The Journal of Japanese Studies



Becoming a Cucumber: Culture, Nature, and the Good Death
in Japan and the United States

Interview responses of patients, family members, and health care professionals and observations in health care settings in Japan and the United States are analyzed to better understand ideas that define a good death.  This article compares how Americans and Japanese classify causes of death, the timing and place of dying, and questions of pain and burden.  Although people in both countries define a good death in broadly similar ways, their metaphors are derived from culturally constructed views of  “nature” and of what it means to be human.  Such notions do not determine how people actually die, but are the lens through which people interpret their own dying and that of others.

Volume 29, Number 1 (Winter 2003)
© 2003 Society for Japanese Studies


Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
The Journal of Japanese Studies
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