Understanding xenia, the Greek concept of ritual hospitality, is important to understanding the basis of many, many conflicts in Greek Mythology. Hospitality is something that only sort of vaguely turns up in modern Western culture, though a reflection of it can be seen in Southern hospitality. TVtropes has some great examples of Sacred Hospitality in media (mostly in literature and mythology, not surprisingly).

Any and all guests are to be given food and a bed, and otherwise treated well and with respect, sometimes going to extents beyond what might be reasonably expected. Generally speaking, a host might provide basic amenities, but it might also extend to protection against physical harm (can be seen in the Biblical story of Lot and the angels). Medieval Sanctuary or the Right of Asylum are similar concepts, though they apply to different sorts of people (generally criminals or persecuted individuals).

To understand how one might juggle the responsibilities of host, guest, and the bonds that are created through sharing of hospitality, I’m also examining the pillars or moral character, found in Japanese society (they’re a little easier to relate to and have more recent examples in media — like movies and anime and stuff). Similar concepts of moral and honorable obligation can be found in certain genres of Chinese literature.