菊と刀 – The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (タトルクラシックス )
ルース ベネディクト、 Ruth Benedict
Reprinted over fifty years, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword remains a classic of cultural anthropology and a brilliant study of Japan during World War 2. In 1944, when field work in Japan was impossible, Ruth Benedict was assigned by the US Office of War Information to “use all techniques [she] could as a cultural anthropologist to spell out what the Japanese were like.” Benedict’s piquant observations on the Japanese family, its hierarchical society, the customs of marriage and child rearing, concepts like self-discipline and filial piety, and other notable attributes of the Japanese remain relevant today. Benedict was puzzled about the paradoxes she observed, by a people so ready to die by the sword and yet so concerned with the beauty of the chrysanthemum. By examining isolated bits of behavior and fitting them into a coherent pattern, she succeeds in sketching the main outlines of a society very unlike those found in the West. The result is a completely fascinating, incisive, and informative book on the mysteries of the Japanese character.
Benedict is known not only for her earlier Patterns of Culture but also for her later book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, the study of the society and culture of Japan that she published in 1946, incorporating results of her war-time research.