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.
Roger Davies holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Bangor, and is currently Professor of Applied Linguistics and Academic Director of the English Education Center at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan.
Osamu Ikeno holds master's degrees in linguistics and ESL from Kobe University and the University fo Hawaii. He is Associate Professor of English Education in the Faculty of Education at Ehime University.
"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
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