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:

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This chapter focuses on one type of scandal: scandal involving groups. Japan has a long history of encouraging self-governance by groups. That trait generally fosters secrets and leads to a reliance on private rules over contradictory public ones. The eventual public revelation of these secret breaches of law or norms results in scandal. The chapter divides “groups” in four ways: corporate scandals, major scandals involving educational institutions, minority- and race-related scandals, and religious scandals. The Japanese legal system promotes private ordering, shifting wide decision-making and governing power from the government to private, self-regulating groups. Three modern instances illuminate the character of state-sponsored private ordering in Japan: large-scale retail stores, the legislative process, and religion. The chapter looks generally at Japanese state encouragement of self-governance to get at the underpinnings of a Japanese proverbial approach to scandal: “if it stinks, put a lid on it.”

Keywords: scandals; Japan; United States; groups; self-governance; corporate scandals; religious scandals; private ordering; retail stores; religion

Chapter.  25891 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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