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Research in Self-consciousness and other-consciousness today
(Views of Kokoro Research Domain)

Project Leader
Toshio Kawai, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Yasuhiro Tanaka, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University (Pedagogical Anthropology)
Norio Akasaka, Professor, Tohoku University of Art & Design (Ethnology)
Tsuyoshi Inomata, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wakayama Medical University (Clinical Psychology)
Keiko Iwamiya, Professor, Shimane University (Clinical Psychology)
Naoko Hashimoto, Associate Professor, Kyoto-Gakuen University (Clinical Psychology)
Chihiro Hatanaka, Counselor, Ritsumeikan University (Clinical Psychology)

Collaborative Project Researchers
Migiwa Imaishi, Ph.D., Curator, Suo-Oshima Cultural Exchange Center (Ethnology)
Masahiro Kawai, Staff Member, Okuaizu-Syobou (Ethnology)

Psychotherapy has dealt primarily with neuroses; however, both neuroses and psychotherapy are closely linked to the establishment of modern consciousness. In other words, neither modern psychotherapy nor neuroses could exist without consideration of “self-consciousness,” consisting of self-reflection and internal struggles or interiority.

In recent years, however, psychotherapy has revealed an increase in dissociation symptoms and developmental disorders like self-injury and criminal violence that do not evince internal struggles or self-awareness. In this sense, we have come to a stage at which the very paradigm of psychotherapy itself has been shaken.

This research studies the major changes in the consciousness of the Japanese people since the Meiji period, when they confronted the need to rapidly transform a pre-modern worldview to a modern consciousness, including examinations of clinical cases studies, literary works, works of art, as well as philosophical approaches. This should enable the creation of a future vision of kokoro based on its historical background and changing evolution.