The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture (英語) ペーパーバック – 2002/4/30
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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 (ambiguity), amae (dependence upon others' benevolence), amakudari (the nation's descent from heaven), chinmoku (silence in communication), gambari (perseverence), giri (social obligation), haragei (literally, "belly art"; implicit, unspoken communication), kenkyo (the appearance of modesty), sempai-kohai (seniority), wabi-sabi (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.
Next in this series:
Now available separately, Japanese Culture: The Religious and Philosophical Foundations is a fascinating journey through Japan's rich cultural history.
"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商品の説明をすべて表示する
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The book is organized around a substantial collection of words/concepts that are claimed to be fundamental to Japanese culture and social behavior. With hundreds of anime and manga under my belt, I could see that most of these really were in fact the "bones" of the culture. In almost all cases, this book's presentation of one of its main concepts would set off a cascade of memories in my mind of story events and/or character behaviors I'd experienced. My questions were answered at last.
For me, this book was never less than interesting, and often fascinating. If you have a pre-existing interest in Japan, but no or only limited direct experience of the place, I bet you'll love it too.
If you are even here, looking at the subject, you already have either an interest or a need to better understand the Japanese way of thinking. For us Westerners, especially parochial Americans like me, many of the commonplace habits of thought and mannerisms of the Japanese only go to underscore how truly different they are as a culture.
And that is what makes the book so interesting and, to a certain extent, exciting.
The book is not wholly received as excellent here and that's OK. My opnion is that the book is indeed worthwhile and offers insights into Japanese thought and culture I was unaware of. Your mileage may vary, but I found this to be a very worthwhile book.
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