Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan : The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan book cover
1st Edition

Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan
The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan

ISBN 9780415545686
Published May 14, 2009 by Routledge
224 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Naikan is a Japanese psychotherapeutic method which combines meditation-like body engagement with the recovery of memory and the reconstruction of one's autobiography in order to bring about healing and a changed notion of the self.

Based on original anthropological fieldwork, this fascinating book provides a detailed ethnography of Naikan in practice. In addition, it discusses key issues such as the role of memory, autobiography and narrative in health care, and the interesting borderland between religion and therapy, where Naikan occupies an ambiguous position. Multidisciplinary in its approach, it will attract a wide readership, including students of social and cultural anthropology, medical sociology, religious studies, Japanese studies and psychotherapy.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Naikan  1. Introduction: The Theory and Practice of Introspection  2. The Expansion of Naikan  3. Personal Accounts of Naikan  Part 2: Therapy  4. A Confessed Therapy  5. Embodies Memory and the Reconstruction of Autobiography  6. Naikan as an Alternative to Western Therapies  Part 3: Religion  7. Naikan's Shin Buddhist Legacy  8. Enclosed Silence, Sacred Space: Death in the Naikan Environment  9. Using the Body: The Role of Meditation  10. Elements of Christianity in Naikan?  11. From Salvation to Healing: Ties between Religion and Therapy  Part 4: Health & Society  12. The Place of Culture in Health and Illness  13. Conclusion: Questioning the Categories of Religion and Psychotherapy

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Chikako Ozawa-de Silva is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. Her work focuses on cross-cultural understandings of health and illness, mind and body, religious healing practices, medicine and therapy in the fields of medical anthropology, psychological anthropology and the anthropology of religion by bringing together Western and Asian (particularly Japanese and Tibetan) methodologies and epistemologies.


'This fascinating and carefully researched study provides one of the few accounts of a modern nonwestern psychotherapy practice. It should be read by all interested in psychotherapy and culture.' - Tanya Luhrmann, University of Chicago, USA

'This is the most serious interpretation of the practice of Naikan I have come across...A compelling book that the reader will sit down and finish in a single reading and at the end assisted to look deeply into his or her own moral life. It is a book as much about our shared existential condition as about Japanese culture today.' - Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, USA