Psychology in Japan in the Past and Present; A Look at Fundamental Differences and Similarities with the West
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This paper poses the question "is psychology fundamentally different in Japan than in the West?". To answer this question it first explores the areas of history of importation of Western psychology into Japan, and the history of emergence of mental health issues. Following some discussion on present day conditions, the report moves on to discuss the theory of nihonjinron and how it effects Japanese perceptions of uniqueness. Next Western psychologists' response to nihonjinron is analyzed, followed by a brief discussion of two therapy methods developed in Japan. The paper concludes with a look at treatment of severe mental illness in Japan today, specifically as relating to the family. Throughout the paper I will pay special attention to important differences that emerge between the cases of Japan and Western nations, especially the United States.