By Takie Sugiyama Lebra
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This most modern paintings from Japanese-born anthropologist Takie Sugiyama Lebra is the 1st ethnographic research of the trendy jap aristocracy. confirmed as a category at first of the Meiji interval, the kazoku ranked without delay under the emperor and his family members. formally dissolved in 1947, this workforce of social elites continues to be usually perceived as the Aristocracy. Lebra won access into this tightly knit circle and carried out a couple of hundred interviews with its contributors. She has woven jointly a reconstructive ethnography from their existence histories to create an intimate portrait of a distant and archaic world.
As Lebra explores the tradition of the kazoku, she locations every one topic in its ancient context. She analyzes the evolution of prestige obstacles and the crucial position performed through outsiders.
But this e-book isn't really easily in regards to the elite. it's also approximately commoners and the way each one stratum mirrors the opposite. Revealing formerly unobserved complexities in eastern society, it additionally sheds mild at the common challenge of social stratification.
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Extra resources for Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility
The topmost office, for example, that immediately below the emperor, called daijodaijin (chancellor), required the first court rank; the next highest offices, sadaijin (minister of the left) and udaijin (minister of the right), required the second court rank (Tokyo Daigaku Shiryo Hensanjo [hereafter cited as TDSH] 1966, 536-37). When a gross imbalance existed that could not be avoided, readjustment was made by promotion on one of the two rank scales. ) Rank acquisition and promotion was based partly on an individual’s performance in official examinations, following the Chinese example.
To create such a relationship I always introduced myself as a person of peasant origin and stressed the status irrelevance of my Gakushuin background. This, I think, motivated my informants to talk about themselves; I also felt that I stimulated their sense of noblesse oblige. It was not just status otherness that helped me. For Japanese, the sense of cultural affinity is inseparable from continual social contact; thus, being out of the country for a lengthy period of time makes one a cultural other as well.
A lord, or ryoke, belonging to the capital nobility might be represented on his holdings by a custodian, often called azukari dokoro, who held all administrative powers and whose office often amounted to a perpetual, irrevocable, hereditary agency. The central absentee proprietor, whether a member of the royal, noble, or religious establishment, and the local resident manager thus formed an asymmetric dyarchy. ‘’As the dynasty legitimized the power of the regents, the lord legitimated the authority of the local custodian.
Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility by Takie Sugiyama Lebra