New PDF release: Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique (Routledgecurzon

By Sonia Ryang

ISBN-10: 0415700329

ISBN-13: 9780415700320

Japan and nationwide Anthropology: A Critique is an empirically wealthy and theoretically refined research which demanding situations the normal view of jap reports commonly and the Anglophone anthropological writings on Japan specifically. Sonia Ryang explores the method wherein the postwar anthropology of Japan has grow to be ruled through convinced conceptual and methodological and exposes the level to which this technique has occluded our view of Japan.

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Extra resources for Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique (Routledgecurzon Asian Studies Association of Australia East Asia Series, 6)

Sample text

Gorer states: In contemporary psychology an individual preoccupied with ritual, with tidiness and order, is technically known as a “compulsive neurotic”; these characters with us are statistically unusual and it is consequently justifiable to speak of them as neurotics. g. Freud 1963). Gorer has no data about Japanese infant sexuality. He does not appear to know how masturbation is dealt with or how the taboo subject of incest is institutionalized, for example (see Freud 1950). This is not to say that had he covered all this he would have obtained a correct picture of the Japanese national character.

Meadow’s study only confirms that Gorer’s coinage was incrementally reinforced by other research. Indeed, Gorer’s psychoanalytical, psychologistic, and pathologizing approach to the Japanese nation persists in many different incarnations in anthropological studies of Japan after the war, as we shall see in subsequent chapters. Another point worthy of mention in Gorer is his emphasis on a boy’s excessive aggressiveness being tolerated by the family, especially the mother. And when he was not indulged, he would angrily punish her – contradicting his earlier statement on strict toilet training in which the mother figures prominently as a stern figure.

The generalization Gorer drew on the basis of this material can be summarized into the following sentence: “It is the thesis of this memorandum that early and severe toilet training is the most important single influence in the formation of the adult Japanese character” (1942: 9). Gorer thus connects the aggression and brutality the Japanese soldiers displayed with the toilet training that they had received as children. The influence of the culture and personality school is evident here, with an additional blend of psychoanalysis.

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Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique (Routledgecurzon Asian Studies Association of Australia East Asia Series, 6) by Sonia Ryang

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