The Japanese Self in Cultural Logic
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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I left Japan when I was twenty-eight, an age at which I had become irreversibly Japanese. And yet, a typical expatriate, I was thoroughly alienated from my home country—perhaps, I now realize, in over-reaction to a still-lingering ambivalence. It was years before I regained a reasonable balance. ...
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1. Logical Models for Self Analysis: Opposition and Contingency
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The central subject of this book is (Japanese) self as understood in (Japanese) cultural perspective. The concept of culture, of course, is found not only in popular usage but also in many academic disciplines—just think of cultural psychology, cultural psychiatry, cultural geography, cultural sociology, and the like (Nader 2002, 444). ...
2. Social Self in Front and Interior Zones: Omote and Uchi
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In the next four chapters I mobilize the logical scheme of opposition and contingency spelled out in chapter 1 to analyze various facets of self. Although both logical modes are relevant to each chapter, the binary and ternary modes of binding contingency most strongly motivate the social self (the subject of chapters 2 and 3), while the reflex-...
3. Social Self in Back and Exterior Zones: Ura and Soto, Anomalous Counterparts to Omote and Uchi
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Having examined the normative zones, omote and uchi, and crossovers between them, we now switch to the lower half of the map depicted in Figure 3, the remaining social region: ura and soto. This region counters the norm of sociability and propriety, allowing the actor to ignore or violate omote rule-boundedness and uchi congeniality. ...
4. The Inner, Reflexive Self: Interiority and Exteriority in Contingency
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The preceding two chapters have considered self in the social context, primarily in terms of its variability relative to shifting social spaces.Western readers might well be puzzled by this representation of Japanese self, which appears to lack a central, unified core. Along with the missing core is the apparent superficiality of Japanese self, which...
5. Self in Cosmology and Aesthetics
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Thus far we have viewed self on a micro level. This last chapter expands the self onto a cosmological dimension. Cosmology provides a symbolic representation of self on the one hand, and a cultural guide for self-orientation on the other. In contrast to the social self, which is characterized by binding contingency, the cosmological self...
Epilogue: In Defense of Japan Studies
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We are bombarded these days with critical refutations of “Japan studies,” or Nihonjinron (NJR)—a label that conjures up a ridiculous, exaggerated stereotype about the Japanese that no sensible person would like to be associated with. It is only natural that many Japan specialists preface their texts with a short critical commentary...
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Index [Includes About the Author]
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Publication Year: 2004