Description: The most important long-term political forces operative in the Japanese political system are the interplay of decentralized community authority and the consolidation of that authority toward the top. The mura kyodotai (village community) concept is representative of both types of authority, neither of which has defined boundaries. An examination of the nature of indigenous community authority may provide the broad context for a valid understanding of Japanese decision making. Under the ideal of this order, Japanese political organization has valued the structure of Shinto: polytheistic local authority, plus conflated authority of church and state. Buddhism and Confucianism have provided direction and moral force to preserve traditional order.
Date: May 1984
Creator: Bradley, James E. (James Earl)