chapter  9
Between Two Psychiatric Regimes: Migration and Psychiatry in Early Twentieth-Century Japan
Pages 16

In the now extensive historiography of the Victorian rise of the asylum, urban-rural migration has attracted the attention of some historians. Andrew Scull argues that the rise of custodial care of the insane was a consequence of the arrival of a mature capitalist economy and the ‘commercialization of existence’.1 Although Scull cautions against a simple view of seeing the asylum as an answer to the problems of migrants to cities, whose original family and kinship ties had weakened and who had become insane, his idea of understanding the rise of the asylum in the context of the development of the capitalist system and accompanying social change has inspired historians to examine whether migration had an impact on committal to psychiatric institutions. Works by John Walton, Mark Finnane, David Wright, Joseph Melling, Bill Forsythe, and Richard Adair all explore the infl uence of ‘interdependence between economic change, migration fl ows, and family support structures’ on the committal to asylums in Anglo-American and European contexts.2