Expectations in Specific Relationships
Turning to the expectations in specific relationships, a meager vocabulary appears on my list, but the terms used refer to some that are quite central where they apply.
The first of these, shibana , refers to a role where the statuses (and there are rarely or never kinsmen in this relationship) of the participants include expectations that are unique among those in the community. The male par-
ticipants (women seem never to have this relationship) can ask each other for anything without haya ("shyness," see below) and can take each other's food or money without asking permission. Such freedom with other's possessions cannot, informants tell me, cause a quarrel in a role characterized in this way. The relationship is one that grows up slowly over a long period between men who get on with and trust one another.
This relationship is a rare one. It was only after much inquiry that I was able to get a single example of it, and subsequent searching has revealed only one other. The fact that the shibana relationship rarely occurs, however, should not obscure the important ideals and expectations it entails. The rarity of the Western honest man, disinterested party, or unbiased judge does not lessen the broader implications of the understandings forming those statuses, and the same is true of the shibana relationship. It serves, I suspect, to underline the nature of expectations in ordinary men's relationships by its contrast with them. Every man I talked to about this relationship knew what it was and what its expectations are even if they could think of no participants.
The fact that shibana, with its broad expectations and mutual accessibility, is so rare and difficult of attainment emphasizes the markedly different and much narrower expectations in more common relations between unrelated men. Knowing the expectations in the shibana relationship and its rarity does not ensure conformity to comparable and opposite expectations in other men's relationships, but it certainly calls attention to them. This is especially so as concerns the potential shame arising from being free with another man's confidence and possessions.
Women, whose possessions are closely controlled (ideally, at least) by their male kin, could not easily be in a relationship whose central expectations specifically concern the use of possessions. Perhaps important, however, is the fact that shibana-like freedom is more characteristic of relations between women in areas not concerning the free use of possessions. The expectations in women's relations with one another allow, sometimes require, that they embrace each other, shout together in joy and anger, hurl insults, dance together, and gossip. Shibana-like lack of restriction is not unusual in the expectations in many women's relations, and it would not offer a sharp contrast as it does to what is common in relations involving men.