Transcultural education and Japanese-American relations Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xp68kk22h

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  • The goals of this study were to discover and compare the religious and philosophical traditions which have shaped Japanese and American cultures, and to make a case for interdisciplinary transcultural programs of study in higher education. Specifically, the purposes of this study were to: (1) describe and trace historically the underlying dominant religious and philosophic traditions of Japan and the United States; (2.) demonstrate the relationship of religious and philosophic traditions to Japanese and American modes of thinking, reasoning, and behavior and actions; (3) compare and contrast the two cultures in these regards; and (4) offer suggestions on programs and curricula intended to improve transcultural awareness and communication. The study began with a search for the Eastern and Western religious and philosophic traditions which emerged in five different areas of the world during the first millennium B.C. It attempted to trace in summary fashion the major evolutionary thrusts in religion and philosophy which are central to the contemporary Japanese and American national character. Basic assumptions about reality; how one knows and understands the world, and the meaning and purpose of action and behavior were explored in this context. It was found that religious and philosophic orientations which developed in the Indus Valley and ancient China shaped Japanese basic assumptions, modes of thinking and behavior. The early Hinduism, Samkhya philosophy, Jainism, Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were described and analyzed. The religious value orientation known as Judeo-Christianity, the early Western philosophical orientation, and the development of science were major factors in shaping American basic assumptions, modes of thinking, and behavioral patterns. Since all three had tap roots in Hebrew and Hellenic traditions, the development of Isreali and Greek cultural traditions were described. The study described the distinctive features of the native Japanese religions and how Japanese handled the flow of new religious and philosophical traditions from the Asian continent prior to the Meiji period. It was found that from the Jomon period to the Tokugawa period, a span of 2000 years, conceptual styles and behavioral patterns congenial to the Japanese cultural environment developed through various religious and philosophic influences within Japan. The Western religious and philosophic influences after the Tokugawa period did not greatly change the deeply entrenched modes of thinking and behavioral patterns of Japanese. Some of the assumptions, modes of thinking, and behavioral patterns within the two cultures were compared and contrasted. The issues selected were: views about language and verbal communications; patterns of organization in speech and writing; the notion of negation; polar categories versus advaitistic thinking; basic assumptions about self and reality; personal success as a value; the idea of progress including progressive education; and the method of reaching agreement. It was found that they are all related and affect communication and the perceptual process. They are often the source of misunderstanding and cause problems when members from the two cultures come into contact. Finally, a discussion centers around some possibilities for incorporating interdisciplinary intercultural communication in higher education in Japan and the United States. The section first deals with Japanese higher education because it was learned that the problems of implementing change were best understood with knowledge of the structure and practice of higher education in Japan.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-08-26T17:50:52Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MitaraiShoji1981.pdf: 1272349 bytes, checksum: 63cef82300cd371be069e668e2eb3be5 (MD5)
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