The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

FRANCESCA DI MARCO
Act or Disease? The Making of Modern Suicide in Early Twentieth-century Japan
 

This article explores the process by which suicide was conceptualized in prewar Japan. First, it examines how psychiatry established primacy over sociology and psychology in order to label suicide as mental illness. Second, it investigates how, with the rise of a totalitarian regime, sociocultural elements were incorporated into the psychiatric discourse in order to reconcile the idea of suicide as pathology with the cult of voluntary death that was engulfing the nation. I argue that, to maintain their authority, psychiatrists conceptualized suicide less as a disease and more as a historical act, to the detriment of the theoretical coherence of their discipline.

Volume 39, Number 2 (Summer 2013)
2013 Society for Japanese Studies

 

Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
The Journal of Japanese Studies
University of Washington     Box 353650     Seattle, WA 98195-3650 U.S.A.
Phone 206-543-9302    Fax 206-685-0668    Email
jjs@u.washington.edu
Copyright 2004-2013  Society for Japanese Studies