By Abito Ito; Kokusai Kyōiku Jōhō Sentā
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Extra info for Aspects of Japanese culture and society : an anthropologist's view / [written and prepared by Ito Abito]
And just as people seek, thus, to relate hobbies and skills back to human relationships again, so one frequently hears expressions suggesting that human relationships can, conversely, be seen in educational terms. Common expressions suggest that there is much to be learnt and gained from the process of mutual "rubbing-off of corners" in relations with friends and acquaintances. " Not only personal contacts, but participation in meetings, conferences, and the like is often expected to have some educational significance; particularly with conferences within an organization, attendance is considered a valuable opportunity to learn about the organization as it is at present, or to study how the organization or system is run.
This is true even nowadays in small, traditionally inclined towns in the provinces; for example, a business will have an accurate picture of its customers in each of the small villages in agricultural areas around the town, remembering in detail the makeup of families, the nature of their work, and their taste in goods. In recent years, such data have begun to be stored in computers, but an elderly business head may still remember the details of as many as five hundred households. 30 The way dealings are carried out and the nature of relations with regular customers differ, of course, depending on the product.
Pupils who have reached a certain level of attainment are given a diploma and permitted to use one Chinese character from the master's artistic name in his or her own artistic name. The diplomas are divided into a large number of ranks, the level of the position and diploma given to the pupil being determined by artistic attainment. The pupil then establishes his or her own studio and solicits pupils in turn; this serves to spread the influence of the school as a whole. In other words, there is a centralized, hierarchical structure - which also spreads to many different areas -- with the iemoto at its center and peak and, below him or her, any number of descending grades down to the beginner pupil.