Takeo Doi Has Passed Away

July 6, 2009

I’m sure a lot of the people who read this blog are familiar with the work of the Japanese scholar Takeo Doi. His writings were a very important part of some of my undergraduate research and I brought the English versions of his books with me when I moved to Japan. I’m happy to be able to say that I own and have read the Japanese versions as well (it was sort of a dream of young undergraduate me).

Doi is one of the best writers of the Japanese scholars I’ve read, and added a personal touch to a lot of his works that never impeded the intellectualism.

If you are a student of Japanese culture, I highly recommend Takeo Doi’s works, especially “The Anatomy of Dependence”.

Also for sociologists and people who do business with Japan can gain a lot from reading “The Anatomy of Self”.

“The Anatomy of Dependence” seems to be readily available, but “The Anatomy of Self” seems a little harder to find. I really think these are must-reads for anyone studying Japanese culture.

If you’ve ever been fascinated by or had personal experience with such things as the concepts of “uchi” and “soto” (inside and outside), “honne” and “tatemae” (true feelings and being up front), and “omote” and “ura” (which I’ll describe as the surface vs the underside, or the open vs the hidden), then Takeo Doi’s works are as good a place to begin your studies as any.

I’m sure I didn’t do him any justice, so if you get the chance, please check out the books.