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Reflections

Vol. 7 No. 2 (2004)

Dansei Konenki: Narratives of Male Menopause in Contemporary Japan

DOI
https://doi.org/10.26443/mjm.v7i2.787
Submitted
November 22, 2020
Published
2020-12-01

Abstract

Previous research has focused on cross-cultural comparisons of illnesses, such as depression and senile dementia, though few have studied the actual processes by which these illness categories become separated from their roots and adopted in a different locale; in anthropological terms, their "indigenization." Through anthropological fieldwork conducted from June to September of 2003, this paper explores how dansei konenki, or male menopause, has found a niche in contemporary Japan, as well as the defining features of the country that may explain this phenomenon. Based on this research, I argue that the indigenization of dansei konenki embodies a particular socio- historical moment in Japan-namely, that of the long-running economic decline in recent years.

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