Facing Norms

The world we face is structured by norms, and all communication follows norms. Many norms we are conscious of, others we adhere to unconsciously, and then there are the norms we are perfectly aware of but choose not to obey. Norms are characterised by mechanisms that keep them in place and seek to prevent them changing, but in many cases they originate in deliberate decisions taken by some agent, for instance a ministry of education or a person of respect whose lifestyle or authority we feel happy to follow. Thus the understanding of norms and their distribution within a society, and the mechanisms that either try to keep norms in place, or fuel efforts to overcome norms, are essential aspects of acting within a framework such as the one given by the use of the Japanese language.  

For the translation into German of the poems on the Four Seasons in the Kokin Wakashû see below

Gibt es spezifisch japanische Ausdrucksformen? (1990)

Between individual expression and the pressure of (national) norms

Limits of Tolerance (1993, 2002)

People are individuals but norms cannot easily be breached

Das Erziehungsideal des "guten Japaners". Zur Rolle der umstrittenen Fächer "Tugend" und "Gesellschaft"(1990)    

      Part 1                        How norms are shaped

     Part 2                        Being a member of "society"

     Part 3                        Being taught self-cultivation            


     Part 4                        What is a "good Japanese"?

Killing Motivation (2011)

Normative concepts of life

How Japanese Teenagers Cope: Social Pressures and Personal Responses (2004) (.version 2)

The power of social pressure

Ahnen in einer buddhistisch geprägten Kultur (2010) (.version 2)

Buddhism gives legitimacy to concepts structuring life

Menschenbildung von der niemand spricht - die "Aufnahmeprüfungsvorbereitungsindustrie" (1999)
(.version 2)

The role of prep-schools in the forming of young people's personality

Pädagogischer Takt in Japan  (Wer sorgt für einen gelingenden Lernprozess?) (2015) (.version 2)


Zu- und Abneigung im Japanischen (1991) (.version 2)

How to deal with emotions

Was Studenten über die Eheschliessung denken - Betrachtungen zur Uebersetzbarkeit japanischer Texte (2003)

Understanding the world in terms of typologies

"Unser Autoleben" - Wie man in Japan über Autos spricht (2003)

Playful ways of establishing life-course norms

不安の克服 家庭教育と異文化間理解 Together with Christoph Morgenthaler (2010)

Overcoming anxiety - Family education and inter-cultural understanding

異世代間コミュニケーションと異文化間コミュニケーション (2006)

Learning communication also means learning about communicative rules, in society at large and in sub-cultures. Rules are shaped by cultural narratives and acquired to a high degree at the time of being a young adult

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

1. Einführung

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

2. Frühling - Erster Teil

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

3. Frühling - Zweiter Teil

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

4. Sommer

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

5. Herbst - Erster Teil

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

6. Herbst - Zweiter Teil

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

7. Winter

Kokin Wakashû - Die Vier Jahreszeiten

8. Angaben und Nachwort