Podcast Script

Japanese People and Society

a presentation by Steve McCarty at the Japan International
Cooperation Center of JICA in Osaka on August 10, 2005


[Download the colorful PowerPoint presentation if you like.]

Japanese People
Image and Reality
Mount Fuji - Osaka - Kobe - Kyoto - Grand Shrines of Ise - Seto Ohashi Bridge - Tsukuba Science City - Hybrid Cars

Changing Society
Population structure  - Family structure - Traditions - Religions - News media - Gradually changing values

Comparative Culture
Other-oriented values - Individual and peer group - Taking responsibility - Concept of time - Environment and nature - Status and hierarchy - Male-female differences - Importance of age

Social Behavior
Inside and Outside (uchi and soto) - Competition and Harmony - Politeness and conformity - Obligations (gimu, on, giri) - Honne and tatemae impression - Language and body language - Symbolism of objects and gifts

The Lonely Crowd
Avoiding confrontation  - Face and F2F rituals - Fashions and fads - Accessories and gadgets - Envy and jealousy - Indirectness and secrets - Privacy of home space - Attachment to land and place - Too expensive to have children - Obstacles to meeting strangers

At this point the recording stops. I welcomed a question and answer session instead of discussing the following:

TV  - Music - Sports - Mobile phones - Computers and Internet - Shopping - Traveling - Reading - Drinking

My Japanese family
Lessons in Other-Orientedness - Pressures to assimilate - Similarities to Americans - Child-raising - Husband-wife relationship - Employment and faithfulness - Fitting in while sticking out

There is also the 9-page handout that JICA gives to attendees. It includes the following articles that are available online:

Japan mulls multicultural dawn
an ageing population is forcing people to reconsider attitudes to immigration
Sarah Buckley, BBC News Online, 5 October 2004

Japanese children shun the rising sun
Eric Johnston in Osaka
The Guardian, August 17, 2004

Web page by Steve McCarty, Professor, Osaka Jogakuin College, Japan;
President, World Association for Online Education. Uploaded on August 10, 2005.

Go/return to the Japancasting podcast blog |
Steve McCarty's Online Library | in Japanese
(an Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library 4-star site)