Is Japanese society essentially different from other modern industrialized societies, or not? This survey work with contributions from the leading scholars in this complicated field, presents a full overview of the most important aspects of Japanese society which may lead the reader to find an answer to these two often-asked questions. Japanese society, defined as those institutions shaping the life of individuals and groups, as well as being responsible for the dynamics of social development, is shown to be as modern as any other industrialized society; definitely distinct, though, are the ways in which institutions are defined and organised as a result of different social and historical roots of the process of modernization.
Josef Kreiner, Ph.D. (1964) in Ethnology, University of Vienna, is Professor of Japanology at the University of Bonn. He has published extensively on religion and traditional thought in modern Japan.
Ulrich Möhwald is Professor of Sociology at the College of International Studies, Chubu University, Nagoya, Japan. His research interests include modern Japanese society, in particular value and attitude change and problems of social stratification.
Hans Dieter Ölschleger, Ph.D. (1987) in Ethnology, University of Bonn, is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Modern Japanese Studies, University of Bonn. He has published on minorities (Ainu), and the family and value change in modern Japan.
All those interested in modern Japan, Japanese postwar history, sociology of modern society, and modernization.