The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture

by Ruth Benedict


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2019 Reprint of the 1946 Edition by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. Noted American anthropologist Ruth Benedict wrote this book at the invitation of the U.S. Office of War Information, in order to understand and predict the behavior of the Japanese in World War II by reference to a series of contradictions in traditional culture. The book was influential in shaping American ideas about Japanese culture during the occupation of Japan and popularized the distinction between guilt cultures and shame cultures. Although it has received harsh criticism, the book has continued to be influential. The Japanese, Benedict wrote, are:

both aggressive and unaggressive, both militaristic and aesthetic, both insolent and polite, rigid and adaptable, submissive and resentful of being pushed around, loyal and treacherous, brave and timid, conservative and hospitable to new ways

The book also affected Japanese conceptions of themselves. It was translated into Japanese in 1948 and became a bestseller in the People's Republic of China when relations with Japan soured.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946963253
Publisher: Albatross Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2019
Pages: 332
Sales rank: 225,568
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), one of the most eminent American anthropologists of the twentieth century, was born in New York City. In 1923 she received her doctorate from Columbia University, where she remained throughout her academic career. She is widely known for her book Patterns of Culture (1934), which explained the concept of culture to the layperson and became an American classic.

Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard. He is a past director of Harvard's East Asian Research Center and Chairman of the Council for East Asian Studies. He is the author of many books on Japan, China, Korea and Asia in general.

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