Chapter

The Doctoring of <i>Kōnenki</i>

Margaret Lock

in Encounters with Aging

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520082212
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520082212.003.0010
The Doctoring of Kōnenki

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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

Chapter.  19489 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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