Author : Joy Hendry
Description: An Anthropologist in Japan is a highly personal narrative which draws the reader into a fascinating cross-section of Japanese life. Joy Hendry tells the story of her nine-month period of fieldwork in a Japanese seaside town. She originally sets out on a study of politeness, but a host of unpredictable events--including a volcanic eruption, a suicide and her son's involvement with the family of a powerful local gangster--dramatically changes the direction of her research. In vignettes that illuminate the education system, religious beliefs, politics, family and neighborhood in modern Japan, the book exemplifies the role of chance in anthropology and the way that moments of insight can be embedded in a mass of everyday activity. A brilliant example of reflexive anthropology in action, An Anthropologist in Japan demonstrates how ethnographic fieldwork can uniquely provide a deep understanding of linguistic and cultural difference.