Traditionelle Gesellschaftstypen und Kulturprovinzen in Japan

The article describes the structure and the regional distribution of dominant types of society once prevalent in Japan. It is argued that at least five types of traditional society can be distinguished: 1) the dōzoku-type of Northeastern Japan which is characterized by strong vertical ties inside an extended family; 2) the oyakata-kokata-type of Hokuriku, Tōsan, and San’in, which is characterized by a fictitious parenthood system; 3) an age grade type mostly found in southwestern fishing villages; 4) the miyaza-type of the Kansai area which is centred on Shintō rites controlled by the village elders; and 5) a type with loose ties between village inhabitants, typical of the southern Izu and Amami islands. Special emphasis is placed on the conclusion that although most features of these traditional types of society may have disappeared, their influence is still felt in many aspects of modern Japanese society.


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