- 人間科学 : 大阪府立大学紀要 (ISSN:18808387)
- vol.1, pp.111-130, 2006-03-31
Iwakura is 8km north-east of Kyoto Imperial Palace and is famous for a legend: the third princess of Emperor Go-Sanjo (1068-1072), who developed a mental disease at age 18, was cured when she prayed to the eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy at Daiunji Temple, Iwakura. Beginning about 1750, many mental patients wanted to share her good luck so began to stay in farmers' houses in Iwakura in order to pray at Daiunji Temple. Four farmers' houses specialized in hosting mental patients at the beginning of the 19th century and continued receiving them even after Iwakura Mental Hospital was established in 1884. Iwakura's fame increased when Dr. Shuzo Kure wrote that Iwakura in 1895 had a similar family care system for mental patients to that of Geel, Belgium. Around 1930, Dr. Eikichi Tsuchiya, the director of Iwakura Mental Hospital, began to promote 'Iwakura' as 'a Geel in Japan.' 300 mental patients stayed in specialized sanatoria-farmers' houses and non-specialized farmers' houses in 1935 in addition to the 500 mental patients in Iwakura Mental Hospital. However, Iwakura Mental Hospital was forced to close in 1945 by the Japanese army. Many sanatoria were closed as well because of a shortage of food. Since the number of beds in mental hospitals per 10,000 people in Japan was very few compared to that in Europe and the USA, the Japanese government helped people who wanted to establish mental hospitals. In Iwakura, the new Iwakura Mental Hospital was established in 1952 and the Kitayama Mental Hospital was established in 1954. Both increased their beds yearly. In Europe and the USA, however, a new medical attitude toward mental disease arose. Led by the USA, countries tried to reduce the number of beds in mental hospitals and to look after mental patients in local communities. Some Japanese were interested in the movement and began to regard Iwakura as a place where mental patients were already cared for in the local community. They realized the importance of knowing how the family care system in Iwakura functioned. Many began to visit Iwakura and heard about the family care system from those who used to care for the mental patients in sanatoria. Since most of the caretakers in Iwakura before WW II are dead, many researchers today try to determine how the Iwakura family care system worked by reading 18th and 19th century documents. This paper follows movements after WW II by examining many notes on Iwakura and concludes that if we analyze what happened in Iwakura, we can understand the history of Japanese psychiatry much more accurately. Finally, we could learn some ways to help patients live in local communities even today.