Burzōy's Voyage to India and the Origin of the Book of Kalīlah Wa Dimnah
The popular image of Japanese society is a steroetypical one - that of a people characterised by a coherent set of thought and behaviour patterns, applying to all Japanese and transcending time. Ross Mouer and Yoshio Sugimoto found this image quite incongruous during their research for this book in Japan. They ask whether this steroetype of the Japanese is not only generated by foreigners but by the Japanese themselves.
This is likely to be a controversial book as it does not contribute to the continuing mythologising of Japan and the Japanese. The book examines contemporary images of Japanese society by surveying an extensive sample of popular and academic literature on Japan. After tracing the development of "holistic" theories about the Japanese, commonly referred to as the "group model", attention is focused on the evaluation of that image. Empirical evidence contrary to this model is discussed and methodological lacunae are cited. A "sociology of Japanology" is also presented.
In pursuit of other visions of Japanese society, the authors argue that certain aspects of Japanese behaviour can be explained by considering Japanese society as the exact inverse of the portayal provided by the group model. The authors also present a multi-dimensional model of social stratification, arguing that much of the variation in Japanese behaviour can be understood within the framework as having universal equivalence.
What people are saying - Write a review
Survey of the early versions of Kalilah wa Dinnah
The contents of the Arabic and Middle Persian versions
The framework story
The introductory chapters
The man in the well
Two peculiar references to the contents of the book
The story of Burzoys voyage to India
The text of the longer version
The voyage to India and Burzoys autobiography
The development of the text of Kalilah wa Dinnah
Manuscripts and editions consulted
The man in the well
Burzoys voyage to India shorter version
Burzoys voyage to India longer version