• Przede wszystkim honor. Przyczyny i przejawy specyficznego postrzegania jeniectwa w kulturze Japonii – w kontraście do norm społeczeństw zachodnich

    Author: Kamil Weber
    Institution: Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych
    Year of publication: 2021
    Source: Show
    Pages: 25-41
    DOI Address:
    PDF: so/20/so2002.pdf

    Cultural differences between Western and Eastern civilizations are noticeable in the system of professed values and in many aspects of life. This also applies to the approach to captives, which was clearly demonstrated by the events of the first years after the end of World War II. An example could be the way in which former Japanese and German soldiers, who were captured after the end of the war, were treated after their return to homeland. This article aims to show the sources of these differences and, to a lesser extent, examples of behaviors which they caused. The analysis consists of references to historical, economic, social, religious, and psychological conditions, which, as intertwined, resulted in the emergence of different perceptions of an individual’s role in a society and his obligations toward the community. These conditions determined the specific attitudes of representatives of each culture in difficult war and post-war circumstances. Explaining the Japanese soldiers’ willingness to sacrifice and the importance of honor for them, reference was made to the influences of Confucianism, Buddhism, Shinto, and the bushido tradition. Showing the deeply rooted reasons for the attitudes described in the article was therefore supposed to enable their explanation.

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