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Depression in Japan:
Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress
Junko Kitanaka

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"In this beautifully nuanced book, Kitanaka documents the burgeoning of Japanese depression over the past decade. In portraying this phenomenon, she deftly draws readers into the intertwined worlds of pressure-cooker work environments, individuals suffering deep malaise who are frequently suicidal, and the compassionate but at times conflicted practice of Japanese psychiatry. Suffering individuals are medicated, but psychiatrists, exquisitely sensitive to the oppressive 'forces' of society, also politicize depression."--Margaret Lock, author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death

"This is an important ethnographic, cultural, and historical account of a crucial topic in society. Illustrative and compelling."--Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University

"Fully engaged with the scholarly literature, and steeped in detail and description, this exemplary book is clearly the product of great care and careful listening and observation. With its high quality, simplicity, and eloquence, it is bound to become the book on depression in Japan."--Adriana Petryna, University of Pennsylvania

"The management of depression in Japan differs markedly from treatments elsewhere, and this book draws out historical examples of the ways in which the nation has imagined and treated sadness and insanity. The author's findings do not conform to the familiar narratives of medicalization, in which social issues are depoliticized. Cogent and persuasive, the book offers a sophisticated analysis of a complex problem, making a major contribution to the field of medicine and mental health in Japan, and to medical anthropology and modern psychiatry."--Amy Borovoy, Princeton University

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File created: 4/18/2014

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