The process of child rearing in Japan is markedly different from that generally observed in the United States. The difference in approach is symbolized--even before the process begins--by the customary practice among Japanese hospitals of presenting the mother with a box containing the umbilical cord of her new child. Japanese upbringing emphasizes symbiosis, almost as though the cord were still attached. In American childhood, individuation is emphasized. Dependency versus independence; passivity versus self-assertiveness; group-identity versus self-identity: these are the themes of contrast between the characteristics of Japanese and American maturation processes, as well as their respective communication styles and patterns of political behavior in general. Leaving comparison for the moment, let us examine in some detail the usual Japanese patterns of child-rearing and family life, which direct the child toward attitudes and behavior characterized by dependency, passivity, and identification with a social unit larger than himself. These characteristics express rather well the essence of amae in the Japanese personality.