Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 153–163 | Cite as

A transformation of ritual: The nisei 60th birthday

  • Mary L. Doi
Ethnic Diversity in Aging and Aging Services in the U.S.


Rituals are enactments of shared meanings, norms, and values. The kanreki, a traditional Japanese rite of passage to old age at 60, is now being celebrated by Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans). This paper examines the transformation of the Japanese rite of passage to a collective response among the Nisei to the dilemmas of growing older in urban America.

Key Words

aging ethnicity Japanese Americans Nisei ritual 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References Cited

  1. Embree, J. 1939 Suye Mura: A Japanese Village. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Gardner, R., B. Robey, and P. Smith 1985 Asian Americans: Growth, Change, and Diversity. Population Bulletin 40(4):1–43.Google Scholar
  3. Geertz, C. 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Hosokawa, B. 1969 Nisei: The Quiet Americans. New York: William Morrow and Company.Google Scholar
  5. Iijima, Y. 1987 Folk Culture and the Liminality of Children. Current Anthropology. 28(4):S41-S48.Google Scholar
  6. Japanese American Citizens League and the National Institute of Mental Health 1976 Report of Nisei Retirement Planning Conference. San Francisco.Google Scholar
  7. Joya, M. 1958 Things Japanese. Tokyo: Tokyo News Service, Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Kiefer, C.W. 1974 Changing Cultures, Changing Lives. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Kitagawa, D. 1974 Issei and Nisei: The Internment Years. New York: The Seabury Press.Google Scholar
  10. Nydegger, C. 1986 Age and Life-Course Transitions. In New Methods for Old Age Research. C.L. Fry and J. Keith, eds. Pp. 131–161. South Hadley, MA: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  11. Osako, M. 1979 Aging and Family Among Japanese Americans: The Role of Ethnic Tradition in the Adjustment to Old Age. The Gerontologist 19:448–455.Google Scholar
  12. Plath, D. 1972 Japan: The After Years. In Aging and Modernization. D. Cowgill and L. Holmes, eds. Pp. 133–150. New York: Appelton-Century Crofts.Google Scholar
  13. Yamamoto, H. 1988 Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. Latham, NY: Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary L. Doi
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Development and Aging Program University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations