Privacy and Honor

in Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226894089
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226894119 | DOI:
Privacy and Honor

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When is a public allegation sufficiently interesting or painful to cause scandal? To understand the causes of scandal in Japan and the United States, it is necessary to examine how two concepts, privacy and honor, are understood in each country. In both cases, the rules provide significant clues, while at the same time illuminating more direct incentives and disincentives for scandalmongers. This chapter examines privacy through the lens of two specific areas of the law: informational privacy and the right to personal privacy. In both cases, the Japanese legal system seems extraordinarily protective, sometimes in ways that appear to express an undercurrent of national paranoia. The chapter then turns to honor, which comes with a lot of cultural baggage in Japan, focusing on the role of honor in Japan as seen in two modern and relatively concrete legal categories: insult and defamation. The rules in these two areas in Japan suggest that honor is more important there than in America and that its defense will influence scandal development to a greater extent.

Keywords: scandal; privacy; honor; Japan; United States; rules; insult; defamation

Chapter.  21605 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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