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It's Madness – The Politics of Mental Health in Colonial Korea - California Scholarship Online
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It's Madness: The Politics of Mental Health in Colonial Korea

Theodore Jun Yoo


This book examines the critical years under Japanese colonialism (1910–1945) when mental health first became defined as a medical and social problem. Mental illness remains one of the most elusive and neglected topics in Korean history. As in most Asian countries, severe social ostracism, shame, and fear of jeopardizing marriage prospects induce families to conceal the mentally ill behind closed doors. It explores the impact of Chinese traditional medicine and its holistic approach to treating mental disorders, the resilience of folk illnesses as explanations for inappropriate and dangerous be ... More

Keywords: colonialism, emotions, madness, medicine, mental Illness, psychiatry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780520289307
Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520289307.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Theodore Jun Yoo, author
University of Hawaii

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