Contemporary

Contemporary Japan: Society and Culture

The Japanese archipelago — with more than one thousand islands in all — spans diverse living environments: snowy mountains in the northern island of Hokkaido; bustling cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka; tropical rice paddies in southern Kyushu. In the video segments below, Harvard University professors Theodore Bestor (anthropology) and Helen Hardacre (Japanese society and religion) describe the character of both urban and rural life in Japan.  
 
Click to view video segments on the following topics, or click here to read a transcript of all five segments.
· Tokyo · Volunteer Fire Departments · Neighborhood Associations
· Neighborhoods, Crime, and Police · Rural Life  
Although Japanese family roles have changed considerably in the 20th century, aspects of the traditional ie, or “continuing family,” still remain. The Japanese have a saying that even if an extended family does not live together, parents and grandparents should live near enough to
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