The Yam ano Disaster

Matthew Allen


Many of us have an image of Japan as a society m which there is considerable group-oriented mutual interest. A number of authors like Nakane (1970), Reischauer (1977), Kahn (1970), Taira (1970), Abegglan (1973) and De Vos (1973), to name just a few, have intimated that the concept of the group, as opposed to the western value of individualism, is the cornerstone of Japanese society. Indeed, if we look at the behaviour of Japanese tourists on the streets of Sydney, or at the behaviour of school children in the subways in Tokyo, we see ample evidence of this trend towards group orientation.

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