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Aspects of the Ie in Early Medieval Japan

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Title: Aspects of the Ie in Early Medieval Japan
Authors: Pine, Carmen
Advisor: Morris, Vixon
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The notion that contemporary Japanese society and behavior may be explained in terms of fundamental organizing principles such as group orientedness or collectivity, is one that has gained currency in recent years among social scientists and general audiences. Descriptions of “family-like” organizations where individual interests are subordinated to the group typify cultural studies of Japanese society. What has happened…is that in urban Japan a variety of groups has been formed which reproduce, as it were, the conditions which existed in the village communities of the pre-industrial society. In employment, in residential areas, in politics, sport, the entertainment industry, and at leisure, the urban Japanese of today forms small “family-like” groups with a clearly established hierarchy, under a leader who acts as “father-figure” to the group. Once he has joined such a group, the individual tends to treat it as the framework for all his activities, and give it all his loyalties. His interests tend to be subordinated to (or rather regarded as identical with) those of the group, so that in his relations with the outside world he functions not as an independent individual making decisions on the basis of generally accepted norms, but in his capacity as a member of the group, on the basis of what will best serve the group’s interests. So pervasive is the group based organization of Japanese society that the average Japanese finds it difficult to make decisions and to act in any other way… The term ie (translated as “household” or “family”) is often used to describe these characteristics of family-like social groupings. However, ie usually describes more than just a set of family relations. In traditional Japan, the term was used to describe both the family and a household as an enduring entity which existed over time with each succeeding generation.
Pages/Duration: 84 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects 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:Honors Projects for History

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