This short work presents a configuration of the important elements to be found in contemporary Japanese social life, and attempts to shed new light on Japanese society. Nakane deals with his own society as a social anthropologist using some of the methods which he was accustomed to applying in examining any other society. However, its form is not that of a scientific thesis (as may be seen at once from the absence of a bibliography; the author also refrains from quoting any statistical figures or precise data directly obtained from field surveys).
Nakane has tried to construct a structural image of Japanese society, synthesizing the major distinguishing features to be found in Japanese life. He has drawn evidence almost at random from a number of different types of community to be found in Japan today--industrial enterprises, government organizations, educational institutions, intellectual groups, religious communities, political parties, village communities, individual household and so on. Throughout this investigation of groups in such varied fields, Nakane has concentrated my analysis on individual behavior and interpersonal relations which provide the base of both the group organization and the structural tendencies dominating in the development of a group.