Social Conformity and Nationalism in Japan

Chie Muroga Jex

          It has been said that the thought processes and attitudes of Japanese people are distinctly different from those of people of other cultures. From the perspective of an anthropologist and a Japanese expatriate, I argue that the thoughts and attitudes of Japanese are profoundly correlated with pressure to conform with social norms and nationalism which are not usually discussed or apparent to outsiders. This paper describes Japanese culture and attempts to explain the conceptual differences in some major ideas between Japanese and Westerns. It also analyzes how Japanese language, education, and religions intertwine with each other, function, and are used as ideologies for building Japanese nationalism and shaping Japanese people. This paper is divided into four major sections: (1) The People and Nation of Japan, (2) The Religion of Japan, (3) The Socialization of Japanese Values and Nationalism, and (4) Social Conformity and Nationalism Today.