About “language, music, sounds of nature” that Westerners and Japanese respond to in their brains.


◎ Westerners:

・Language→left brain

・Music, sounds of nature→right brain


◎ Japanese:

・Language, music (Japanese musical instruments), sounds of nature→left brain

・Music (Western musical instruments)→right brain


〈Interests to consider in the future〉

◎About that Japanese musical instruments are devised in order to produce sounds that are close to natural sounds

◎About that Japanese keep Suzumushi (Bell Cricket) indoors and enjoy their chirping.

◎About that Japanese love Furin (wind bell).



About the difference in the functions of the left and right brains of Westerners and Japanese, as well as the difference in perception and recognition.


The difference between Westerners and Japanese regarding how their brains are used is not a question of superiority or inferiority. What I'm trying to do here is, by throwing light on the “difference” between them in perception, to carefully explore where the essential factors of their perceptive and cultural differences lie, and to deeply understand the other people’s words and behaviors beyond national and ethnic differences.


Tadanobu Tsunoda, professor emeritus at Tokyo Medical and Dental University who has studied the brain of Japanese, makes the following observations in his book “The Brain of Japanese with Japanese as their mother language”.


Japanese treat ideas fields such as logic, emotion and nature together in the left brain. On the other hand, the brain of Westerners has separate ideas fields, such as the left brain for logic and the right brain for emotions and nature. From this, it seems that Japanese develop their thoughts and culture in a way that integrates logic, emotion, and nature, while Westerners develop their thoughts and culture by separationg logic from emotion and nature. 



Akikazu Nakamura, Harmonic Tone:A cultural Note of Sound, Language and Body, Shunjusha, November 1, 2010.


Tadanobu Tsunoda, The Brain of Japanese with Japanese as their mother language: Reason・Sensitivity・Emotion, Science of Time and the Earth, Gensosha, April 15, 2016.












倍音 音・ことば・身体の文化誌