Joy Hendry's collection demonstrates the value of an anthropological approach to understanding a particular society by taking the reader through her own discovery of the field, explaining her practice of it in Oxford and Japan, and then offering a selection of the results and findings she obtained. Her work starts with a study of marriage made in a small rural community, continues with education and the rearing of children, and later turns to consider polite language, especially amongst women. This lead into a study of "wrapping" and cultural display, for example of gardens and theme parks, which became a comparative venture, putting Japan in a global context. Finally the book sums up change through the period of Hendry's research.
Joy Hendry, D. Phil (Oxon 1979), is professor emerita of Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, was a student at Tokyo University and a visiting scholar at Keio, and has published many books and articles on Japanese Society.
Readers at all levels interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of contemporary Japanese society and in particular those who choose the discipline of social anthropoogy to this end.