A student of cultural patterns has given us, in this provacative and unusual book, the first sociological interpretation of the Japanese which gives us insight into their conduct of life, their attitudes and behaviours- factors which make the Japanese what they are- in terms the layman can understand, In the process of this interpretation, she effects much which may seem contradictory by western standards, coordinates their military, political, family patterns. In war, as throughout their culture, there is the high value placed on hierarchy, the dominance of the traditional over the material, the importance of ""honor"" and ""face"". In their social structure, there is the inviolable stress on olan, on caste, on class. Other primordials are the ""debt to the past"" and its repayment, the drastic sense of duty, obligation, piety, with the reverence for ancestral and parental priorities instilled early in the child. The highest law, the Emperor's ""chu"", which made their defeat unquestioned once the Emperor had announced it; the physical pleasures which, while not condemned, are subordinated to the serious things of life; the children, source of prestige rather than pleasure, and so on. An illuminating interpretation- of immediate import and permanent value. The author's unquestioned position in the field of anthropology, author of Race, Science and Politics (Viking) gives the book a note of authority in a disputed field.