Studies of Japan and the Japanese have tended to deal in large proportion with phenomena and problems of the nation as a whole rather than with its component parts. In contrast, community studies focus upon some of the smallest social units of a nation. Community studies have been attempted as an approach to understanding Japan and the Japanese only recently and by relatively few foreign scholars. Moreover, even though a recent survey of work done by the Japanese lists 126 localities from which data at the community level have been gathered, no fully rounded community study has yet been finished by Japanese social scientists. Western scholars, following beaten paths, simply have not ventured into communities for small scale studies, whereas in the case of the Japanese the partial intellectual isolation which delayed the arrival of some of the concepts basic to community studies seems largely responsible for the low returns from so much field research.

You do not currently have access to this content.