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A Disability of the Soul


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Arrivals Life Story 1. Memory and Catharsis: Kiyoshi's Story Chapter 2. Psychiatry in Japan Life Story 2. Coming of Age in Japan: Rika's Story Chapter 3. Christianity in Japan and the Establishment of Hokkaido Chapter 4. The Founding of Bethel Life Story 3. UFOs and Other Mass Delusions: Kohei's Story Chapter 5. The Doctor and the Hospital Life Story 4. 37 Years of Institutionalization: Why Did Yuzuru Never Want to Leave the Hospital? Chapter 6. Bethel Therapies Life Story 5. Peer Support and a Meaningful Life: Gen's Story Chapter 7. Departures Chapter 8. Beyond Bethel: A Postscript Notes References Index

About the Author

Karen Nakamura is Associate Professor of Anthropology and East Asian Studies at Yale University. She is the author of Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity (winner of the Association for Asian Studies's John Whitney Hall Book Prize) and A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan, both from Cornell.


"In every respect, Nakamura has produced two films and a book that work against stigma and call attention to mental illness as a disability and to the humanity of those who suffer from it. These texts will be of broad interest beyond the world of Japan studies, particularly to clinicians and human rights activists who are looking for ways to do better for the mentally ill."-Amy Borovoy, The Journal of Japanese Studies (Volume 41 2015) "Written in plain language andtold in a narrative style, accompanied by a DVD containing two documentary videos and filled with a host of pictures, this easily accessible and deeply engaging work combines broad historical, social, and cultural context with intimate personal experiences and poignantly articulated vignettes to immerse the reader in the lives of members of Bethel House, the professional staff who work with them and the residents of the town of Urakawa located on the island of Hokkaido, Japan." -Michael Rembis,Years Work in Critical and Cultural Theory(Vol 23, No 1, 2015) "A Disability of the Soul is an extraordinary description of the lived experience of schizophrenics in the context of an impressive northern Japanese community program. Here we have patient stories interleaved with the history of psychiatric care for psychosis in Japan, which in turn is the context for description and analysis of a truly remarkable intentional community movement, including careful examination of its founders, sustainers, and outcomes. The book is beautifully written with great sensitivity to the tragic and ironic consequences of schizophrenia. Recovery programs such as this one are at the very cutting edge of global mental health and this is one of the first descriptions from Asia."-Arthur Kleinman, author of Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture "This is a terrific book-moving, clear, and compassionate. It not only illustrates the way psychiatric illness is shaped by culture, but also suggests that social environments can be used to improve the course and outcome of the illness. Well worth reading."-T. M. Luhrmann, author of Of Two Minds: An Anthropologist looks at American Psychiatry

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