Japan 's Identity And Cultural Identity

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Harumi Befu is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropological Sciences in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. He has published in both English and Japanese journals, and his research interests include the social and analysis aspects of Japan’s globalisation, and analysis of Japan’s nationality and cultural identity. In his article “Concepts of Japan, Japanese culture and the Japanese”, he discusses in a strong and unbiased method the reality of what Japan truly is. However, despite the strength of his article there are the negatives, where he does not address any solutions to the issues he raises. When most people think of Japan, it is the main and central island of Honshu, with their culture and language being the first thing that comes to mind. The climate, culture, language and people of Honshu have always been praised in various means of media such as paintings and stories. Resulting with Japan’s minor islands like Hokkaido and Okinawa and those who live in those areas are often forgotten, same with individual cultures and dialects of Japan as a whole. Befu attempts to discuss in order to provide a different approach to common views of Japan by discussing how diverse, multi-cultural and multi-national the country is. Befu is also not afraid to discuss the darker sides of Japanese thought and society by addressing various issues, such as the notion of “essentialism” that is evident within Japanese culture, which dismisses the idea that Japanese

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