The Japanese Numbers Game: The Use and Understanding of Numbers in Modern Japan

Front Cover
Routledge, 1992 - Social Science - 209 pages
An almost obsessional use of numbers characterizes Japanese popular culture. A wide variety of numerical formulas and strategies provide the means for explaining events and solving problems occurring in everyday life. These include such matters as the choice of the name for a child, ranking in almost any game or sport, the diagnosis and cure of illness, or the decision to accept a new job.

The Japanese Numbers Gameprovides a general study of the whole field of Japanese popular numeracy. It introduces, in fascinating detail, a world of numbers in which fortune-telling, the abacus, games involving numbers as well as curious numerical names (of both people and places) illustrate a popular obsession with systems of counting, calculation, and forecasting.

No understanding of Japanese popular culture is complete without some knowledge of the use of numbers by the Japanese. Thomas Crump's meticulous exploration of the cultural roots of these attitudes makes this book essential for students of anthropology and Japanese studies.

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