12 April 2021

What is Japan Psychology?

Hello and welcome to Japan Psychology, where we consider the psychology of Japan.

My name is Jake and I am a psychology undergraduate from Great Britain. I have loved Japan for almost as long as I remember. From my grandfather showing me trinkets brought back from his naval leave in the Japanese port city of Kobe during the Korean War, to growing up watching Pokémon and playing Pac-Man World on the PlayStation 1, Japan has been there, inspiring me and contributing to who I am today. The freedom to write about a country that means so much to me, and the sheer broadness of scope when it comes to psychology is exciting. I hope to not only entertain, but to inspire others who love Japan to learn more about psychology.

Topics that may be covered include, but not limited to:

  • Japanese Culture

  • Japanese Approaches to Psychology, Therapy and Life

  • The use of Japan to Showcase Psychological Phenomena

  • Psychology of Anime and Video Games

  • Eastern Spirituality and Religion

  • Futurism and Technology

  • Mental Health

Having visited Japan for an accumulative 25 days between 2015 and 2017, I have spent time in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. I very much intend to go back as soon as possible, hopefully for a longer period of time. From the food to the trains to the natural beauty, Japan is a pleasure to visit.

Where does a Gaijin get off thinking he can talk about an entire race of people?

This project isn’t about discovering what goes on inside the Japanese mind, in fact that is part of the discourse I very much find problematic. Westerners often talk about Japanese people as if they’re some kind of mystery to be solved. Rather this project is about exploring the contributions Japan makes to the field of psychology, sometimes using culture and media as examples to explain psychological phenomena. To further this point, I would like to suggest one of my favourite books and inspirations for this project, The Courage to be Disliked (Amazon referral link). What might sound like your typical self help book is actually an introduction to Adlerian Psychology under a Japanese philosophical lens. It’s an outstanding story and I would recommend anyone give it a read. Alfred Adler was one of the forefathers of psychology, an Austrian man. This book explains many of Adler’s theories from the perspective of two Japanese men, an elderly philosopher and a disgruntled student who spend many a night debating the teachings of Alder and his concept of Individual Psychology. 

Hopes for this project

As you’ve probably noticed, this project isn’t totally formed quite yet. It’s in that place between being an idea and being fully realised, a living beta of sorts. Just to make things a bit clearer, here’s what I hope this project can become:

  • A collection of written articles

  • A video or podcast series on YouTube

  • A showcase of my photography and film

  • A strong psychological resource for both professionals and those interested in Japan

  • An opportunity for me to express myself creatively and further develop professional skills relating to psychology

There isn’t a time frame for when certain aspects of the project may be released beyond “soon”. My first priority is getting up to a workflow where I am releasing at least one article a week and we will see what happens beyond that. For now, I have many ideas and I hope you can join me for the ride! I would love for people to get involved, in the great words of Craig Charles on Takeshi’s Castle be sure to send your answers in on a postcard, or rather the comment section.

1 comment:

  1. I am Japanese. I read it. What is the goal you have about it?