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A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia by Karen Nakamura

By Karen Nakamura

Bethel condo, positioned in a small fishing village in northern Japan, was once based in 1984 as an intentional neighborhood for individuals with schizophrenia and different psychiatric problems. utilizing a distinct, neighborhood method of psychosocial restoration, Bethel apartment focuses as a lot on social integration as on healing paintings. As a centerpiece of this process, Bethel condo all started its personal companies with the intention to create employment and socialization possibilities for its citizens and to alter public attitudes towards the mentally unwell, but in addition particularly accidentally supplied an important enhance to the distressed neighborhood economic system. via its paintings courses, communal dwelling, and shut dating among clinic and city, Bethel has been remarkably winning in conscientiously reintegrating its contributors into eastern society. It has turn into referred to as a version replacement to long term institutionalization.

In A incapacity of the Soul, Karen Nakamura explores how the contributors of this precise neighborhood fight with their lives, their health problems, and the that means of group. instructed via attractive ancient narrative, insightful ethnographic vignettes, and compelling lifestyles tales, her account of Bethel residence depicts its achievements and setbacks, its can provide and boundaries.

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Extra info for A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan

Sample text

I’d get really angry and scream out loud. There were a lot of episodes like that. In the winter, I would help the missus at the church [Mrs. Michiko Miyajima] with the seaweed packaging piecework. In the spring, I’d go till the fields or pull up some weeds. In the summer, I’d help haul in the seaweed from the oceans. When I was in the hospital, I thought that there was no way that I could cook for myself. But after I was discharged, I gave it a try and was surprised that I could. I began to gain some confidence in myself.

No discussion of mental illness in a cross-cultural or transhistorical context can be made without stating that being mentally ill can lead to considerable suffering if not properly treated. That being said, social accommodation of mental illness is both possible and necessary for recovery. Scholars and activists in the field of Disability Studies use historical and transcultural studies of disability to show how perspectives on illness and disability have changed over time. Part of the goal of this chapter is to show how the history of psychiatry in Japan and how the contemporary mental health system in Japan developed.

A newly built Western-style house, it had six individual rooms. There was a large living area that was well illuminated by two skylights. Everything was bright and airy. The rooms themselves were huge. Everything was on one level, and there was even a wheelchair ramp to get in the front door. We went inside Rika House, where we found Asami Matsubara, the young woman who had appeared in the video with the stuffed animals the previous day. She was there with two visiting nurses from the hospital.

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