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Encounters with AgingMythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520082212

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520082212.001.0001

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The Doctoring of Kōnenki

The Doctoring of Kōnenki

(p.256) 10 The Doctoring of Kōnenki
Encounters with Aging

Margaret Lock

University of California Press

The Japanese are highly educated, extremely health conscious, and feel responsibility for the state of their bodies. Japan is plentifully supplied with physicians, 95 percent of whom are in clinical practice in well-equipped hospitals and clinics, both public and private. However, among the women in the present survey, 60 percent have never talked about kōnenki with a doctor. Whereas they described friends, magazines, and television as reasonably good sources of information, only about 25 percent of the sample said that they had received useful information from their physician. At present, many thoughtful people struggle with a dilemma: to assert that Japanese women's experience at the end of menstruation is somewhat different from what the scientific literature accepts as normal. And yet to follow without reservations behind current scientific authority on menopause is experientially counterintuitive.

Keywords:   Japanese education, kōnenki, medical knowledge, Japanese women, menstruation

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