Hey so I am working on a research proposal on why westerners are attracted to Japanese culture (traditional). The proposal is in it's preliminary stage, but I would be carrying out the research (if i get it) in Japan.
A quick background on me - I just spent four months studying abroad in Yamaguchi, Japan (the guch) last year and am a rising senior in college (philosophy major). I have been involved in martial arts my entire life and have studied some about Japanese culture and religion.
Some ideas for my question include: 道: The Japanese way and Westerners; A study of 合気道 and Westerners in Japan. Other traditional arts could be added to the list, 剣道とか茶道, but again, just some preliminary ideas. My study would be why Westerners are attracted to these arts, is it a backlash against western culture and religion, an alternative way to express oneself spiritually and religiously; is it just a different way of expression that seems to be more in tune with their nature; or is it deeper than that?
My research would focus on interviews, participation in traditional arts, and study of Buddhism and the Dou (Tao).
What I need from you all is books, references, any sort of research done already on this sort of topic. I've read 武士道 and am ordering The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. But I feel like there are probably some case studies done or maybe just some general resources!
Sorry for the long message, thanks for reading and all thoughts, ideas, and comments are more than welcome!