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Extremes - G M Thomas

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Extremes - contradictions in contemporary Japan
G M Thomas
Kaichan Europe (UK)
UK Publication Date

This book captures the extraordinary experiences of living and travelling across Japan and is intended to change the way we view Japan's modern society. It reveals the two Japans that exist alongside one another: one familiar, the other hidden and almost invisible to most foreigners. It moves from the gentle rhythms of the Inland Sea and the grave of a long-dead British naval officer to the sins and abasements in the heart of Tokyo, where any fetish is on tap. The Japanese define their relations with society based on tatemae (their external obligations to society) and honne (their inner and hidden aspirations). This applies not only to the way people conduct their lives but also to many aspects of Japan's contemporary society. Much is sanitised for everyday external consumption. The other world is hidden, only seen occasionally -- if at all -- by the visiting foreigner. This is not, though, a book of ancient versus modern or rural versus urban. The puzzle is more complex and in attempting to unravel it, conventional wisdom is challenged. The author found a people who whilst sharing much in common, living in an amorphous middle class society, actually live life experiencing significant and contradictory modes of behaviour -- modes that they find increasingly unsettling. Their voices and fears are in the book as they strive to make sense of their own life in the twenty-first century.

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Keyword Index
Japan - Social life and customs - 1945-.|Japan - Description and travel.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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