Japan Refusal

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Christopher Harding asks if mental illness in Japan may actually be a sign of a rejection of a narrowly-conceived modernity? From the neurasthenia of the great novelist Natsume Soseki to the "hikikomori" or acute social withdrawal of the 1990s, he questions whether these conditions may actually be a rational response to a tightly governed society: "their deep disorientation may be the result of living in a rapidly-changing society and possessing an almost pathological degree of clear-sightedness" This is the final episode in a series of essays in which he explores the doubts and misgivings which have beset the rapid modernisation of mainstream life in Japan. Producer: Sheila Cook.

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