chapter  4
17 Pages

Community and neighbourhood

Outside the family, the next unit of social organisation that Japanese people experience, whatever their walk of life, is the neighbourhood. The nature of this unit will vary considerably according to its location, and within the same location according to gender, occupation and generation. There is also great regional variety in Japan that depends too on environmental circumstances. A visitor to a town or city hall will usually encounter a display of local crafts and products, as well as photographs of the choice scenic views in the area. However, there are again certain expectations for neighbourly behaviour which are perceived as characteristically Japanese. They are used as an ideological prototype for marketing and other purposes, as a practical model when setting up new communities and as a yardstick for disapproval when there is little consistency with actual behaviour.