Using a qualitative, interview-based approach, Kim investigates how conflicting identities and social marginalization affect the mental health of members of the ethnic Korean minority living in Japan. So-called “Zainichi” Koreans living in Japan have a higher suicide rate than native Japanese, or than any other ethnic group within Japan, a country which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Considering themselves neither truly Korean nor wholly Japanese, they are mainly descendants of immigrants who came to Japan during the colonial period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kim explores the challenges facing these individuals, including the dilemmas of ethnic education, the discrimination against them by mainstream society, and the consequent impacts on their mental health. An insightful read both for scholars of Japanese culture and society and for anthropologists and sociologists with an interest in the effects of marginalization on ethnic minority citizens more broadly.
Using a qualitative, interview-based approach, Kim investigates how conflicting identities and social marginalization affect the mental health of members of the ethnic Korean minority living in Japan. So-called "Zainichi" Koreans living in Japan have a higher suicide rate than native Japanese, or than any other ethnic group within Japan, a country which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Considering themselves neither truly Korean nor wholly Japanese, they are mainly descendants of immigrants who came to Japan during the colonial period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kim explores the challenges facing these individuals, including the dilemmas of ethnic education, the discrimination against them by mainstream society, and the consequent impacts on their mental health. An insightful read both for scholars of Japanese culture and society and for anthropologists and sociologists with an interest in the effects of marginalization on ethnic minority citizens more broadly.
The recent manifestation of exclusionism in Japan has emerged at a time of intensified neoliberal economic policies, increased cross-border migration brought on by globalization, the elevated threat of global terrorism, heightened tensions between East Asian states over historical and territorial conflicts, and a backlash by Japanese conservatives over perceived historical apologism. The social and political environment for minorities in Japan has shifted drastically since the 1990s, yet many studies of Japan still tend to view Japan through the dominant discourses of “ethnic homogeneity (tanitsu minzoku shakai)” and “middle-class society (so ̄churyu ̄-shakai)” which positions the exclusion of minorities as an exceptional phenomenon. While exclusionism has been recognized as a serious threat to minority groups, it has not often been considered a representative issue for the whole of Japanese society. This tendency will persist until the discourses of tanitsu minzoku shakai and so ̄churyu ̄-shakai are systematically debunked and Japan is widely recognized as both multiethnic and socio-economically stratified. Today, as with most advanced capitalist countries, serious social divides occasioned by the impacts of globalization and neoliberalism have destabilized Japanese society. This book explores not only how Japanese society is diversified and unequal, but also how diversity and inequality have caused people to divide into separate realities from which conflict and violence have emerged. It empirically examines the current situation while considering the historical development of exclusionism from the interdisciplinary viewpoints of history, policy studies, cultural studies, sociology and cultural anthropology. In addition to analyzing the realities of division and exclusionism, the authors propose theoretical alternatives to overcome such cultural and social divides.
Mental health, including widespread depression, a high suicide rate and institutionalisation, is a major problem in Japan. At the same time, the mental health care system in Japan has historically been more restrictive than elsewhere in the world. This book looks at the challenges of mental health care in Japan, including problems such as the institutionalisation of long-term patients in mental hospitals. The book discusses the latest legislation to deal with mental health care, and explores the various ideas and practices concerning rehabilitation into the workforce, the community and service user groups that empower the mentally ill. It goes on to look at the social stigma attached to the mentally ill in Japan and Britain, which touches upon the issue of counselling those with post traumatic stress after the recent earthquake.
After Japan's defeat in August 1945, some Japanese children were abandoned in China and raised by Chinese foster parents. They were unable to return to Japan even during the mass repatriation carried out by the Japanese government in the 1950s. Most of them returned to Japan in the 1980s. They are called Japanese war orphans. They are victims of the Sino-Japanese War and have been exploited and abandoned by the Japanese government. They are also "border people" who have lived in the interstices between two nations, China and Japan, and are migrants who have exploited the gap in economic development between Japan and China to seek individual happiness. Modern East Asia underwent drastic social change. These drastic social changes affected the lives of the Japanese war orphans and their families in a variety of ways. Over the years, Zhong has interviewed Japanese war orphans, their Chinese foster parents, and Japanese volunteers. The title is an interview-based sociological study of the issue of Japanese war orphans. The first half of the Japanese war orphans' lives were spent in China, and the latter half in Japan. It brings to the fore the dramatic personal histories of the Japanese war orphans surviving in the interstices between two nation-states. Through analyzing the issue of Japanese war orphans, the research on the subject makes the following three points: (1) the powerlessness of civilians caught up in modern warfare and the long-lasting effects of modern warfare on the life histories of individuals and their families; (2) the nature of the modern nation-state, which exploits and abandons its citizens as though they were expendable; and (3) immigration as a product of modernization gaps. Scholars pursuing studies in Japanese society and historians of the Sino-Japanese war would find this an ideal read.
Presenting the voices of a unique group within contemporary Japanese society—Zainichi women—this book provides a fresh insight into their experiences of oppression and marginalization that over time have led to liberation and empowerment. Often viewed as unimportant and inconsequential, these women’s stories and activism are now proving to be an integral part of both the Zainichi Korean community and Japanese society. Featuring in-depth interviews from 1994 to the present, three generations of Zainichi Korean women—those who migrated from colonial Korea before or during WWII and the Asia-Pacific War and their Japan-born descendants—share their version of history, revealing their lives as members of an ethnic minority. Discovering voices within constricting patriarchal traditions, the women in this book are now able to tell their history. Ethnography, interviews, and the women’s personal and creative writings offer an in-depth look into their intergenerational dynamics and provide a new way of exploring the hidden inner world of migrant women and the different ways displacement affects subsequent generations. This book goes beyond existing Anglophone and Japanese literatures, to explore the lives of the Zainichi Korean women. As such, it will be invaluable to students and scholars of Japanese and Korean history, culture and society, as well as ethnicity and Women’s Studies.
This book examines the phenomenon of social withdrawal in Japan, which ranges from school non-attendance to extreme forms of isolation and confinement, known as hikikomori. Based on extensive original research including interview research with a range of practitioners involved in dealing with the phenomenon, the book outlines how hikikomori expresses itself, how it is treated and dealt with and how it has been perceived and regarded in Japan over time. The author, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience of practice, argues that the phenomenon although socially unacceptable is not homogenous, and can be viewed not as a mental disorder, but as an idiom of distress, a passive and effective way of resisting the many great pressures of Japanese schooling and of Japanese society more widely.
This book introduces Japan’s current policy initiatives directed at eldercare and international labor migration, and, wherever appropriate,it adds a comparative perspective from Germany. The book shows how eldercare is currently being organized and discusses integration policies for foreigners. It studies the policy-making process behind the system, and contextualizes the migration avenue within the strong roots of Japan’s eldercare in local communities and the non-preparedness of the nation to grant local citizenship to international newcomers. Through applying an approach of multi-level policy making, putting a strong focus on the local level and introducing new approaches, this book is of interest to policy makers and scholars in aging, migration, health care, and contemporary Japan.
This new and fully updated second edition of Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan provides undergraduate and graduate students with an interdisciplinary textbook written by leading specialists on contemporary Japan. Students will gain the analytical insights and information necessary to assess the challenges that confront the Japanese people, policymakers and private and public-sector institutions in Japan today. Featuring a comprehensive analysis of key debates and issues confronting Japan, issues covered include: A rapidly aging society and changing employment system Nuclear and renewable energy policy Gender discrimination Immigration and ethnic minorities Post-3/11 tsunami, earthquake and nuclear meltdown developments Sino-Japanese relations An essential reference work for students of contemporary Japan, it is also an invaluable source for a variety of courses, including comparative politics, anthropology, public policy and international relations.
This book examines five features of Japan’s ‘Lost Decades’: the speed of the economic decline in Japan compared to Japan’s earlier global prowess; a rapidly declining population; considerable political instability and failed reform attempts; shifting balances of power in the region and changing relations with Asian neighbouring nations; and the lingering legacy of World War Two. Addressing the question of why the decades were lost, this book offers 15 new perspectives ranging from economics to ideology and beyond. Investigating problems such as the risk-averse behaviour of Japan’s bureaucracy and the absence of strong political leadership, the authors analyse how the delay of ‘loss-cutting policies’ led to the 1997 financial crisis and a state of political gridlock where policymakers could not decide on firm strategies that would benefit national interests. To discuss the rebuilding of Japan, the authors argue that it is first essential to critically examine Japan’s ‘Lost Decades’ and this book offers a comprehensive overview of Japan’s recent 20 years of crisis. The book reveals that the ‘Lost Decades’ is not an issue unique to the Japanese context but has global relevance, and its study can provide important insights into challenges being faced in other mature economies. With chapters written by some of the world’s leading Japan specialists and chapters focusing on a variety of disciplines, this book will be of interest to students and scholars in the areas of Japan studies, Politics, International Relations, Security Studies, Government Policy and History.