The Heart of Japanese
The anatomy of dependence
The discovery that a major concept of human feeling - easily expressed
in everyday Japanese - totally resisted translation into a Western language
led Dr. Takeo Doi to explore and define anarea of the psyche which has previously
receivedlittle attention. The resulting essay, The Anatomy of Dependence, is one of
themost penetrating analyses of the Japanese mind ever written, as well as
an important original contribution to psychology which transcends the boundaries
of cultures and nation.
Publishd in Japan as Amae no Kozo（The Structure of Amae）, Dr. Doi's work is
focused upon the word "amae"（indulgence）and its related vocabulary. Expressive
of an emotion central to the Japanese experience, "amae" refers to the indulging,
passive love which surrounds and supports the individual in a group,
whether family, neighborhood, or the world at large. Considering the lack of
such words in Western languages, Dr.Doi suggests inherent differences between
the two cultures - contrasting the ideal of self-reliance with those of
interdependence and the indulgence of weaknesses. Yet, he finds that Western
audiences have no difficulty in recognizing and identifying with the emotions
he describes, and are even searching for a way to express this need.
While there is no doubt that the concept of "amae" is more developed in Japan and
the feelings it engenders more profound, Dr. Doi' work has already been recognized
as having a universal application. This translation of his most important essay
will be welcomed as a major contribution - not only as an insight into
the Japanese mind, but into the minds of men everywhere.