Culture And Customs Of Japan Culture And Customs Of Japan

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Their society has been changing rapidly in modern times, yet for most Japanese, cultural traditions retain their importance in daily life. This volume highlights those traditional Japanese elements in modern society, providing an engaging examination of religious rituals, classic and modern literature, performing arts, fine arts and handicrafts, housing, clothing, women's roles and family life, holidays and festivals, and social customs. The book gives students a deeper understanding of Japan beyond popular stereotypes of an Asian economic powerhouse.

Japan has undergone a radical transformation in the twentieth century. A highly traditional society has been supplanted by a high-tech one while retaining significant vestiges of the past. Culture and Customs of Japan captures the essence of the ordered Japanese experience in all its many facets. An introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the land, people, language, and history of Japan. Then a chapter on thought and religion illuminates Buddhism, Shinto, and how religion is incorporated into daily life. The book goes on to detail the riches of Japanese literature, performing arts such as kabuki, noh, and puppetry, and fine arts like calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), and chanoyu (tea ceremony). Architecture, cuisine, clothing, and the changing dynamics of women, marriage, and family are examined, along with leisure activities and entertainment such as sumo wrestling, martial arts, and manga (comics). A final chapter on social customs, including giftgiving and business protocol, rounds out this portrait of everyday life in contemporary Japan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A broad and useful overview of Japanese culture….The scholarly but accessible text is succinct and clear."


School Library Journal

"Komachi's selection of topics and explanations are a good, readable (junior high and above) introduction to the vanishing world of Japanese traditional culture."


American Reference Books Annual

School Library Journal
YA-A broad and useful overview of Japanese culture including its language, mythology, history, religion, philosophy, fine arts, cuisine, clothing, holidays, and social customs. A section on the fine arts includes ikebana, bonsai, and the tea ceremony. Leisure activities include pachinko, karaoke, sumo, manga and anime, and other forms of entertainment. Some sections, most notably the one on modern literature, are little more than lists of notable practitioners. However, they may be useful to students who are not aware of any current names in the field. The scholarly but accessible text is succinct and clear.-Susan Salpini, Purcellville Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kamachi (history, U. of Michigan) highlights traditional Japanese elements in modern society in her examination of religious rituals, classic and modern literature, performing arts, fine arts and handicrafts, housing, clothing, women's roles and family life, holidays and festivals, and social customs. By showing how Japanese society retains important cultural traditions in daily life, she provides a deeper understanding of Japan beyond popular stereotypes of an Asian economic powerhouse. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313360770
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/30/1999
  • Series: Culture and Customs of Asia Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

NORIKO KAMACHI is Professor of history at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Chronology of the History of Japan
1 Introduction 1
2 Thought and Religion 27
3 Literature 43
4 Art 69
5 Housing and Architecture 93
6 Cuisine 113
7 Clothing 121
8 Women, Marriage, and Family 127
9 Holidays, Festivals, and Annual Events 135
10 Leisure Activities and Entertainment 151
11 Social Customs and Lifestyle 161
Glossary 167
Suggested Readings 177
Index 181
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