A paper by Assistant Professor Masataka Nakayama and Professor Yukiko Uchida, entitled “Meaning of awe in Japanese (con) text: Beyond fear and respect,” has been published in the online version of Psychologia
A paper by Assistant Professor Masataka Nakayama and Professor Yukiko Uchida, entitled “Meaning of awe in Japanese (con) text: Beyond fear and respect,” has been published in the online version of Psychologia.
When looking up at the starry sky and feeling the beauty and grandeur of nature, or when afraid and trembling at the sight of natural threats as earthquakes and typhoons, our views on life and the world change. Emotions experienced through such encounters are studied under the term “Awe.” However, such research has been centered in Europe and the United States, and little is known about how Awe emotions are influenced by culture. It has been unclear whether the meaning of Awe is culturally universal, more specifically, whether it is same as the meanings of the Japanese words “畏怖”, “畏敬”, and “畏れ”.
In this paper, a large-scale Japanese corpus was analyzed using a method called topic model, and the meanings of awe-related words were estimated. In particular, compared with the meaning of synonyms such as “fear (恐怖)” and “respect (敬い)”, it was shown that Japanese awe-related words have different meanings and represent feelings beyond mere fear and respect. It was also indicated that the meaning is an emotional concept that is unique; a mingling of fear and respect taking an intermediate position between such two feelings.
This paper is open access and can be read using the link below.
Nakayama, M., & Uchida, Y. (2020). Meaning of awe in Japanese (con) text: Beyond fear and respect. Psychologia. 62(1)