Friday, October 10, 2008

'The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture': an Amazon review

"This is a good and concise overview of what it means to be Japanese, and to think as the Japanese do. (With appropriate caution, of course: the book is over 50 years old). Such a book is important because since Japan is a modern industrialized world power, Americans can tend to forget that there are still cultural and social chasms between our way of thinking and interacting and that of the Japanese.

Understanding various concepts of obligation, debt, face-saving, and the influences of historical events (such as the Meiji reform)are covered here. Benedict is also an engaging writer who makes ample use of stories, anecdotes, and illustrations to make her point."

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