In The Japanese Mind
, Roger Davies offers Westerners an invaluable key to the unique aspects of Japanese culture. Readers of this book will gain a clear understanding of what really makes the Japanese, and their society, tick.
Among the topics explored: aimai
(dependence upon others' benevolence), amakudari
(the nation's descent from heaven), chinmoku
(silence in communication), gambari
(social obligation), haragei
(literally, "belly art"; implicit, unspoken communication), kenkyo
(the appearance of modesty), sempai-kohai
(simplicity and elegance), and zoto
(gift giving), as well as discussions of child-rearing, personal space, and the roles of women in Japanese society. Includes discussion topics and questions after each chapter.
All in all, this book is an easy-to-use introduction to the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese society; an invaluable resource for anyone—business people, travelers, or students—perfect for course adoption, but also for anyone interested in Japanese culture.
"When I first saw The Japanese Mind
, I assumed it would be similar to Takeo Doi's The Anatomy of Dependence
. They're actually quite different. Doi's book focuses on the Japanese concept of emotional dependence, but The Japanese Mind
gives an on-the-ground view of a wide range of topics in a way that would be more useful to newcomers who are getting established. Doi's book should be on the reading list too, but a little later. All of the essays in The Japanese Mind
are excellent. The authors do a great job of representing their country and what they want for it domestically and globally. Students of Japanese studies, as well as casual readers, will learn a lot." — Japan Reference