The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan 25, 2006 - Social Science - 336 pages
Essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese culture, this unsurpassed masterwork opens an intriguing window on Japan. Benedict’s World War II–era study paints an illuminating contrast between the culture of Japan and that of the United States. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword is a revealing look at how and why our cultures differ, making it the perfect introduction to Japanese history and customs.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Interesting, and illuminating for many aspects of Japanese culture. It would be even more interesting to read an updated version to see the continuities between just after WWII and the turn of the millennium, too bad that Benedict died decades before this could even be considered! Worth a read, and indeed a re-read, since the topics addressed are so foreign to most English speakers. Of particular note were the discussions of shame and face within Japan, which does help make a little more sense of Japanese politeness, manners, and social organization.  


2 The Japanese in the War
3 Taking Ones Proper Station
4 The Meiji Reform
5 Debtor to the Ages and the World
6 Repaying OneTenThousandth
7 The Repayment Hardest to Bear
8 Clearing Ones Name
10 The Dilemma of Virtue
11 SelfDiscipline
12 The Child Learns
13 The Japanese Since VJDay
Back Matter
Back Cover

9 The Circle of Human Feelings

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

RUTH BENEDICT (1887–1948) was one of the twentieth century’s foremost anthropologists and helped to shape the discipline in the United States and around the world. Benedict was a student and later a colleague of Franz Boas at Columbia, where she taught from 1924. Margaret Mead was one of her students. Benedict’s contributions to the field of cultural anthropology are often cited today.

Bibliographic information