- The Japanese Psychological Association
- 心理学研究 (ISSN:00215236)
- vol.37, no.4, pp.195-203, 1966
The purpose of this report is (I) to factor-analyze the structure of concept "on", from the data obtained in our previous survey, and (II) to examine the customs (not abstract ideas) based on "on" or "giri".<br>(I) <i>Method</i>. Three factors were extracted from the correlation matrix of attributes of "on", for each of the three groups, (i.e, younger males, younger females, and older people. <i>Results</i>. Factor matrices are shown in Table 1. For younger males, factor i represents a conflict between affective area (true love, gratitude) and social and political area (mutual dependence, social coercion, etc), factor ii represents the conflict between economic area (benefit, etc) and rational area (voluntariness, obligation), while factor iii represents the conflict between economic area and political power area (traditional, authoritalian, etc). Correspondence among the three groups ranged 0.5-0.6. Although "taimen" or appearances, indebtedness, or fictitious love were regarded as essential attributes of "on" by Benedict, Fukuba, and Kawashima, these are no longer essential for the concept "on". In present day Japan, "on" has more rational elements in it, and functions as a lubricating oil of community, whereas "giri" is still regarded as a feudalistic human relation, and tends to disappear.<br>(II) Survey of customs based on "on" or "giri". <i>Method</i>. Enquêtes concerning "Chugen" or summer gift, "Seibo" or year-end present, New year cards, etc. were distributed, sometimes supplemented by interviews. <i>S</i>s were male and female adults living in Tokyo, two farming villages (Shizuoka and Hiroshima), and a fisherman's island (Hiroshima), totaling 464. <i>Results.</i> (1) Urban people regard these customs as a chance to express their gratitude, affective indebtedness, etc., but rural people (especially those in fishery) regard them as a duty based on "universal humanism", not necessarily specific in their own community. (2) Importance of human relation (3) main family-branch family, (5) boss-henchman, (8) master-servants, (9) guild master-apprentice, shows fairly marked urban-rural difference. Of course, urban people do not feel them seriously, but rural people feel them considerably. Most important relations in three districts are (1) parent-child, and (4) ancestor-descendant. <i>Conclusion</i>. Differences due to generations and districts indicate that for present day Japanese people, the concept "on" tends to lose its traditional meaning and change to a more rational moral standard based on universality of human nature, inner conscience, sense of obligation, etc.