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Need Help! Doing research in Japan

Posted: May 5th, 2009 3:53 am
by Spongebo
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!



Posted: August 7th, 2011 7:29 pm
by nik10hedgehog6825
The only answer i can think of is that we it. i like nearly everything outside of the USA cus its so interesting and different.
My reason is Bruce Lee ( i know he's Chinese but in 1 movie had a Japanese girl and ninjutsu and stuff) and others. anime mostly lol.
i can't explain without saying "We it" :oops: hope that helps

Re: Need Help! Doing research in Japan

Posted: June 22nd, 2013 9:04 pm
by cloa513ch2629
For most people it would be in part its romanticisation. Japanese culture puts out the ideal of the Japanese people- precise, great ability in creating beauty and cunning. Other countries have their romantic cultural heritage but the Japanese have kept it the most. People idealise the pre-industrial period and nature but don't have nearly a strong art heritage as Japanese arts. Its strong art heritage because its so involved and complicated. Painting an impressionist painting isn't as ritualised.

Re: Need Help! Doing research in Japan

Posted: July 2nd, 2013 10:49 pm
by videovillain
I'd suggest two books:

Japan Through the Looking Glass
The Book of Tea

They are wonderfully written and explain in great detail many of the different modes of thought and differences in culture and philosophy between the Western cultures and Japanese culture!