Concept, development and application of a new mixed method assessment of cultural variations in illness perceptions: Barts Explanatory Model Inventory.
Although fox possession is a rare phenomenon in contemporary Japan, it is a matter of concern in psychiatry and in folk healing. The case study presented here deals with the social process of role transformation, from client to shaman, as a way of self healing. The discussion then assumes that fox possession renders multiple interpretations and argues that it is, in fact, a metaphorical representation in much the same way that biomedical interpretation is. The argument also proposes that an etiological (causal) understanding of fox possession is less productive than a metaphorical one.