Arts, entertainment and leisure
Art and entertainment may be related to society in a variety of ways, and this chapter covers a broad range of examples, from glimpses of the court theatre of the distant past through to the ‘global’ music scene of contemporary Tokyo and Okinawa. As well as gaining an idea of arts for their own sake, one may also seek through art to understand something about the social and political organisation of the people producing it, and one may look for the symbolic meaning with which their work is imbued, whether it is there intentionally or not. In many cases, one may also seek to understand a people’s religious and philosophical ideas through the art that represents them, and through collective ideas about what constitutes art, and how it should be produced. One may also learn of the place that arts and their accomplishment hold in the lives of practitioners, and in this case, the seriousness accorded to practices elsewhere associated with leisure and play.