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Hegemony of Homogeneity
An Anthropological Analysis of Nihonjinron
by Harumi Befu
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In spite of rapid changes taking place in Japan, the dominant identity discourse of Japan, Nihonjinron, has not vacated its hegemonic position in the ideological landscape of common people. Japanese intellectuals have been and are producing a massive and ever increasing literature on the subject. In Hegemony of Homogeneity, Befu, a bilingual anthropologist who has dedicated his past 40 years to working on Japan, dissects, analyzes, and interprets this discourse by consulting hundreds of original sources in Japanese. Nihonjinron discourse is argued, among others, as a civil religion of the Japanese and a creature responding to Japanís changing geo-political and geo-economic environment.

Published by Trans Pacific Press
Published 2001, 181 pp.
ISBN 1 876843 05 5, paperback, £19.99