J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Bars Beyond the Logodome

Bars Beyond the Logodome
Dr. Washida, a philosophy professor and contributor to the Asahi Newspaper holds that appearance is merely skin deep and that the self is a symbolic/linguistic construct, as argued by many Western philosophers and psychologists. Dr. Washida also sometimes draws attention to ways in which Japanese culture is blissfully non-verbal or, in my words, beyond the logo-dome.

In the above article, quoting Oota Kazuhiko, Dr. Washida notes that aficionado clientèle of quality Japanese bars do not need to order drinks, or even speak to the proprietors, because the latter will read the customers gestures, body language, and cup-fullness, in such a way as to provide drinks without having to be asked, applying the principle of proactive empathy sasshi and Japanese style hospitality (omotenashi ) for which Japan is famous.

Consistent with the notion that language is coextensive with self, Dr. Washida draws attention to Taku Satou's (another bar designer) assertion that in bars like these the boundaries (or silhouette rinkaku) between customers is blurred. The absence of language generally suggests the absence of self, communitas, collectivism. I contend that the same time there is no shortage of Japanese ego in a Japanese bar: the customers faces, and their Watsujian persona, or specular selves are present, bright, full, to the point of being plethoric (Heine, Takemoto, Moskalenko, Lasaleta, & Henrich, 2008; Takemoto & Brinthaupt, 2017; 武本, Timothy, 2017a, 2017b).


鷲田清一. (1996). じぶん・この不思議な存在. 東京: 講談社.
Watsuji, T. (2011). Mask and Persona. Japan Studies Review, 15, 147–155. Retrieved from http://asian.fiu.edu/projects-and-grants/japan-studies-review/journal-archive/2011.pdf
和辻哲郎. (1937). 面とぺルソナ. 岩波書店.
Heine, S. J., Takemoto, T., Moskalenko, S., Lasaleta, J., & Henrich, J. (2008). Mirrors in the head: Cultural variation in objective self-awareness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(7), 879–887. Retrieved from http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~heine/docs/2008Mirrors.pdf
Takemoto, T., & Iwaizono, M. (2016). Autoscopic Individualism: A Comparison of American and Japanese Women’s Fashion Magazines. 山口経済学雑誌= Yamaguchi Journal of Economics, Business Administrations & Laws, 65(3), 173–205. Retrieved from http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40021076383/
Takemoto, T. R., & Brinthaupt, T. M. (2017). We Imagine Therefore We Think: The Modality of Self and Thought in Japan and America. 山口経済学雑誌= Yamaguchi Journal of Economics, Business Administrations & Laws, 65(7・8) 79-108. http://nihonbunka.com/docs/Takemoto_Brinthaupt.pdf
武本, Timothy. (2017a). ジマンガ:日本人の心像的自尊心を測る試み(Auto-Manga as Prideful-Pictures: An Attempt to Measure Japanese Mental Image Self-Esteem). 山口経済学雑誌= Yamaguchi Journal of Economics, Business Administrations & Laws, 65(6), 351–382.
武本, Timothy. (2017b). 日本古来:心象的自尊心の可能性(From the Dawn of Japan: Self-Esteem in Mental Imagery). 山口経済学雑誌, 65(3・4), 173–205.

This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.