The KJ Method: A Technique for Analyzing Data Derived from Japanese Ethnology
This essay is a discussion of the KJ method developed by a Japanese ethnologist, Jiro Kawakita. A brief biography of Kawakita and the history of the KJ method is described. The KJ method was developed as a result of having difficulties in interpreting ethnographic data in Nepal. The KJ method builds upon Charles Pierce's notions of abduction and relies upon intuitive non-logical thinking processes. Kawakita's methods were developed and diffused throughout Japanese management and educational circles. Kawakita believes that his methodology has the potential of liberating humanity from the mechanistic philosophy imposed by Western Civilization. The KJ method, according to Kawakita has universal applicability and does not only conform to Japanese culture and management decision-making processes which are generally based on the group-orientation model. This simplistic group-orientation model of Japanese society is being criticized by anthropologists such as Harumi Befu. Kawakita argues that human nature is universal, and that the KJ method, as a means of decision-making can be utilized in all societies throughout the world to implement social and economic development.
Scupin, Raymond, "The KJ Method: A Technique for Analyzing Data Derived from Japanese Ethnology" (1997). Faculty Scholarship. 32.