This thesis compared the nature of friendship among American and Japanese college students of both sexes. The process of making and keeping friends, the characteristics of friendship, and the potential causes of the break-up of friendship were explored with a 75-item, paper-and-pencil questionnaire. The respondents were fellow college students at Waseda University in Tokyo while I was studying there during 2012-13, numbering 32 Japanese (18 women and 14 men) and 32 Americans (17 women and 15 men). The research questions were: (1) Within a given culture, either American or Japanese, are there differences between men and women in their friendship dynamics? (2) Are there any cultural contrasts in the nature of friendship between Americans and Japanese? and (3) If there are indeed some differences of either variety, what is the nature of the disparities? In total, 14 statistically significant results were discovered: six divergences between the two sexes (three each for the two groups, Americans and Japanese) and eight cultural contrasts. Attentiveness, placidity, and attractiveness were at issue between the American men and women, while togetherness, serious conversation, and the scope of social connections were dividing factors for the Japanese. The cultural contrasts consisted of the ways of finding a friend, the qualities sought for in friends, and the experience of friendship dissolution.
This thesis discusses the evolution of ballroom dance throughout the Meiji and Taisho eras. It analyzes the purpose and uses of ballroom dance in Japanese society and the effect it created among the Japanese elite and middle-classes.
China's National College Entrance Examination system (NCEE) is the driving force behind the Chinese education system as a whole. This single test is not only a determinant of an examinees future, but also guides the entire country's education system and curriculum while encouraging many traditional Chinese beliefs. In theory the test simply serves to filer students into appropriate colleges using a high-stakes testing system. However, in practice the NCEE serves as a lens through which the Chinese culture looks. This high-stakes testing system has created social urgency and fever surrounding education and college admission. As a single predictor of success and the only factor in college admissions, intense competition and pressure is created in Chinese society. Though the culture created the test, the test is in some respects also shaping the culture.
My thesis focuses on the traditional Japanese kimono and the influences of this clothing form on Japanese society and fashion, and Western fashion. I address the following questions: How has the kimono affected Japanese society, both in terms of form and meaning? How have kimono design and aesthetics influenced contemporary haute couture designers in Japan? How have these contemporary Japanese designers changed perspectives on Western fashion perspectives? And finally, how has the evolution of the kimono contributed to consumer culture and social capital in Japan today?