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The way of Choju : Self-sufficiency, health, and longevity in Ashikita town, an agrarian community in southern Japan

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Title: The way of Choju : Self-sufficiency, health, and longevity in Ashikita town, an agrarian community in southern Japan
Authors: Sipos, Jessica Busch
Issue Date: 2008
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
Japanese are among the longest-lived people in the world. Human longevity is receiving increasing attention as the world's population experiences unprecedented rates of elderly people. At the same time, concern with senescence and age-associated diseases accompany the "graying" of the world. Because this topic is complex, intersected with myriad other social, biological, and cultural phenomena, this dissertation seeks to offer a theoretical distinction between "aging" as a social and cultural phenomenon and "senescence" as the biological processes of growing old, a distinction which will mitigate the tendency to conflate biological experience with cultural meanings, although the biocultural theoretical approach framing this dissertation demonstrates that biology and culture are inextricably linked. Rather, the distinction between senescence and aging better allows insight into the interstices where biology and culture meet and mutually influence each other.
The objective of this dissertation is to explore lifestyle patterns and practices that are considered to lead to health longevity in rural Japan, including food and medicine, bodily practices, and the role of community and environment in facilitating health in old age. In this community-based study, healthy longevity is achieved through the mutual efforts of the individual, the community, and the state, with certain ideological values such as "self-sufficiency," giving structure and meaning to individual and community efforts to encourage healthy lifestyle practices. Shared values about tradition and the environment influence individual health choices and practices, while participation in and concern for the well-being of the community facilitates individual, community, and ultimately, national health and longevity.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 311-337).
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ISBN: 9780549600374
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Anthropology Ph.D Dissertations
Ph.D. - Anthropology

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