This book explores the multiplicity of special times and spaces in Japan within which people get together to decide, celebrate or play, in gatherings such as organizational meetings, community festivities, preschool games or drinking bouts. It analyzes these gatherings in relation to the theoretical model of sociocultural frames, examining how such occasions are put together, their unfolding stages, interactive encounters, and relations between participants and the wider social and cultural contexts. It considers the cognitive, emotional and behavioural dimensions, the scope for manipulation and the effects, intentional and unintentional, on participants and the connections to the ways in which in society and culture change. Overall, besides describing specific rites and ceremonies in Japan, the book provides great insights into the process whereby the interactions, feelings and action of individuals and groups shape popular culture.
Chapter One – Introduction,
Chapter Two – From Mothering to Othering: Organization and Nap Time in a Japanese Preschool
Chapter Three – The Gambaru Complex: Learning to Overcome Obstacles through Individual and Collective Action
Chapter Four – Teachers' Meetings: Information, Quality Control and Decisions
Chapter Five – A Sports Day in Suburban Japan: Leisure, artificial Communities and the Creation of Locality
Chapter Six – Posing, Posturing and Photographic Presences: A Rite of Passage in a Japanese Commuter Village
Chapter Seven – Sake and Spare Time: Management and Imbibement in Japanese Business Firms
Chapter Eight – "Not-Precisely-Work": Golf, Entertainment and Drinking Among Japanese Business Executives in Singapore
Chapter Nine – Coincident Events of Remembrance, Coexisting Spaces of Memory: The Annual Memorial Rites at Yasukuni Shrine.
Chapter Ten – Public Events and Japanese the Self-Defense Forces: Aesthetics, Ritual Density and the Normalization of Military Violence
Chapter Eleven – Power, Play and Transformation
Heung Wah Wong (Executive Editor), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Chris Hutton, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Wayne Cristaudo, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Harumi Befu (Emeritus Professor), Stanford University, USA
Shao-dang Yan, Peking University, China
Andrew Stewart MacNaughton, Reitaku University, Japan
William Kelly, Independent Researcher
Keiji Maegawa, Tsukuba University, Japan
Kiyomitsu Yui, Kobe University, Japan
How and what are we to examine if we wish to understand the commonalities across East Asia without falling into the powerful fictions or homogeneities that dress its many constituencies? By the same measure, can East Asian homogeneities make sense in any way outside the biases of East-West personation?
For anthropologists familiar with the societies of East Asia, there is a rich diversity of work that can potentially be applied to address these questions within a comparative tradition grounded in the region as opposed the singularizing outward encounter. This requires us to broaden our scope of investigation to include all aspects of intra-regional life, trade, ideology, culture, and governance, while at the same time dedicating ourselves to a complete and holistic understanding of the exchange of identities that describe each community under investigation. An original and wide ranging analysis will be the result, one that draws on the methods and theory of anthropology as it deepens our understanding of the interconnections, dependencies, and discordances within and among East Asia.
The book series includes three broad strands within and between which to critically examine the various insides and outsides of the region. The first is about the globalization of Japanese popular culture in East Asia, especially in greater China. The second strand presents comparative studies of major social institutions in Japan and China, such as family, community and other major concepts in Japanese and Chinese societies. The final strand puts forward cross-cultural studies of business in East Asia.