Uchi

One part of a binary, it has long been asserted as a major structuring principle of Japanese society.

Uchi describes a located perspective: the in-group, the us-facing group of the world {it is} a center of belonging and attachment…Uchi defines who you are through shaping the language, the use of space, and social interactions. Uchi instantly implies the drawing of boundaries between us and them, self and other…

Depending on the context Uchi can be any in-group: company, school, club, nation.

Uchi is not, however, simply home or inside but a circle of attachment; a locus of identity. It is often engendered by reference to its antipode, Soto. To be sure, any society provides a shifting set of associations for its members; ones that can be defined variously, in terms of geographic, historical, genetic, social, moral,  economic and political membership. However, in Japan, the fact that nearly all social relations are defined and evaluated in terms of belongingness and difference is important in understanding the structure, logic, and meanings of societal activity. This, we would argue, comma is no less true on Japanse TV.

- Japan’s Televisual Discourses

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Todd Joseph, Miles Hodlen and Timothy J. Scrase

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