Japanese society

  • Japońska demokracja - tatemae czy honne?

    Author: Krzysztof Karolczak
    Year of publication: 1998
    Source: Show
    Pages: 67-76
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ap199803
    PDF: ap/1/ap103.pdf

    Japanese democracy – tatemae or honne?

    Some elements of the political system of the country are analysed as a contradiction between an official appearance and social reality. Assuming that the democratic system works as a political facade the author puts it on the side of the appearance i.e. tatemae. That contradiction results from different cultural patterns between the East and West, while political democracy standard belongs to the latter. It was introduced in a non-democratic way and is so implemented to a certain extent due to the domination of a vertical system of social dependencies, existing in all aspects of life. It is threated not as a direction how to run and organize their society, but rather as an instrument for settlement of disputes which, by the very nature of the Japanese society, should not exist. The results from the network of group interdependencies, based on the clientelism and from the network “an iron triangle” emerges: the ruling party, bureaucracy and financial elites. The lack of full democracy is also demonstrated by the existence of big discriminated groups of population as burakumins, Koreans and women. The inequality hurts also the others, though it does not result from imperfect law but rather from social practice determined by the cultural values.

  • Autorytarny i demokratyczny potencjał – japońskie stowarzyszenia sąsiedzkie w ujęciu instytucjonalizmu historycznego

    Author: Beata Bochorodycz
    Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 125-169
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ap202006
    PDF: ap/23/ap2306.pdf

    Democratic and Authoritarian Potential – Japanese Neighborhood Associations from the Perspective of Historical Institutionalism

    Japan’s neighborhood associations (NHA) have been the subject of polemics for years. These disputes concern both their autonomy in relation to public administration and voluntary membership, and thus their civic nature, as well as the period and genesis of the formation. This article analyzes the debate on the subject, tracing the transformation and metamorphosis of neighborhood associations from the perspective of historical institutionalism. The article consists of four parts, the first one briefly discusses the concepts of historical institutionalism as well as the main assumptions and definitions adopted in this article, the second presents the profile of contemporary neighborhood associations in terms of structure, financing, and activities; the third sketches a historical development, and the fourth examines the factors for the rebirth of associations after the end of the war in Asia and the Pacific in 1945. The main argument of the article is twofold. First, the constitutive principles of neighborhood associations changed under the influence of the dominant political regime, and in the post-war transformation process the change has been occurring gradually and incrementally, primarily under the influence of generational change and other systemic and environmental factors; secondly, neighborhood associations developed after the war as a result of path dependence and the effect of self-reinforcement, i.e. the positive experiences of residents with the functioning of these organizations in previous periods as a tool to solve community problems and meet specific needs.

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