Japanese Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU
HomeStaffProgrammeStudy in JapanScholarshipsInternshipSummerStudentsNewsLinksContact

News & Events
News List | « Previous News | Next News »

15 March 2016

SMLC Seminar:
Drawing Close to the Heart: Post-disaster Mental Health Care and Grassroots Therapy in Japan

Dr. Isaac Gagné
Assistant Professor

15 March, 2017 (Wed) 4:30-6:00 pm
Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

It has been nearly six years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and while physical and economic recovery proceeds in many areas, social and psychological trauma has been more difficult to repair. These challenges are exacerbated by institutional and cultural barriers to mental health care in contemporary Japan. In this talk I address the challenges of mental health care in Japan, and examine the emergence of a grassroots therapy called “active listening.” Through anthropological fieldwork, I analyze how this new movement draws on local idioms of the heart and mutual support to offer a radically egalitarian form of talk therapy.

Isaac Gagné is a sociocultural anthropologist who works on issues of religion and morality, mental health, identity politics, and globalization in Japan and East Asia. His current research is on the localization of global mental health care in Japan. Previously he worked at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and at the Waseda University Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.


Japanese Studies HKU