, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 215–230 | Cite as

The unanimous society remarks on the generative behaviour of the Japanese society in an extraordinary year

  • Aymans G. 


The moon calendar which had been in use in Japan for centuries was officially abolished and replaced by the Gregorian calendar on 1st January, 1872. Many convictions, however, related to the old moon calendar are still very much alive, and even being revived, and their impact on social life is much greater than is generally known and understood outside Japan. One such conviction is the superstitious belif that all girls born in a 43rd year of the moon calendar, in the year of the fire-horse, will later turn out to be bad wives. The superstitious belief resulted in dramatic decrease of the birth rate in 1966, the last year of the fire-horse.

This study analyses the generative behaviour observed. It aims at a better understanding of the discrepancies which foreigners feel so difficult to understand, that is the discrepancies between thinking and doing in Japanese society. It is this problem rather than the particular facts discussed that this study is driving at. The conclusion arrived at is that the generative behaviour of Japanese society in 1966 is not so much an expression of the traditional unanimity which makes people act rather in accordance with generally accepted views than with their own individual views.

The author wishes to express his gratitude to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for supporting his field work in Japan. Although the problems dealt with inthis paper have never been the object of a direct grant, they nevertheless have arisen from studies on the background of regional developments in Japan which have been supported by the institution mentioned.


Japan Birth Rate Environmental Management Study Analysis Social Life 
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Copyright information

© Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aymans G. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Geogr.University BonnBonnFR Germany

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