An Anthropological Lifetime in Japan: The Writings of Joy by Joy Hendry

By Joy Hendry

Pleasure Hendry's assortment demonstrates the worth of an anthropological method of figuring out a specific society by way of taking the reader via her personal discovery of the sphere, explaining her perform of it in Oxford and Japan, after which providing a range of the consequences and findings she received. Her paintings begins with a examine of marriage made in a small rural neighborhood, keeps with schooling and the rearing of kids, and later turns to contemplate well mannered language, specially among ladies. This lead right into a research of "wrapping" and cultural exhibit, for instance of gardens and subject matter parks, which turned a comparative enterprise, placing Japan in a world context. ultimately the booklet sums up swap throughout the interval of Hendry's examine.

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My old friends from English House also offered contacts, one in Tokushima, another in Uwajima (both Shikoku), and a third in northern Kyushu. I decided to set off and visit each of the places in turn, talk to people locally, and settle on the one that seemed most promising for a study of contemporary marriage practices. My grant was limited and my husband was also a graduate student, so it was important to find somewhere we could afford, and the country seemed more promising than cities in this respect.

It was also a stage of life on which I was just myself embarking. Some of these housemates were to become lifelong friends, and several were helpful when I returned to do fieldwork. One of them, Kyoko, had also taken the plunge and had acquired not only a husband, but also a small child, whose impending arrival seemed to have precipitated the wedding. Another of the girls had gone to work in Finland and looked likely to marry a Finn. Both were clearly love matches. A third former housemate, this one a man, became a guinea pig for participant observation as I played go-between and introduced him to the (unmarried and aging) secretary of an Englishman I happened to meet.

I thought it best to terminate the financial agreement, and Sachiko seemed relieved. The conversation cleared the air, and it made me feel on safer ground, but it did little immediately to improve relations. We tried to avoid bothering Sachiko as much as possible after this, and her attitude gradually improved. Interestingly, however, several further examples of non-verbal communication (see Hendry 1990) occurred, which were distinctly useful to the study (as she herself may have realised). For example, we exchanged small gifts of food and flowers rather frequently during the rest of our stay, a recognised means of maintaining communication with neighbours.

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