and lavishes art upon the cultivation of chrysanthemums, that book does not Both the sword and the chrysanthemum are a part of the picture. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword is now often relegated to the pile of quaint or exotic studies on the society of Japan. However, ever since its first publication. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture is a study of Japan by . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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Ｃhrysanthemum. Ｓword. Assignment:Japan. The Japanese were the most alien enemy the Both the sward and chrysanthemum are a part of the picture. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict; 19 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Social life and customs, Japanese. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. RUTH BENEDICT (–) was one of the twentieth The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by [Benedict, Ruth].
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This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. View Metrics. Email alerts New issue alert. Advance article alerts. This book which resulted from Benedict's wartime research, like several other OWI wartime studies of Japan and Germany,  is an instance of "culture at a distance," the study of a culture through its literature, newspaper clippings, films, and recordings, as well as extensive interviews with German-Americans or Japanese-Americans.
The techniques were necessitated by anthropologists' inability to visit Nazi Germany or wartime Japan. One later ethnographer pointed out, however, that although "culture at a distance" had the "elaborate aura of a good academic fad, the method was not so different from what any good historian does: Americans found themselves unable to comprehend matters in Japanese culture.
For instance, Americans considered it quite natural that American prisoners of war would want their families to know that they were alive and that they would keep quiet when they were asked for information about troop movements, etc. However, Japanese prisoners of war apparently gave information freely and did not try to contact their families.
Between and , the book sold only 28, hardback copies, and a paperback edition was not issued until Roosevelt that permitting continuation of the Emperor's reign had to be part of the eventual surrender offer.
More than two million copies of the book have been sold in Japan since it first appeared in translation there. John W.
Bennett and Michio Nagai, two scholars on Japan, pointed out in that the translated book "has appeared in Japan during a period of intense national self-examination — a period during which Japanese intellectuals and writers have been studying the sources and meaning of Japanese history and character, in one of their perennial attempts to determine the most desirable course of Japanese development. Japanese social critic and philosopher Tamotsu Aoki said that the translated book "helped invent a new tradition for postwar Japan.
Douglas Lummis has said the entire "nihonjinron" genre stems ultimately from Benedict's book. The book began a discussion among Japanese scholars about "shame culture" vs. Soon after the translation was published, Japanese scholars, including Kazuko Tsurumi , Tetsuro Watsuji , and Kunio Yanagita criticized the book as inaccurate and having methodological errors.
American scholar C. Douglas Lummis has written that criticisms of Benedict's book that are "now very well known in Japanese scholarly circles" include that it represented the ideology of a class for that of the entire culture, "a state of acute social dislocation for a normal condition, and an extraordinary moment in a nation's history as an unvarying norm of social behavior.
Japanese ambassador to Pakistan Sadaaki Numata said the book was a "must reading for many students of Japanese studies.
According to Margaret Mead , the author's former student and a fellow anthropologist, other Japanese who have read it found it on the whole accurate but somewhat "moralistic.
In a symposium at The Library of Congress in the United States, Shinji Yamashita, of the department of anthropology at the University of Tokyo, added that there has been so much change since World War II in Japan that Benedict would not recognize the nation she described in Lummis wrote, "After some time I realized that I would never be able to live in a decent relationship with the people of that country unless I could drive this book, and its politely arrogant world view, out of my head.
According to Lummis, who interviewed Hashima, the circumstances helped introduce a certain bias into Benedict's research: The book became a bestseller in China in , when relations with the Japanese government were strained. In that year alone, 70, copies of the book were sold in China.
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