Article ID: CBB221747494

“Invisible” War Trauma in Japan: Medicine, Society and Military Psychiatric Casualties (2016)


The concept of trauma has been socially accepted in Japan since 1995 when the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake occurred, and the subsequent attempts of some historical researches to rediscover the history of modern wars in a context of trauma. This paper draws attention to the huge lack of collective memory of war neurosis before the earthquake and considers how it became invisible by reexamining Japanese military psychiatry during the Asia-Pacific War. Japanese military psychiatry consisted of central facilities such as Kōnodai Military Hospital and Musashi Military Sanatorium and numerous peripheral medical officers whose expertise wasn't usually psychiatry. Moreover, there were psychiatric casualties who had no access to medical treatment at the front. Medical officers of Kōnodai Military Hospital regarded war neurosis as an illness that was instigated by the desires of patients for homecoming and pensioning. Since their researches on war neurosis were studied as a part of war conduct, they overlooked the persistent influence of traumatic experiences on the battlefield.

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Authors & Contributors
Thomas, Gregory M.
Kitanaka, Junko
Durrer, Julie
Schaffner, Laurie
Brandt, Marisa Renee
Mukerji, Chandra
History of Psychiatry
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
History of Education
Social History of Medicine
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Medizinhistorisches Journal
Louisiana State University Press
Princeton University Press
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of California, San Diego
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Medicine and the military; medicine in war
Psychic trauma
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mental disorders and diseases
War neuroses
Miller, Henry
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
United States
Great Britain

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