Characteristics Of Japanese Culture

1981 Words 8 Pages
In the book, Japanese culture: Its Development and Characteristics, by Robert John Smith, a great deal of information is covered in regards to the specifics of Japanese culture. This book discussed everything from emotion to education. In this essay, topics from the book such as emotion, personality, stress, and suicide rates among the youth. This essay should challenge the reader to think about the Japanese culture in a different light, and provide insight into the culture that otherwise would not have been realized. It was written to challenge readers who want to know more about the specifics of Japanese people and cultivate conducive conversation. Smith spends a great deal of time on each topic but allows for space to be left for personal …show more content…
“Amae is the noun form of ‘amaeru,’ an intransitive verb that means ‘to depend and presume upon another’s benevolence.’”(Smith, 132) This is the foundational idea behind the discussion of personality in Japanese culture. Attachment and amae in Japanese romantic relationships, authored by T. C. Marshall helps elaborate on the significance of amae by saying; “Amae behaviour may provide a missing link that helps to explain the association of attachment style with relationship quality in Japanese couples.”(Marshall, 98) There are two other works that are sub concepts of amae, “kodawaru, which means ‘to be inwardly disturbed over one’s personal relationship,’ and sumanai, which means ‘to feel guilty or obligated.’” (Smith, 134) These two words help to describe personality traits amongst the Japanese people. Smith brings up some interesting points of observation when discussing Japanese culture in relationship and comparison to the American perspective of personality. “The Japanese have an ethic of alternatives’ and ‘ Japan’s motivations are situational” (Smith, 137) Smith points out in contrast to the American cultural view of personality, which tends to be more definitive and less situational. In the same study previously mentioned, Marshall suggests that for “Japanese men, anxious attachment contributed positively to perceived relationship quality at least in part because it facilitated …show more content…
Smith states, “Social discrimination is related to delinquency in Japan. Such social discrimination not only has direct effects on the individual but through its effects on family life has deleterious effects on the individual’s primary group as well.”(Smith, 158) Smith gives statistics about the suicide rates of Japan compared to the rest of the world saying,
“[A] feature of Japanese suicide compared with world statistics is a fairly high rate of suicide in women. Roughly, for every three males who commit suicide in Japan, there are two females. The nearest approximation in European countries is a ration of two to one in such countries as Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany. The rate in the United States is four males to one female.”(Smith,

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