New PDF release: An Anthropologist in Japan: Glimpses of Life in the Field

By Joy Hendry

ISBN-10: 0415195748

ISBN-13: 9780415195744

During this hugely own account pleasure Hendry relates her reviews of fieldwork in a eastern city and divulges a desirable cross-section of eastern lifestyles. She units out on a learn of politeness yet a number of unpredictable occasions together with a volcanic eruption, a suicide and her son's involvement with the kinfolk of a poweful neighborhood gangster, start to modify the path of her examine. The ebook demonstrates the position of likelihood within the acquisition of anthropological wisdom and demonstrates how moments of perception may be embedded in daily job. An Anthropologist in Japan illuminates the schooling method, spiritual ideals, politics, the relatives and the local in smooth Japan.

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The oldest Buddhist edifice dates back even further, to the Nara period, some 1,200 years before. Another famous temple, dedicated to the Kannon deity, is a pilgrimage site and the location of some important ritual activity, including a procession of children we had witnessed on our previous visit. I found out nothing further about the mini pilgrims’ trail I had discovered, but we clearly lived in an area of some spiritual calibre. During our previous visit, I had often climbed another nearby hill to a striking red temple built into the overhanging rocks, and I had heard that the Shinto priest who looked after the shrine below was, unusually, a woman.

He was less enthusiastic than me about my comparison between foreigners and the mentally ill in a Japanese view, but he conceded that each could cause anxiety in social intercourse. He elaborated a little about the way people assess one another when they meet in a kind of informal power struggle – an effort to place each other in a system of relative hierarchy – but foreigners and the mentally ill don’t even agree about the rules, he explained. It was a difficult conversation, because he was convinced of a physiological basis for psychiatric disorder, but I found it rather disturbing.

I answered them as politely as I could, unwilling to upset anyone who might live locally, but I was entirely unprepared for the way she followed me into the house. She certainly lacked some of the usual Japanese reticence I had come to expect. Since she seemed to have forced a visit upon me, and she was anyway disturbingly unfamiliar in her approach, I remembered how often one learns from an unusual situation, and offered her some juice. She continued to chatter away, though she soon abandoned her English, and we talked comparatively of the education and legal systems in Japan, the US and Britain.

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An Anthropologist in Japan: Glimpses of Life in the Field by Joy Hendry

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