Like those of business and management studies, methodological and theoretical contributions of anthropology to the study of family business cannot be ignored. This article elucidates three interconnected themes relating to the development and practices of business anthropology and family ideology in Japan. It also looks at how the family ideology in Japanese business first described and explained by anthropologists has been taken up by those with an interest in the Japanese industrial system, but working in field of management and business studies without any particular specialization in "things Japanese." Their research often relies on second than first-hand knowledge, and can therefore be misleading. The author points to the perceived connections between the traditional household system, not just family ideology, and modern economic relations. He reminds us that what distinguishes anthropology from other disciplines is that anthropology stresses the importance of clarifying the difference between what people say about what they do and what they actually do. Anthropologists pay more attention to the latter rather than to the former.