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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
ЭЛ № ФС 77 - 80772, 16+

DOI: https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2021.9.111.113

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Matveeva D.P., "ON PECULIARITIES OF OLFACTORY SELF-PRESENTATION AS A NONVERBAL ASPECT OF THE FORMATION OF THE JAPANESE ETHNOCULTURAL IDENTITY". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) № 9 (111) Part 3, (2021): 208. Tue. 21. Sep. 2021.
Matveeva, D.P. (2021). OB OSOBENNOSTYAH OLYFAKTORNOY SAMOPREZENTACII KAK NEVERBALYNOGO ASPEKTA FORMIROVANIYA YAPONSKOY ETNOKULYTURNOY IDENTICHNOSTI [ON PECULIARITIES OF OLFACTORY SELF-PRESENTATION AS A NONVERBAL ASPECT OF THE FORMATION OF THE JAPANESE ETHNOCULTURAL IDENTITY]. Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal, № 9 (111) Part 3, 208-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2021.9.111.113
Matveeva D. P. ON PECULIARITIES OF OLFACTORY SELF-PRESENTATION AS A NONVERBAL ASPECT OF THE FORMATION OF THE JAPANESE ETHNOCULTURAL IDENTITY / D. P. Matveeva // Mezhdunarodnyj nauchno-issledovatel'skij zhurnal. — 2021. — № 9 (111) Part 3. — С. 208—210. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2021.9.111.113

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ON PECULIARITIES OF OLFACTORY SELF-PRESENTATION AS A NONVERBAL ASPECT OF THE FORMATION OF THE JAPANESE ETHNOCULTURAL IDENTITY

ОБ ОСОБЕННОСТЯХ ОЛЬФАКТОРНОЙ САМОПРЕЗЕНТАЦИИ КАК НЕВЕРБАЛЬНОГО
АСПЕКТА ФОРМИРОВАНИЯ ЯПОНСКОЙ ЭТНОКУЛЬТУРНОЙ ИДЕНТИЧНОСТИ

Научная статья

Матвеева Д.П.*

ORCID: 0000-0002-6267-7397,

Московский государственный лингвистический университет, Москва, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (matveeva.daria[at]gmail.com)

Аннотация

В данной статье рассматривается место и значение основных культурно-исторических особенностей восприятия ароматов и запахов, характерных для японской культуры. Анализ основан на различных научных и публицистических работах в рамках и сравнении исторических и современных процессов, влияющих на восприятие ароматов и запахов представителями японской культуры, а также на изучении современных практик использования ароматов и запахов в различных сферах. Автор дает практическое описание использования запахов в современной Японии на повседневной основе, останавливается на некоторых особенностях использования ароматов и запахов в повседневной жизни японцев, а также обсуждает роль запахов как важного компонента для интерпретации ольфакторного фрагмента японского мировосприятия, который является неотъемлемой частью комплексного понимания национальной картины мира японского народа и его этнокультурной идентичности.

Ключевые слова: японская культура; идентичность; ароматы; запахи; ольфакторный; самопрезентация; восприятие; невербальная коммуникация.

ON PECULIARITIES OF OLFACTORY SELF-PRESENTATION AS A NONVERBAL ASPECT
OF THE FORMATION OF THE JAPANESE ETHNOCULTURAL IDENTITY

Research article

Matveeva D.P.*

ORCID: 0000-0002-6267-7397,

Moscow State Linguistic University; Moscow, Russia

* Corresponding author (matveeva.daria[at]gmail.com)

Abstract

This article examines the place and meaning of the basic cultural and historic specific features of fragrances and smells perception typical of the Japanese culture. The analysis is based on various scientific and publicistic works within the framework and comparison of historical and contemporary processes influencing the perception of fragrances and smells by the representatives of the Japanese culture as well as on the study of modern practices of fragrances and smells in various spheres. The author gives practical description of odour use in contemporary Japan on a daily basis, dwells on some peculiarities of the use of scents and smells in everyday life of Japanese as well as discusses the role of smells as an important component for the interpretation of the non-verbal fragment of the Japanese worldview which by no means comes as an integral part of the comprehensive insight into the national picture of the Japanese people and their ethno-cultural identity.

Keywords: Japanese culture; identity; smell; odour; scent; fragrance; olfactory; self-presentation; perception; nonverbal communication.

The role of olfactory behavior in the presentation of personality has been studied by cultural scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists. They emphasize that there is human olfactory behavior, olfactory communication; that odors perform a number of socio-psychological functions: first of all, they create the image of the person and control the impression [1]. The rich experience in the use of scents has shaped a certain attitude among Japanese towards scents as something high and personal at the same time; it has become part of the national character. In this regard it is important to analyze the peculiarities of the use of scents and smells by the Japanese people and the role of the former to frame the image of the nation.

The peculiarities of Japanese olfactory perception of the world around are caused by a system of historical and cultural, socio-cultural, ethno-psychological and religious factors. The modern use of aromas and smells is directly connected with historical features. Japanese culture in its early stage of development was strongly influenced by neighboring countries, especially by the Chinese culture. It was China that introduced Japan to the use of scents in religion in everyday life. As it absorbed innovations Japanese culture modeled and transformed them creating an entirely new context in which various kinds of unique Japanese art developed. For example, the inherently Japanese art of fragrance, Kodo, with its commitment to literature and the aesthetic perception of reality, has shaped the unique Japanese attitude toward the use of fragrances. In spite of the fact that this art has lost its popularity today (many Japanese don’t even know about its existence) the use of aromas has firmly entered many spheres of life of the Japanese and has acquired a pronounced regimentation [7].

The relevance of the use of a fragrance depends on the time of year, on the type of holiday or celebration, on the color of clothing. The Japanese have quite certain ideas about the change of seasons. Each of the four seasons has certain names for trees, flowers, animals and food, and therefore fragrances. The Japanese constantly surround themselves with seasonal aromas of fruits, vegetables, and plants. In winter when it is cold outside and the days are shorter the scent of yuzu (Japanese citrus), a kind of hybrid of lemon and mandarin, is widely used. Ginger is also recommended during the cold season. Mugwort, or blackthorn, is recommended in the spring. In late spring it is good to take baths with the scent of iris or pine needles. The Japanese since ancient times love the fresh summer scent of chrysanthemum, it is often used in folk medicine. The fragrance of apple, persimmon corresponds to autumn [4].

All these scents are not only added to food but also try to decorate clothes with them in everyday life, in other words, the scents help to form a certain image in each particular season of the year. Sachets, small scented cloth bags, are also quite popular. They easily fit in your hand and have a pleasant smell. For example, for the summer holiday the color of cloth sachet is chosen in the color of red yukata, after the holiday the light aroma of the sachet will always remind of it. They put the sachet in a dresser and a closet to give a special fragrance to clothes. Although the scent may be the same in the closet for a month, on the body clothes will smell differently each time depending on the weather, temperature and humidity.

There is a custom of wrapping light fixtures with scented paper depicting different patterns. Maple leaves “Momiji” are popular in the fall, and their scent will help create a cozy atmosphere in the room. Girls have popular hairpins with a tip made of scented fabric made in the form of a flower. Laces and cell phone jewelry with scented fabric inserts are widely used. The scent of the fabric corresponds to the color of the clothes, a certain season and event. Scented pillows are also used for daytime rest and sleep. There is a variety of devices for drying shoes. Many are made of fabric. For boots they are long cylindrical devices in the form of toys or dolls, for sneakers and boots they can be completely different shapes in the form of persimmons, for example [6].

Fragrance bags are also made of felt and placed in drawers of the table, in pockets of clothes. Japanese also have many different postcards for certain events. There are intricately made cards with patterns, ribbons and wires, all of which are also scented as are the envelopes.

Japanese pay a great deal of attention to packaging. Anything, even the smallest thing will be very carefully packed, sometimes in several layers of paper. Ribbons, shoelaces and paper usually have a pleasant smell, too. Paper is also chosen based on the time of year and event. For example, to celebrate the end of winter they use paper with cherry blossoms, and the atmosphere of autumn is best conveyed by images of chrysanthemum flowers, maple leaves, the moon.

On summer evenings when it is very hot and stuffy fragrant ribbons are tied to the fan. The wind flutters the ribbons and fills the room with fragrance. Scented glasses which have become popular in the West are often used. A fragrant substance is poured on a saucer or aromatic oil is poured and placed on the glass with a burning candle placed in the glass which heats the incense that exudes fragrance. Scented bookmarks, towels, curtain clips and napkins on tables are used daily. Scented oil is added to steaming water when using an iron, scented substances are poured into ashtrays, added to detergents, and added to water to humidify the air. Women carry incense in their purses. Many girls use incense not only as a source of fragrance but also as jewelry. During the Heian period (794-1192) fragrances were often given to each other as a present. At that time fragrances were composed at home according to recipes. Now many cosmetic companies, particularly Shoeido, offer ready-made kits for making fragrances at home. You can choose fabric and make your own fragrances yourself [8].

Among the connoisseurs of expensive fragrances, who are well versed in all the subtleties of incense substances, their value and purpose, there are people who are fond of collecting expensive types of incense. Some types of wood are more expensive than gold. Certain types of wood are priceless. But for some Japanese, collecting different kinds of fragrant trees is as satisfying as collecting their own wine collection. Some trees are simply very beautiful in form and color. Japanese people are interested in imagining where the tree grew, pondering its mysterious history. To become the owner of a piece of this expensive in every way incense is to visit a mysterious place, already in another life. It is comparable to tasting wine or thinking about the eternal when you look at the many rings of an age-old tree [5].

In addition to enjoying aromas Japanese know how to deal with unpleasant or undesirable smells, they are careful not only about unpleasant smells but are also very sensitive to smells that are inappropriate in this or that situation. One might say that the smell of detergents, soap, powder or air freshener is not a sign of cleanliness or coziness for them. Rather, products that absorb and eradicate odors, such as charcoal and green tea, are used rather than products that leave pleasant smells. To be sure, there are Europeanized institutions and homes today where people use air fresheners adopted in the West, but for the most part the tradition of burning incense in order to eradicate unwanted odors persists [9].

Thus, the Japanese use fragrances everywhere but they do so in such a subtle skillful careful way that it does not disturb others and at the same time helps to create a certain image.

We do not touch such a vast topic as perfumery but it should be noted that the Japanese perfumes have a specific “Japanese” fragrance – light, unobtrusive, in connection with what brands of Japanese perfume manufacturers are known all over the world: Kenzo, Shiseido, Hinoki, Yoji Yamamoto, Kanebo. However, they are more popular abroad than in Japan. The Japanese people tend to get rid of scents rather than use them. Only some lines of perfume manufacturers that are based on neutral scents are popular among Japanese.

There are also areas where scents are used on purpose. In Tokyo, for example, there are several areas that are known for cooking certain dishes: in the Shinbashi area you can smell fried poultry, in the Kanda area curry sauce dishes are popular. Some establishments use artificial food smells to attract customers. But for the most part, in public places, the Japanese try to get rid of any smells. If you go into a hotel room or an office building, there will most likely not smell anything, or there will be a slight smell of fresh flowers. It is also worth mentioning the peculiarities of their physiological structure. Compared to foreigners Japanese people have almost no body odor, with sweat as a physiological phenomenon in the Japanese having an exceptionally positive evaluation. The phrase “How you sweat!” rather means praise for good work and effort.

In conclusion it should be stated that in the Japanese culture there is a special ethical and aesthetic attitude toward the inclusion of scents and smells in the sphere of public, religious, and personal everyday life; the use of scents is strictly regulated and can be presented as an aspect of non-verbal identity. This attitude is expressed in daily routine traditions, specific symbols, images and signs of literature, art, religious and cult practices, dining culture, etc. The practical examples presented in the article are the minute part of the meaning and special use of fragrances and odours by Japanese but it evidently gives the basement for stating the fact of existence of absolute unique olfactory Japanese culture and gives the premise for further research and the need to give an overall description of this phenomenon. The associative olfactory perception of the world is connected with the visual and verbal ways of representation of the Japanese world picture in various spheres of activity and, above all, in art, literature, ceremonies and rituals. The specifics of the perception of the odor tradition in Japanese culture allows us to consider the odorological semiosphere as an integral component of sociocultural life and is by no means vital in nonverbal communication as well as in the construction of the national identity of the Japanese people.

Конфликт интересов

Не указан.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Список литературы / References

  1. Бенуа Ш. Изменчивость и универсалии в воспринимаемом пространстве запахов / Бенуа Шаал, Катрин Руби, Люк Марлье и др. // Ароматы и запахи в культуре / Сост. О. Б. Вайнштейн. – М.: НЛО, 2003. – Кн. 1. – 478.
  2. Chrea C. Culture and odor categorization: agreement between cultures depends upon the odors / C. Chrea, D. Valentin, C. Sulmont-Rosse et al. // Food Quality and Preference. – 2004. – № 15. – P. 669–679.
  3. Inaba M. Human Body Odor, Etiology, Treatment and Related factors / M. Inaba, Y. Inaba. – Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 2016. – 138.
  4. Morita K. The Book of Incense. Enjoying the Traditional Art of Japanese Scents / K. Morita. – Tokyo: Kodansha, 2019. – P. 32. – 204.
  5. Schleidt M. Cross-cultural Study on the Attitude Towards Personal Odors / M. Schleidt, B. Hold, G.A. Attili // Journal of Chemical Ecology. – 1981. – Vol. 7. – P. 75-97.
  6. かおる。ちょっとの工夫で心豊かに。日々の暮らしにひとふりのエッセンス。編集・藤城明子。-東京:大日本、2017。
  7. Pybus D. Kodo the Way of Incense / D. Pybus. – Boston.: Tuttle Publishing, 2018.
  8. 畑正高、石橋郁子。香りが語る日本文化史。香千載。-東京:光村推古書院株式会社、2009。
  9. 日本の香り。-東京:コロナブックス、2005。
  10. Moeran B. Linguistic and Social Constructions of Fragrance: Some Preliminary Thoughts on Entering the Field / B. Moeran // Working Paper 77. –Frederiksberg.: Copenhagen Business School, 2004.

Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

  1. Benua Sh. Izmenchivost’ i universalii v vosprinimaemom prostranstve zapahov [Variability and universals in the perceived space of odors] / Benua Shaal, Katrin Rubi, Ljuk Marl’e et al. // Aromaty i zapahi v kul’ture. [Fragrances and Smells in Culture] / Edited by O. B. Vajnshtejn. – M.: NLO, 2003. – Book 1. – 478 [in Russian]
  2. Chrea C. Culture and odor categorization: agreement between cultures depends upon the odors / C. Chrea, D. Valentin, C. Sulmont-Rosse et al. // Food Quality and Preference. – 2004. – № 15. – P. 669–679.
  3. Inaba M. Human Body Odor, Etiology, Treatment and Related factors / M. Inaba, Y. Inaba. – Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 2016. – 138.
  4. Morita K. The Book of Incense. Enjoying the Traditional Art of Japanese Scents / K. Morita. – Tokyo: Kodansha, 2019. – P. 32. – 204.
  5. Schleidt M. Cross-cultural Study on the Attitude Towards Personal Odors / M. Schleidt, B. Hold, G.A. Attili // Journal of Chemical Ecology. – 1981. – Vol. 7. – P. 75-97.
  6. K Tyotto no kuufuu de kokoroyutaka ni. Hibi no kurasi ni hitofuri no essense. [Kaoru. Enrich your heart with a little ingenuity. A sprinkle of essence in your daily life] // Edited by Akiko Fujishiro. –Tokyo : Dainippon, 2017. [in Japanese]
  7. Pybus D. Kodo the Way of Incense / D. Pybus. – Boston.: Tuttle Publishing, 2018.
  8. Kaori ga kataru nihonbunkasi. Kaorisenzai. [The history of Japanese culture as told by fragrance. Kaori Senzai] // Masataka Hata, Ikuko Ishibashi. – Tokyo: Komura Suiko Shoin Company, 2009. [in Japanese]
  9. Nihon no kaori [Japanese fragrances] // – Tokyo: Korona Books. [in Japanese]
  10. Moeran B. Linguistic and Social Constructions of Fragrance: Some Preliminary Thoughts on Entering the Field / B. Moeran // Working Paper 77. –Frederiksberg.: Copenhagen Business School, 2004.

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