Title

Hashi-ire: Where Mental Health, Chopsticks, and Occupation Intersect

Presenter Information

Eric Asaba
Jeanne Jackson

Start Time

31-10-2004 8:30 AM

End Time

31-10-2004 10:00 AM

Abstract

This paper puts forth a theoretical analysis grounded in ethnographic methods to explore the form, function, and meaning of hashi- ire as an occupation within the context of Japanese psychiatry. In keeping with occupational science and therapy, the term occupation is used here to denote a broad domain of purposeful and/or meaningful daily activity such as work and leisure. The term hashi- ire refers to the assembly of disposable wooden chopstick packages, a program that was widely used under the auspices of Japanese psychiatric rehabilitation immediately following the Second World War, but has become a rare occurrence today. From a rehabilitative and medical framework hashi- ire has been viewed with some skepticism as a way to pass time and under some circumstances as a potential venue for skill building. The uncommonness of this occupation in psychiatric settings today makes it a unique and interesting event for social analysis. The purpose of this paper is to go beyond the context of the traditional medical framework and provide a description of one environment in which hashi-ire was observed. Within this paper, hashi- ire will serve as a mechanism to further understand the concept of occupation within the context of a mental health program. The ethnographic data used in this paper are based on interviews and participant observation. Preliminary analyses reveal that hashi- ire provides an opportunity for participants to meet peers, it provides structure for a daily routine, and it provides an avenue towards health and relaxation. Furthermore hashi- ire may be a potential source of community building, a mechanism for apprenticed learning, and a venue through which an individual shapes his/her identity.

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Oct 31st, 8:30 AM Oct 31st, 10:00 AM

Hashi-ire: Where Mental Health, Chopsticks, and Occupation Intersect

This paper puts forth a theoretical analysis grounded in ethnographic methods to explore the form, function, and meaning of hashi- ire as an occupation within the context of Japanese psychiatry. In keeping with occupational science and therapy, the term occupation is used here to denote a broad domain of purposeful and/or meaningful daily activity such as work and leisure. The term hashi- ire refers to the assembly of disposable wooden chopstick packages, a program that was widely used under the auspices of Japanese psychiatric rehabilitation immediately following the Second World War, but has become a rare occurrence today. From a rehabilitative and medical framework hashi- ire has been viewed with some skepticism as a way to pass time and under some circumstances as a potential venue for skill building. The uncommonness of this occupation in psychiatric settings today makes it a unique and interesting event for social analysis. The purpose of this paper is to go beyond the context of the traditional medical framework and provide a description of one environment in which hashi-ire was observed. Within this paper, hashi- ire will serve as a mechanism to further understand the concept of occupation within the context of a mental health program. The ethnographic data used in this paper are based on interviews and participant observation. Preliminary analyses reveal that hashi- ire provides an opportunity for participants to meet peers, it provides structure for a daily routine, and it provides an avenue towards health and relaxation. Furthermore hashi- ire may be a potential source of community building, a mechanism for apprenticed learning, and a venue through which an individual shapes his/her identity.