Download Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese by Takie Sugiyama Lebra PDF

By Takie Sugiyama Lebra

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This most recent paintings from Japanese-born anthropologist Takie Sugiyama Lebra is the 1st ethnographic learn of the trendy jap aristocracy. verified as a category at first of the Meiji interval, the kazoku ranked at once lower than the emperor and his family members. formally dissolved in 1947, this team of social elites remains to be commonly perceived as the Aristocracy. Lebra won access into this tightly knit circle and carried out multiple hundred interviews with its participants. She has woven jointly a reconstructive ethnography from their lifestyles 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 historic context. She analyzes the evolution of prestige obstacles and the critical function performed by way of outsiders.

But this e-book isn't 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 jap society, it additionally sheds mild at the common challenge of social stratification.

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The Taiho Code was further revised by the Yoro Code, the only extant early legal code, from which prior codes are inferred. Taken all together, the reforms of this period are called the ritsuryo system, a cumulative body of penal (ritsu) and administrative (ryo) codes. This system—which survived until the Meiji Restoration (if only symbolically) and was temporarily revived for a brief period of the early Meiji—transformed the nature of uji chieftainship. Before the Taika Reform, the uji “chieftain had held a hereditary post at the Yamato court by virtue of the fact that he was leader of a powerful uji.

Here we see a stark example of complicity between hereditary honor and the new political power, between symbolic asset and material resources. It might sound as if Japan had by then transcended the principle of descent to legitimize militarily acquired power. Berry enlightens us on this matter. At court, Hideyoshi was formally addressed as Taira-no-ason as well as Fujiwara Ason (“Ason” had by then evolved into a general title attached to holders of rank among the court nobility) and so in effect could claim the proper ancestry consonant with his court rank and office.

He was the first kuge of warrior origin. The next military dictator, Minamoto Yoritomo, opened a new era (1192) by establishing in Kamakura, away from and in parallel with the imperial court of Heian (Kyoto), a warrior government, the bakufu—an institution that would also be perpetuated until the Meiji Restoration, though under different families. The Minamoto (or Genji) and the Taira (Heishi or Heike), the two clans around which warriors rallied, were of noble background. 11 These names were kabane conferred by earlier emperors on some of their (the emperors’) children or grandchildren in order to make them nonroyal nobles.

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