chapter  1
18 Pages

Sources of Japanese identity: historical and mythological foundations of Japan

Japan is the nation of origin of some of the most exciting and successful individuals in the contemporary world. In the fields of art and architecture, film, fashion and music, even international politics and diplomacy, Japanese achievements take the world by storm and Japanese names abound. At the same time, stereotypes persist that Japan is a nation of well-organised groups, that Japanese people learn only by copying others, that they work too hard, play little and travel around the world on safely contained package tours. How can a people apparently so boring and conformist demonstrate such an extraordinary degree of innovation and creativity? Who are these people and what exactly do they share?