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Giri and Ninjou

Important moral

Giri refers to the many social obligations which are needed for smooth relations in Japan’s vertical society. As such, giri is the moral duty to fulfill obligations and repay favors received, and to fail to meet the requirements of giri is seen as a majour moral shortcoming. In contrast, ninjou encompasses those all-too human feelings and inclinations that we all share. It is only natural that giri and ninjou should come into conflict at times, and in Japan giri has most often taken precedence over ninjou.

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