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Above the Clouds – Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility - California Scholarship Online
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Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility

Takie Sugiyama Lebra


This book provides an ethnographic study of the modern Japanese aristocracy. Established as a class at the beginning of the Meiji period, the kazoku ranked directly below the emperor and his family. Officially dissolved in 1947, this group of social elites is still generally perceived as nobility. The author of this book gained entry into this tightly knit circle and conducted more than one hundred interviews with its members. The text weaves together a reconstructive ethnography from their life histories to create an intimate portrait of a remote and archaic world. As the book explores the cu ... More

Keywords: Japanese aristocracy, Meiji period, kazoku, nobility, elite, social stratification, Japan, Japanese emperor

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1993 Print ISBN-13: 9780520076006
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520076006.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Takie Sugiyama Lebra, author