Dimensions Of Japanese Society

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Japan remains one of the most intriguing yet least understood nations. In a much needed balanced and comprehensive analysis, among other remarkable revelations, this book presents for the first time a vital key to understanding the organization of Japan's society and the behavior of its people. The Japanese are not driven by a universal morality based on good and Evil, but by broad aesthetic concepts based on Pure and Impure. What they include as "impure" will surprise many readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

It is a rare combination: a reader suitable for class use as well as a mini-encyclopedia for the seeker of specific information. Journal of Asian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312221928
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/4/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 273
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth G. Henshall is Professor of Japanese Studies in the department of Asian Studies at the University of Canterbury, UK

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Japan as Other, and the Other Japan
Part I: the Essentials of Society: Men and Women
• Hard Men, Soft Men, Ideal Men, Real Men: The Constructing of Maleness
• From Reigning Empress to Silly Servant: The Historical Downgrading of the Female
• Tradition meets the Modern World: The Hesitant Emergence of the New Woman
• Boys and Madonnas, Father-Figures and Virgins: Relations Between the Sexes
• The Blurring of Gender: Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Androgyny
Part II: On the Fringes of Society: Minorities and Other Marginals
• Impure Outcasts: The Burakumin
• Primitives: The Ainu
• Not Quite Us: Koreans in Japan
• Heroic Villains: The Yakuza
• Off-Center: Okinawans and Other Regional Groups
• The Dreaded Outside Threat: Foreigners and "Foreign-Tainted" Groups
• Failures: Day-Labors and Vagrants
• Unwholesome: The Diseased
• Imperfect and Neglected: The Physically Disabled
• Selfish and Ungrateful: The Mentally Impaired
Part III: The Mainstream of Society: Being a Normal Japanese
• Being Young: Socialization, Education, and Muted Rebellion
• Being Adult: Social Responsibility, Work, and Families
• Being Old: Confucian Ideals and the Reality of Decrepitude
• Being Oneself: The Individual in a "Groupist" Society
• Being Japanese: A Race Apart?
Conclusion: Japan as Itself and the Aesthetics of Purity

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