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Myth of Japanese Uniqueness


In Japan there exists a vast and intricate body of theory devoted to the analysis of Japanese identity. This tradition of thought is known as the "nihonjinron" and ranges from the highly academic to the informal writings of journalists. These discussions of Japanese identity presuppose that the Japanese are radically different from other peoples in their cultural, social and psychological makeup. This book is a critical introduction to the "nihonjinron". It analyzes the major assumptions, linguistic, sociological and philosophical, underlying such works and exposes their ideological structure. Placing particular emphasis upon psychoanalysis, the book argues that the "nihonjinron" constitute a coherent ideology of nationalism and holds that they should be treated as a mythological system rather than as serious contributions to social science. Hide synopsis

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