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Origin Of Ethnography In Japan (Publication…

Origin Of Ethnography In Japan (Publication of the Graduate Institute of…

by Kawada

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0710304501, Hardcover)

The changes that have taken place in Japan as a result of the period of rapid economic growth have renewed interest in the work of Yanagita Kunio (1872-1962), generally known as the founder of ethnography in Japan. They include: the imbalance in the development of primary and secondary industry; the tremendous growth in heavy industry accompanied by the gradual decay of agriculture; the failure to establish a healthy productivity cycle; the destruction of the natural environment and traditional patterns of life; and, particularly, the emergence and rapid growth of social apathy due to the lack of a firmly-established base on which to build the burgeoning supra-modern "popular society". This volume is a timely re-evaluation of his writings. Yanagita Kunio consistently expressed his concern about the effects of Japan's hasty modernization on the lives and values of its ordinary citizens. Critical of the Meiji establishment's policies for their short-term perspective on Japan's economic success in the international arena. Yanagita strove to overcome the problems caused by the direct importation of European ideas into Japan by isolating, recording and analyzing the unique features of Japanese life, using them to present an alternative modernization theory. To Yanagita, the significance of ethnography lay in the way it could be used to reconstruct the indigenous values of the past. His contention was that an understanding of indigenous cultural values and a revitalization of the traditional communal spirit were essential to the establishment of a moral foundation for Japanese society in the years of great change between the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras and, by extension, to Japan today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

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