[The transfer of psychiatry-narratives, termini and cross-cultural psychiatry in Japan].


This article is based on German and Japanese sources and shows how around 1900 European psychiatric concepts and practices embedded themselves into emerging scientific Japanese discourses. The article argues that now forgotten German-Japanese exchanges in the field of psychiatric pathology, together with the historical development of psychiatric care, were central mechanisms for the establishment of a distinctly psychiatric discourse in Japan priot to its broad institutionalization. Three discursive strategies were key: Japanese and German experts from a range of medical fields reinvented a body of traditions loosely related to actual pre-modern cultural practices; they engaged in comparative evaluations of psychiatric conditions; and, through the simple but effective transformation of specific concepts and termini at the margins of European psychiatry, these experts contributed to the transfer not only of a psychiatric discourse but also affected the power relations on a national and international scale as European psychiatry permeated into new territory, namely the Japanese landscape of emerging modern scientific disciplines.

DOI: 10.1007/s00048-014-0113-9

Cite this paper

@article{Leitner2014TheTO, title={[The transfer of psychiatry-narratives, termini and cross-cultural psychiatry in Japan].}, author={Bernhard Leitner}, journal={NTM}, year={2014}, volume={22 3}, pages={163-80} }