Paper on Gift-Giving in Japan

Never before have I considered the complexity and calculation of gift giving.When holidays and birthdays came around, I made my typical trip to the local mall and bought whatever I thought another could use as a present to him or her.If I was going to a wedding, I'd get a blender; Valentine's Day, chocolates; my father's birthday, a new tie.But after reading Gift-Giving in Japan by Katherine Rupp, I see how amazingly calculating a present can be and the sheer repercussions of such a gift. In Japan, they can strengthen or cutoff relationships, establish or demolish hierarchies in a family, and promote or weaken a husband's position at a company.With such vital consequences on the line, I find it ironic that in a system that looks at women as subordinate to men, such a crucial job would be laid upon the feet of women.I have decided to write this paper on the important roles women play in their husbands' careers, their families' positions in the community, and the families' places in their clans.
With mens' relationships being of paramount value, especially in the work place, the role women play in molding a smooth relationship between worker and boss is extremely important.Through the exchange of gifts from wives of workers to their husbands' boss, the wife must convey appreciation for good treatment while at the same time respecting the authority with whom she is giving a gift to.As Rupp puts it: "It is women who must explicitly acknowledge the higher status of the other person and ask for that person's continued favor and assistance (161)." Women must not only give gifts on behave of their husbands, but also on behave of their children.
Through this exchange of gifts in the workplace, women not only give gifts to superior men, but to other women.Knowing that men bring home these gifts to their wives, an interesting dynamic is established.No longe…

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