Law and Justice in Japan – a lecture

One of two lectures given to undergraduates in anthropology at Cambridge University in 2008 by Alan Macfarlane. For a downloadable version, reading list and context, please see All revenues go to World Oral Literature Project

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    25 Responses to “Law and Justice in Japan – a lecture”

    1. Seanuk Says:

      Just read the excerpt from your book on amazon.. Nothing short of amazing! I love the style of which you have written this and laughed about the shinto shrine neighbouring the baseball stadium. I have now purchased your book thank you very much or should I say Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!

      If anyone is reading this, I would recommend this to anyone, and also look at a book called dogs & demons by Alex Kerr.

    2. ayabaya Says:

      Thanks for these kind remarks and hope you enjoy the book…Alan

    3. efex2007 Says:

      In a world where education has been transformed into an expensive commodity, I can only thank for the generosity of making it available on Youtube.
      I wish more professors would have this initiative.

    4. mochiam Says:

      crimes drop, suicides rise

    5. Nagare89 Says:

      I praise MIT for taking the initiative in just that. They have something called Opencourse ware, a website where the school uploads lecture videos from various courses. Free education from one of the world’s finest universities.

    6. ulrichred Says:

      wao! I was about to write about criminal organizations playing a part on crime rates, but I said, um.. He’s an antropologist let me wait; I think anybody who has been in Japan for at least a year will notice that.

    7. SuperUltraMell Says:

      Awesome !!! Kind Regards from Ukraine.

    8. Hawk02a Says:

      Every woman I know here in Japan has been sexually assaulted on crowded trains, especially underage girls. None of this is reported because nothing will be done by the police.
      99% conviction rate is a result of 23 days of police detention for anyone arrested. Torture is standard practice. Nothing is recorded, no lawyers are present. Even basic research would reveal this. There is little thieving here because most people are rich. Crime rates are increasing as people become less affluent.

    9. momasu Says:

      This is a great lecture! I have just one small correction to make: Professor Macfarlane spells out the term for the “managed society” as “kandi-shakai”. This is a mistake — the term is actually “kanri shakai”, as googling both terms will make clear.

    10. RayDandy Says:

       there is no relation between the two.

    11. mochiam Says:

      you don’t live in Japan then :-)

    12. RayDandy Says:

      why would that matter? can you prove or explain the relation between the two?

    13. mochiam Says:

      if I tell you about a society that is forcing and feeding social peace at all costs, it becomes clear that the only way out is suiscide

    14. RayDandy Says:

      what makes you think japan is forcing social peace? Have you actually considered the actual reasons why those particular individuals commit suicide?

    15. mochiam Says:

      there’s no authority imposing rules, but it’s a social self feeding system. Japanese people referred often to this system as an hammer nailing nails down. Indipendent, off the rules minds, people searcing a deeper form of communinication (out of the “ceremony”) are considered “outlaws”. This is a theme often recurring with Japanese people working for a long period of time abroad, where they often developed a multi point of view way of thinking. These “experienced” people (continue)

    16. mochiam Says:

      are often push aside when back home. I’ve witnessed many cases. Never forget for a second that Japan is an island where media are strictly controlled and filter informations against or off their customs. In few words there’s not much intellectual freedom. Many suicides come from overwork, the social inability to think that life has a higher value than the success of the company, the inability to say no to terrible requests on job places, often of sexual nature. Female population is

    17. mochiam Says:

      is freakingly scared of opposite sex. 75% of young women don’t want to marry Japanese men. The stress and culture of Japanese men often lead to violence in the family. The lack of individualism (that means being able to live alone) and self consciosness lead also to mass suicides expecially during holidays. This December my train was delayed twice because of suicides, often involiving young people. Even if the official data refer of 32000 suicides per year,the real data are about 50000

    18. mochiam Says:

      units. Especially for young people social and work pressure is becoming unbeareable and the number of young people moving abroad, even to China is growing rapidly.
      The way you reply to my posts make me think that you have strong links with Japan, and probably makes you less incline to take in account my considerations, but I assure you that most of the things I reported you come from personal experience and by NHK (national TV). In 11 years I came in contact with with 4 cases of

    19. mochiam Says:

      suicide one of which very close to my japanese family. I think I’ve enough merit and knowledge to talk about japanese culture, even if I’m not a japanese national

    20. RayDandy Says:

       that all sounds very reasonable but it doesn’t seem to substantiate any relation between crime rates and suicide rates

    21. mochiam Says:

      social self-imposed structure applys great stress on people because it kills creativity in favour of the mainstream. People become susceptible to big personal crisis unrelated in size with the underlying problem. I hope this is clearer now, I wouldn’t be able to express it better 🙂

    22. vkman34 Says:

      Excellent lecture. Here’s an example of what he’s talking about: when you have a road accident between two people in Japan, the Police come out and inspect the scene, and apportion blame on a percentage basis. So they might say for example it’s 20% person A, and 80% person B. The insurance companies pay out according to the percentages decided by the Police. So if someone hits your car from behind, it’s still your fault (a bit) and you’re still liable.

    23. TheWelshboy42 Says:

      Is he the brother of Seth Macfarlane :D?

    24. shonstar Says:

      This was excellent and very thankful to Professor Macfarlane for making this available. I found it on itunes btw.

    25. anikinippon Says:

      Excellent lecture, I will be raising points made in this lecture about the Masato Uchishiba case and I will be linking this video.