Interpreting Japanese Society: Anthropological Approaches by Joy Hendry

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By Joy Hendry

First released in 1986, Interpreting eastern Society grew to become anything of a vintage within the box. during this newly revised and up-to-date version, the worth of anthropological techniques to aid comprehend an historic and intricate country is obviously verified. whereas dwelling and dealing in Japan the individuals have studied very important parts of society. faith, ritual, relaxation, kinfolk and social kin are lined as are eastern preconceptions of time and house - usually so diverse from Western recommendations. This re-creation of Interpreting eastern Society exhibits what an enormous contribution learn in the sort of speedily altering industralised state could make to the topic of anthropology. will probably be welcomed through scholars and students alike who desire to locate fresh new insights on one of many world's such a lot interesting societies.

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In paradise. 4 However, in many places the higan is, on the contrary, a festival welcoming ancestors returning to the village, exactly like the bon festival. For instance, in the Akita district of Akita prefecture people choose a day of the higan period to climb a hill. On the top of the hill, they make a great fire, the light of which guides the ancestors on their way back to this world. The rite is exactly the same as the one performed in other villages on the day of the famous tanabata ( ) festival, on the seventh day of the seventh month, just a week before the souls’ festival of the full moon, when the spirits of the dead begin to arrive in the village.

In a complex society, an individual has the ultimate option of moving away from a group which he or she finds intolerable, but the more involved one becomes in a group the harder it is to break the bonds. Where the importance of belonging to such a group is fostered from an early age,7 as in the case of Japan, this is sometimes almost impossible. Thus, even in a country where there is a legal system it is useful to be able to analyse other mechanisms of social control, especially where there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the legal system is in fact rather little used, and avoided wherever possible.

The sort of time to which the annual rites give birth is not an empty medium, but rather an uninterrupted succession of various temporal segments. It is a qualitative time more than a quantitative one. THE STRUCTURE OF THE RITUAL YEAR It should now be clear that such complexity has led scholars to propose simple structures to the course of the annual ritual cycle. Three main structures have been pointed out. Time in the Japanese ritual year 23 The bipartition of the year According to a Chinese commentary of the fifth century,7 the Japanese did not know the four seasons and defined a year as the succession of spring and autumn, the season of ploughing and the season of harvest.

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