The Chrysanthemum and the Sword is the highly-influential, timeless work behind much of our past and present understanding of Japanese culture. "Why is it seemingly so self-contradictory" and "How and why does Japanese culture differ from our own" are just some of the questions addressed in this landmark 1946 study.
By shedding light on the unique values that distinguish the island nation, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword reveals a great deal about culture universally and offers a lens through which to view ourselves. With over fifty reprintings, this classic has made an indelible contribution to the study of Japanese culture, not only in the classroom but within popular culture in both the United States and throughout Asia.
Its focus on the very heart of Japanese social structure including hierarchy, marriage and family, filial piety, self-discipline, and other core values illuminates the fact that while much of the culture has changed, much will stay the same. Remarkably, more than seventy years later, this masterpiece of "culture by distance" remains unsurpassed in its observations of Japan and its distinct way of life.
About the Author: Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), one of the most eminent American anthropologists of the twentieth century, was born in New York City. In 1923 she received her doctorate from Columbia University, where she remained throughout her academic career. She is widely known for her book Patterns of Culture (1934), which explained the concept of culture to the layperson and became an American classic.
Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard. He is a past director of Harvard's East Asian Research Center and Chairman of the Council for East Asian Studies. He is the author of many books on Japan, China, Korea and Asia in general.