In the West the Japanese house has reached iconic status in its architecture, decoration and style. Is this neat, carefully constructed version of Japanese life in fact a myth? Inge Daniels goes behind the doors of real Japanese homes to find out how highly private domestic lives are lived in Japan. The book examines every aspect of the home and daily life-from decoration, display, furniture and the tatami mat, to eating, sleeping, gift-giving, recycling and worship. For students and researchers in anthropology and architecture, The Japanese House re-evaluates contemporary Japanese life through an ethnographic lens, examining key topics of consumption, domesticity and the family. Highly illustrated throughout, the book will appeal to all those who are interested in Japanese culture, and in how and why people live the way they do in modern Japan.
Inge Daniels is Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.
Acknowledgments Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION SPREAD 1: Map with locations and images of exteriors of the homes studied Chapter 2 HOMES INSIDE OUT Gates, fences and walls 'We would rather have a nice English garden' 'Everyone needs a garage' Between the window and the hallway Red buckets and neighbourhood cooperation Local communities of limited liability Conclusion: The inside out SPREAD 2: Street gardens; green fences and terracotta walls SPREAD 3: Wifely duties and neighbourhood surveillance Chapter 3 FEELING AT HOME 'The pleasures of a happy home' From tatami to chair-based living The postwar 'LDK home': 1. The sofa and dining table 2. Double beds 'Bathing is my way to relax' Tatami mats 'A space to relax' Conclusion: Affectionate ties SPREAD 4: The choreography of domestic slippers Chapter 4 TATAMI TASTES Male domestic taste and sophistication Full-time and part-time housewives A national domestic taste? Eclectic alcoves 'New is better': traditional and modern aesthetics Male minimal design The exception: a modern aesthetic scheme 'We have "a son in a box" ' Male domestic stereotypes: 'Japanese fathers have no holidays' Do-it-Yourself Conclusion: Gender stereotypes SPREAD 5: Alcoves half full or half empty? Chapter 5 STUFF AND STORAGE The ideology of tidiness Storehouse living: circulation and accumulation Storage strategies: 1. Expanding the home 2. 'Living among one's furniture' Furniture walls Dowries and provisioning The contemporary starter home Life cycle rupture points: 'if I had a house like a castle, I would take everything' Conclusion: Conduits and containers SPREAD 6: Women and their kimono SPREAD 7: Destroying and rebuilding the family home Chapter 6 TROUBLESOME THINGS Domestic disarray? Souvenir Cabinets: objects frozen in time and space Troublesome Things Commemorative gifts and unique relationships Ephemeral gifts and the renewal of relationships Surplus, divestment and informal sociality Conclusion: pressures and constraints of gift culture SPREAD 8: The Dolls Festival SPREAD 9: Bazaars and flea markets Chapter 7 THE LOCUS OF SPIRITUAL IN THE DOMESTIC The house-building ceremony The domestic cycle of 'annual events' God shelves and auspiciousness The temporality of luck Affective and material bonds with the ancestors A son's duty of care? Inter-generational tensions New family models Conclusion: Causality and self-determination SPREAD 10: Religion as action Chapter 8 CONCLUSION Notes Bibliography Index