A Conversation with Karen Nakamura

[This article is being cross-posted at the blogs of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research (FPR) and the FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, Development and Mental Health (CBDMH). Thanks to the FPR’s Constance Cummings for sharing this post with Somatosphere].

Science writer Karen A. Frenkel interviews anthropologist Karen Nakamura for the FPR.


Karen Nakamura is Associate Professor of Anthropology and


Fukushima is not Chernobyl? Don’t be so sure.

The March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami caused the deaths of approximately 16,000 persons, left more than 6,000 injured and 2,713 missing, destroyed or partially damaged nearly one million buildings, and produced at least $14.5 billion in damages. The earthquake also caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Japan’s eastern coast. After reading the …

In the Journals

PsychoDoctor and internet suicide: mental health and psychiatry in Japan

Cover of the DVD for PsychoDoctor.

The latest issue of Transcultural Psychiatry includes two articles which address mental health and psychiatry in Japan.

In “Widening the Psychiatric Gaze: Reflections on PsychoDoctor, Depression, and Recent Transitions in Japanese Mental Health Car,” Ken Vickery examines Japan’s status as something of an outlier among post-industrial states in terms of …


More on exporting American madness

Ethan Watters, whose recent article in the New York Times Magazine was discussed at length here and at Neuroanthropology, has a new piece on the globalization of US mental illness diagnoses.  This one appears in New Scientist and focuses on a couple of themes not addressed by the Times Magazine article: namely, the transformation of psychiatric ideas about depression …


SMA: Perspectives from Contemporary Japan

On Saturday, September 26, a group of younger Japanese researchers, joined by veteran Japan scholars Susan Orpett Long and discussant William Kelly, presented papers in a session titled “Emerging Alterities in Medicine: Perspectives from Contemporary Japan.” The session’s title distracted from a substantial unity surrounding the expanding personal and social experience of biotechnology in Japan as it stands on …