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Taibatsu: 'Corporal punishment' in Japanese socio-cultural context

Publication Authors: 
Miller, Aaron L.
Publication Year: 
Publication Journal: 
Japan Forum, 21: 2, 233 — 254. DOI: 10.1080/09555801003679140

This article grounds perceptions and perspectives of taibatsu (‘corporal punishment’) in the Japanese socio-cultural context in order to better understand why and how it is used in schools and sports. By discussing how people define taibatsu and the various perspectives from which they decide their definitions, this article illustrates the importance of socio-cultural context in analyzing contemporary social practices. By laying out the various perspectives held about the meaning of taibatsu today in relation to other important Japanese concepts,e.g. b¯oryoku (violence), shid¯o (guidance), shitsuke (discipline), gyakutai (abuse),kibishii (strict), seishin (spirit), konj¯o (guts), this article also puts forward the argument that taibatsu is a multi-vocal symbol.

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