This volume is the third in a continuing series of publications from the Japan Anthropology Workshop, an organisation which prefers to go under the acronym JAWS. JAWS is an international organisation of over one hundred anthropologists-all specialising to some degree in the study of Japan-which meets every eighteen months to exchange ideas in an academic forum (see Hendry 1987; van Bremen 1989). The first two volumes contained chapters from sixteen and ten contributors respectively (see Hendry and Webber 1986; BenAri, Moeran and Valentine 1990), representing nine different countries of origin. This current collection of twelve chapters also represents no less than nine different countries. One of the most interesting facets of attending the JAWS meetings is to see how scholars from different societies approach the same subject-Japan.