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Japan’s “Lonely People”

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Chapter Summary

In the family arena, even though love or marriages after courtship and the nuclear family have been established patterns for several decades, the Confucian emphasis on intergenerational rather than the conjugal ties seems to occupy the greatest part of the Japanese heart. Young people in all highly industrialized nations do not know the deprivation of the post-war era, and are criticized to greater or lesser degrees by the older generation for being spoilt and self-indulgent. It is clear from day-to-day personal impressions, as well as from surveys and clinical reports, that more and more Japanese are suffering from various psychological ailments. The fundamental mechanisms of human distress may be universal, but there also exist culture-specific dimensions in the ways human distress is expressed, responded to, and coped with.

Keywords: Confucian; industrialized nations; Japanese; young people

10.1163/ej.9781906876005.i-176.49
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