“The Japanese, in other words, are more rooted and socially connected, and even when they move around, they make an effort to get to know each other. This builds social capital which, as Robert Putnam found inBowling Alone, eventually builds economic capital. What people in Britain generally call “the broken society” is in fact a collapse in social capital, from disconnected neighbourhoods to desocialised children.”
“… Anthropologists speak of Japan as a “shame culture,” as opposed to a “guilt culture,” meaning that people are constrained to behave themselves properly by an aversion to being judged negatively by those around them, rather than internalizing a moral imperative. … most contemporary Japanese have internalized a deep respect for private property, that is manifested in a ritual of modern life for children, one which we might do well to emulate. When a child finds a small item belonging to another person, even a one yen coin, a parent takes the child to the local koban and reports lost property. As chronicled by T.R. Reid in his wonderful book about living in Tokyo, Confucius Lives Next Door, the police do not resent this as a waste of time but rather see it as part of moral education, solemnly filling out the appropriate forms, thanking the child and telling him or her if the owner does not appear to claim the item, it will revert to the finder after a certain period of time.”
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