Monday, January 17, 2011

Will Miss #277 - Japanese psychological concepts

My university degree is in psychology, so my interest in Japan is squarely rooted in the complexities of behavior in this country. One of the most fascinating things is how a particular culture views mental health problems. There are concepts and problems in Japan which have terms which we would not consider serious issues in the United States. These differences reflect cultural priorities. A few examples are ‘fear of one’s own glance’ (jiko-shisen-kyofu) and "amae". This is when someone tries to induce another person to look after them and it happens because of the extended dependence Japanese have on their caregivers. Another is "hikikomori" or social isolation.

I will miss these interesting cultural reflections of psychological issues and how they are regarded and created in Japan.