Work and activity in mental hospitals in modern Japan, c. 1868–2000
in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
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This chapter explores the history of work and occupational therapy in modern Japan, focusing on the changing context of work and activity in mental hospitals and the professionalisation of occupational therapy during a period when Japan fluctuated between Western and Japanese modernity. In pre-Second World War Japan, psychiatry played a crucial role in the development of work and activity in a therapeutic context, being associated with the reform of psychiatric institutions promoted by doctors and nurses. After the war, a new paradigm of occupational therapy strongly influenced by the United States emerged, which lead to the state qualifications for occupational therapist. Then, occupational therapists focused on developing an approach suited to Japanese conditions, which brought about the kawa (river) model of Japanese occupational theory.

Editor: Waltraud Ernst

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