnations (the Ottoman Empire and both Tokugawa shogunate and prewar Japan) due to standing up against the West but ultimately losing and having diametrically opposed to the modern state

Taboo to talk about rightwing extremists (uyoku in Japan and the kinds of people possibly involved in the possible coup attempt in Turkey). In Turkey this includes a taboo against making the sign of the fox with your hand.

Supposed influence of those groups on mainstream right wing politics.

A secular state where most people vaguely follow the leading traditional religion(s)

Visitors often comment on the mix of modern/traditional and Western/Eastern

American allies

Nominal allies of their closest neighbours (Greece and Korea) due to alliance with Americans, but actually make life as difficult as they can for each other, for example over some uninhabited islands they both claim

Towns usually built somewhere flat, unlike Spanish or Italian hill towns

Changes in the writing system make it almost impossible for people to read ancient texts

The political head was also the religious leader (Sultan was head of Sunni Islam and pre-war Emperor was the head of Shinto)




  1. March 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    […] not Japan but Turkey, but sooooo easily could be a quote about Japan. See Random Similarities Between Japan and Turkey on JapanExplained for […]

  2. Jude said,

    August 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Some authorities on the Japanese language and Japan claim Japanese and Turkish stem from the same language family; the altaic languages.

  3. Akiro Kai said,

    August 28, 2010 at 10:03 am

    it is both same languages. people just dont want to believe it. no matter how much proof you bring. they still keep coming with their bullshit.

  4. Murat Tekin K said,

    April 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Our family value system is also strongly similar to each other.

  5. Daniel said,

    October 17, 2011 at 4:13 am

    When a child’s baby teeth fall out, it’s also common in both countries to throw the teeth onto a roof. Weird.

  6. crella said,

    October 19, 2011 at 4:03 am

    You’re forgetting the influence of the Silk Road as a conduit for cultural ideas to drift back and forth. In Turkey they also take off their shoes in the house, and sit on cushions very like zabuton.

  7. ebra said,

    May 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I’m turkish, it’s not just politics, Turkish and Japanese cultures are so close. it’s about respect to olders, cleaning, some pattern of clothes, relatives of people… Before 60-70 years, when Turkish Republic found, a lot of famous people said “we must be like japans, they are living like muslims.They are hardworking, patient and clean” (now, sense of muslimism is a bit wrong in the far east, don’t imagine wars, swords when you heard muslimism)
    Turks came from central asia so we resemble to asians a lot.
    Thanks for writing.

    • nil said,

      March 28, 2014 at 5:12 am

      this post made me cry.. i don’t know why…

  8. Yamada said,

    July 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    we are Asians. and we are all brothers. haters should accept this too.

  9. Burak said,

    September 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Its not just about the culture or the politics or the Altaic Blood.Its something spiritual.When i was a little boy i had to travel with my parents internationally and when i saw the Japanese people at the airport i felt something special about them.Like theyre familiar for me or a part of the family,and when they took a look back they were smiling at me.Like they had that feeling too.I like Japanese people since the first time I saw them and I’m glad to have the same blood with them!

    • Yamada said,

      September 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Yes you are right brother. i have this spiritual feeling too. We still know somewhere in our hearts that we are brothers. even if we completely changed. I am very happy that we are brothers, it is something very special for us. Thank You :)

      • Burak said,

        September 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        That was the reaction I was praying and hoping for :) Changing does NOT change anything!This spiriutal bond between us and our friendship will NEVER change because It will always stay like this,at its maximum!Greetings from Bursa,Turkey 兄弟! :)

  10. alexcase said,

    September 26, 2012 at 8:13 am

    From your email addresses, you both seem to be Turkish.

    • Burak said,

      September 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

      That Breaks my heart :(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: