COHFA | Global Languages Senior Colloquium

Title

A Solution to Japan’s Hikikomori and Stray Animal Problems: Animal Therapy

Presenter Information

Lara JusticeFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Japanese and Liberal Arts Double Major

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Yoko Hatakeyama; Tanya Romero-Gonzalez

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Japan has two very different issues that could lend themselves to be the solution to one another; hikikomori and stray animals. The issue of hikikomori, Japan's reclusive population, is one that has been in Japan’s shadows for decades and is slowly getting bigger. They continue to be ostracized and stigmatized in a society that has difficulty accepting mental health issues as valid concerns. An aging Japan can no longer ignore the needs of this marginalized group that could supplement and enrich its population. In addition to the concern of hikikomori, as a country with such limited space, the problem of strays in Japan is a stringent one. Cats and dogs are mercilessly put to sleep via gas after only a short period of time in Japan's shelters to make room for the never-ending pool of strays that make their way into the shelter every day. Animal-assisted therapy in recent years has become a popular and growing science. In an effort to simultaneously give strays a home and to get hikikomori out of them, as well as promote mental health awareness, an animal-assisted therapy program in Japan combing solutions to these two problems would prove advantageous to the nation’s interests.

Spring Scholars Week 2020 Event

GLT 400

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A Solution to Japan’s Hikikomori and Stray Animal Problems: Animal Therapy

Japan has two very different issues that could lend themselves to be the solution to one another; hikikomori and stray animals. The issue of hikikomori, Japan's reclusive population, is one that has been in Japan’s shadows for decades and is slowly getting bigger. They continue to be ostracized and stigmatized in a society that has difficulty accepting mental health issues as valid concerns. An aging Japan can no longer ignore the needs of this marginalized group that could supplement and enrich its population. In addition to the concern of hikikomori, as a country with such limited space, the problem of strays in Japan is a stringent one. Cats and dogs are mercilessly put to sleep via gas after only a short period of time in Japan's shelters to make room for the never-ending pool of strays that make their way into the shelter every day. Animal-assisted therapy in recent years has become a popular and growing science. In an effort to simultaneously give strays a home and to get hikikomori out of them, as well as promote mental health awareness, an animal-assisted therapy program in Japan combing solutions to these two problems would prove advantageous to the nation’s interests.