Beardsley, Richard K. (Richard King), 1918-. Village Japan

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1. Introduction

2. Geographical Setting

Inland Sea Topography

Inland Sea Climate

Physical Description Of Okayama Prefecture

Agriculture Of The Okayama Plain

3. Niiike's Historical Setting

The Earliest Inhabitants And Their Culture

The Great Tomb-builders

The Origins Of The Historic Kibi Region

The Nara Period

The Decline Of Central Authority

The Feudal Age

Bitchū And The Wars Of Consolidation

The Tokugawa Era

Niiike In The New Japan

4. Niiike's People: Physique And Temperament

Health And Physical Appearance

Temperament And Characteristic Attitudes

5. Community Life: Material Goods And Equipment

The Form Of The Community

The Houseyard

The House

Household Equipment And Tools


Food And Drink

6. Land And Water

Land Types And Their Use

Water Control: Irrigation And Drainage

Water Control: Tensions And Disputes

Wartime And Land Reform

7. Niiike At Work

The Search For Subsistence

The Search For Cash Income

Agricultural Techniques

Agricultural Productivity And Agricultural Change

Non-agricultural Occupations

Leisure And Ceremony

Catalogue Of Annual Ceremonies

8. Income And Expenditure

Sources And Treatment Of Data

Buraku Income 1

Gross Agricultural Production

Expenses Of Production

Non-agricultural Income

Total Income

Buraku Expenditure

One Family's Financial Problems

One Family's Financial Records

Labor And Investment

9. The Household

Household Organization And Composition

Household Work Routines

Household Hierarchy

Inheritance And Succession

Kinship Terminology

10. Community And Kinship Associations

The Kōjū

Sub-kōjū Groups

Lineage Ties In Niiike

Kinship Hierarchy And Community Organization

Ōaza Associations

Mura Associations

Unorganized Extra-buraku Community Relations


11. The Life Cycle

Birth And Infancy

Formal Education

Young Adulthood

Adult Life


Two Autobiographical Accounts

Written By Hiramatsu Kuma, Wife Of Kumaichi, October, 1950

Written By Iwasa Kikuno, Born In Niiike, Wife Of Sōichi, October, 1950

12. The Community And Local Government

Background And Legal Structure

Buraku Organization And Functions

Village Organization And Functions

Village And Community Organizations

Local Tax Structure And Tax Burdens

Local Finance

Disputes, Crime, And The Courts

Village Amalgamation

13. The Community And The Political Process

Traditional Attitudes Toward Politics

Political Participation

Popular Political Information

The Voting Rate

Direct Popular Legislation And Control

Pressure Groups

Political Leadership

The Local Elective Process

Village Assembly Elections

Village Mayoral Elections

The National Electoral System

Kamo's Electoral Record

Practical Politics: The Traditional Pattern

Practical Politics: Postwar Developments

Changing Political Attitudes

14. Religious Institutions And Concepts

Summary Comparison Of Village Buddhism And Village Shinto

Village Buddhism

Village Shinto

Buddhist Ceremonies

Shinto Ceremonies

Household Spirits And Ritual Objects

Community And Other Spirits With Special Functions

Great Shrines And Temples

Buddhist Sects And Organized Shinto


Qualities Of Religious Belief

15. Conclusions And Epilogue

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Village Japan

Published By: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972. 20, 498 p.: ill., maps

By line: [by] Richard K. Beardsley, John W. Hall [and] Robert E. Ward.

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Okayama (AB43)

Subjects: History (175); Territorial organization (630); Geography (130); Settlement patterns (361); Ethos (181); Tillage (241); Land use (311); Marriage (580); Religious denominations (795); Organized ceremonial (796); Political machines (667);

Abstract: This book contains a well-rounded ethnographic study of the rice-growing community of Niiike. The study is based on field work conducted in the 1950s by an interdisciplinary team of scholars from the University of Michigan. While Niiike is the focus of the study, the authors make frequent reference to neighboring communities and Japan in general in order to discuss the ways Niiike may be said to be a 'typical' rice-growing community and in order to show how events in Japan in general have affected the local community.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: ab43-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1950-1957

Evaluation: Ethnographer, Historian, Political Scientist-4,5

Analyst: Eleanor C. Swanson ; 1979: John Beierle; 2009

Coverage Date: 3000 BC–AD 1957

Coverage Place: Community of Niiike, Honshu Island, Okayama Prefecture, Japan

LCSH: Japan--Okayama Prefecture


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