La lecture quotidienne

Nuclear psychology: why don’t the Japanese look upset?

In English on 2011/04/28 at 09:37

Bernard Bernier clears up another myth, of the ‘natural’ character of Japanese temperament. ‘Controlling emotions in Japan has not always been so strict,’ he adds. ‘The elitists who took power from 1848 progressively imposed an ethic of restraint and pride on the entire Japanese society, resulting from the Samurais. It happened gradually during the nineteenth and twentieth century, through the education system. About forty years ago, there was more freedom of speech, especially in some rural areas.’ On the other hand, these reactions that calls out to us, this desire to keep their heads held high, illustrate a nationalism which is indeed real. ‘The ‘we’ vs ‘others’ is the source of the definition of Japanese identity,’ says the Canadian researcher. ‘It is a very restrictive identity, defined by blood and rebellious towards immigration.’ Faced with the tragedy experienced by Japan, Europe reacts as expected: hypersensitively. As we show our emotions freely, we tend to perceive the Japanese as brave — which they are — but also a little insensitive and fatalistic. This is a vision that Bernard Bernier modifies: ‘The Japanese do not supress their emotions. They contain them.’

via Nuclear psychology: why don’t the Japanese look upset?.

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