The Institute of Statistical Mathematics has been performing a longitudinal survey on Japanese national character since 1953. Beginning in 1971, this survey was expanded to include cross-national comparative surveys as well as surveys on people of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast and Brazil. The main focus of the cross-national survey is the comparison of social values, ways of thinking and feeling, and other relevant aspects of people from various nations. Another important purpose of our study is to investigate the conditions under which meaningful cross-national comparability of social survey data is guaranteed. In the introduction to this special issue, we explain our research paradigm, which we refer to as ‘cultural manifold analysis (CULMAN),' discuss methodological problems of cross-national surveys and give an overview of our past surveys. Finally, we provide some comments on our future research.
The objective of this paper is to study the variability of peoples' basic social values as reflected in data from our past surveys on national character. Among other issues, I focus on trust systems in order to explore which aspects of sense of trust are stable and which aspects are variable under longitudinal changes in economic or political conditions. First, I explain peoples' general response tendencies based on our survey on national character, which is a key to the understanding of our survey data in the context of cross-national comparisons. Secondly, I summarize some aspects of people's sense of interpersonal trust from our longitudinal survey of Japanese national character. Thirdly, I present cross-national comparisons of interpersonal and institutional trust as well as some basic social values based on our past surveys, including surveys of seven-countries (Japan, USA and five European countries), the East Asia Values Survey (EAVS) (2002-2005) and the Asia-Pacific Values Survey (APVS) (2004-2008). The results show that East Asian countries have already departed from traditional Confucianism and that people share more common social values beyond the distinction of East and West. Fourthly, I present an overview of data on Japanese immigrants in Brazil, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast in order to study the interaction between the environment and ethnicity. Fifthly, I provide some comments for our future research.
Few studies on international politics have examined people's values, especially through use of cross-national analysis, although a country's foreign policy may reflect the values held by the public. The present paper examines results of the Asia-Pacific Values Survey and analyzes Asia-Pacific people's attitudes and values regarding international politics. Our focus is on three sets of items regarding people's attitude toward Japan, confidence in the United Nations, and ideology. First, we analyze response data for those items separately. Then, by applying Hayashi's Quantification Method III, we show that countries/areas in the Asia-Pacific region may be classified into three clusters or cultural spheres. This result presents an illustration of cultural manifold analysis (CULMAN) of international politics.
In the present paper, we focused on religion and religiosity using data that had been obtained from the Seven Nations Comparative Survey, the East Asia Values Survey, and the Asia and Pacific Values Survey. In Japan, only about 30% of the population have a religious faith, and this percentage is the lowest among developed countries. On the other hand, 70% think that having a religious mind is important. If we presume that people who either claim to have a specific religious faith or say that religious mind in a generic sense is important as being more or less positive to religion, then we could say that the proportion of people who feel positively about religion in Japan is comparable to that in most other countries. While attempts have been made to investigate the meaning of the term “religious mind” with relatively small data sets in Japan (Hayashi, F. 2007), it is also true that “religiosity” — which carries a different meaning than “religion” as an object of worship — is now being debated in Western countries, too. In this paper, we analyze whether the “religious mind” is a distinctive property of the Japanese or if there is a similar sort of attitude in the West using an international and comparative data set.
The study represents an effort to develop a model of multi-ethnic-culture in Honolulu, a city without an ethnic majority based upon sample surveys of voters in urban sectors of the Island of Oahu in 1988 and 2000. I propose this Ha model of a city where the first African American US President was born and reared. After reporting on a comparative analysis based on Quantification III of Honolulu residents with that of Americans at large, I conclude that the model calls for people to be modest in insisting on their own points of view, taking other ethnic cultures and environment including religious beliefs into consideration in any social interaction and in being relativistic rather than absolutist. That in return may require one to be in harmony or lokahi and being inclusive or ho‘opili pu, as indigenous Kanaka Maoli would put it. It is a viable model for the community of Honolulu's multi-ethnic composition and dynamics if it is to exist peacefully.
No alien land in all the world has any deep, strong charm for me but that one; no other land could so longingly and beseechingly haunt me sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done... its balmy airs... can feel the spirit of its woodland solitude; I can hear the path of its brooks... In my nostrils still lives the breath of a flower that perished twenty years ago. ∼Mark Twain∼