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About

Nicolas TAJAN

Clinical psychologist, PhD (Psychopathology)

Contact : nicolastajan[at]yahoo.fr

Research themes

Socially Withdrawn Youths (hikikomori), School Non-Attendance and Dropout.

Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychopathology, Psychoanalysis, Medical Anthropology, History of Thought

France-Japan Comparative Studies in Mental Health, Education, and Society.

Present research (PhD Dissertation: “Social withdrawal in Japan”)

The purpose of my PhD Dissertation is to provide a review of social withdrawal in Japan (hikikomori and futōkō). Hikikomori is the phenomenon of social withdrawal that effects hundreds of thousands individuals, in which the individual shuts his/herself in their room generally at their family’s home for several months and even years without social relationships. During the period of compulsory education, students’ social withdrawal is rather coined by the term futōkō (school non-attendance). First, I consider hikikomori as a social issue and sum up previous research in Anthropology, Psychiatry and Psychology. Then, I describe my investigation in NPOs, hikikomori individuals’ accounts I collected, and draw my perspective on the intersection of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health Anthropology. Second, I investigate the support available to futōkō since many hikikomori experienced school non-attendance, using research interviews with Japanese clinical practitioners. Finally, I examine social withdrawal phenomenon in relation to Japanese identity discourse, towards a new approach of Doi Takeo’s, Kawai Hayao’s, and Jacques Lacan’s writings. My results reveal that hikikomori mostly receive support from caregivers working in NPOs, among which psychiatrists and psychologists are absent. However, while clinical psychologists actually support junior high school students who are classified as futōkō, the support available to high school dropouts remains low. As a whole, this dissertation shows that at the beginning of the 21st century, we are just witnessing the birth of psychological clinics in Japan, especially in the field of child and adolescent mental care.

Previous achievements and research activities

I am researching at Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所) since April 2011. I am a member of the French Society of Japanese Studies (SFEJ) since 2013, and collaborating with the following research teams since 2010:

-Center of Japanese Studies, Research Team “Childhood Education and Society in Contemporary Japan” (CEJ-EESJC), National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO)

-Laboratory of Clinical and Intercultural Psychopathology (LCPI), Toulouse 2 University Le Mirail

-Research Center Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health, Society (Cermes3 UMR 8211-U988, CNRS, INSERM, Paris Descartes University, EHESS)

-Center for Student Counseling, Mental Health Section, Nagoya University (名古屋大学).

2014 (1 year). Canon Foundation in Europe post-doctoral fellowship, April 1st 2014 – March 31st 2015.

2014 (February). PhD in Psychopathology, with highest honors (mention Très Honorable). Title: “Social Withdrawal in Japan. An Investigation on Hikikomori and School Non-Attendance (futōkō)”, under the supervision of Professor Marie-Jean Sauret (Toulouse University) and Pierre-Henri Castel (Research Director, CNRS-Paris Descartes University) defended February 8th 2014 at Toulouse University (France).

2013. Selected by the French Embassy in Japan to represent the French PhD Candidates in Humanities and Social Sciences in Japan for the official visit of the President of the French Republic, Tōkyō, June 8th 2013.

2011-2013. Certificate of Japanese language, Kyōto University Foreign Student Division, elementary level (1 and 2); Certificate of Japanese Language, Kyōto International Academy, Intermediary (1 et 2) and Advanced level (1).

2012 (12 months). JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship (short-term) for North American and European Researchers, through a Nominative Authority (CNRS), October 5th 2012 – October 4th 2013.

2010 (14 months). Japan Foundation Fellowship, April 14th 2011 – June 14th 2012.

2009. Master of Arts Letters Languages, Research in Philosophy & Psychoanalysis, Paul Valéry University Montpellier III, with highest honors.

2007-2011 (4 years). Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist in a guidance center (Agen city CMPP).

2006-2007 (1 year). Clinical Psychologist in Child & Welfare services (Bordeaux area).

2005. Master of Humanities and Social Sciences “Child and Adolescent Psychology”, Victor Segalen University Bordeaux 2.

2004-2005 (10 months). Assistant-psychologist in a psychiatric hospital for teenagers (Bordeaux area, “La demi-lune”).

2003-2004 (10 months): Assistant-psychologist in Neuropediatrics department (Bordeaux Children’s Hospital).

2002-2003 (10 months): Assistant-psychologist in Guidance Institute for children and teenagers (Bordeaux area, Itep-Agrea).

Publications

Academic books (Book chapters or translation of these books)

2014, Tajan N., フランスの学校心理士制度 “School psychology in France”, in Hanada Ryoko (ed.), accepted, forthcoming (in Japanese).

2014, Tajan N., “The Withdrawn Child. An investigation on hikikomori and futōkō”, in Christian Galan (ed.), Childhood and Adolescence in Contemporary Japan, Philippe Picquier Press, accepted, forthcoming (in French with English Abstract), 2014.

2014, Tajan N., “About hikikomori”, in Dominique Texier (ed.), The Connected Child, collection “1001 et +”, Eres Press, p. 201-207 (in French), 2014.

Articles in international or national peer-reviewed journals  

Tajan N., The Prevention of School Dropout in France, Zinbun [Annual Journal of the Institute for Research in Humanities of Kyōto University], n°44, (in French), 2014

Furuhashi T., Tsuda H., Ogawa T., Suzuki K., Shimizu M., Teruyama J., Horiguchi S., Shimizu K., Sedooka A., Figueiredo C., Pionnié-Dax N., Tajan N., Fansten M., Vellut N., Castel P.-H., Current Situation, Commonalities and Differences Between Socially Withdrawn Young Adults (Hikikomori) in France and Japan, L’Evolution Psychiatrique, 78(2) : 249-266 (in French with English Abstract), 2013.

Figueiredo C., Pionné-Dax N., Tajan N., Vellut N., Singly F. de, Pierrot A., Castel P.-H., Furuhashi T., Tsuda H., Ogawa T., Suzuki K., Shimizu M., Kitanaka J., Teruyama J., Horiguchi S., Shimizu K., Sedooka A., 「ひきこもり」青年の日仏における共通点と相違点について, Nagoya Journal of Health, Physical Fitness & Sports, 34(1) : 29-33 (in Japanese with English Abstract), 2011.

Presentations with publication of the proceedings in a national or international symposium

Tajan N. “Psychiatric, NPOs and clinical approaches of hikikomori”, presentation at the 10th Symposium of the French Society of Japanese Studies, Toulouse 2 University le Mirail, Toulouse, December 19th 21st 2012, accepted, forthcoming (in French with English Abstract), 2014.

Tajan N. “Japanese Psychology: History, Challenges, Perspectives”, presentation at 54th National Congress of the French Society of Psychology, Montpellier University, Montpellier, September 3rd 5th, p. 180-182 (in French), 2012.

Tajan, N. “Hikikomori, an Idiom of Distress”, presentation at Japanese French Research (JFR), Maison Franco-Japonaise (日仏会館), Tōkyō, December 17th 2011, p. 32-33 (in French and English), 2011.

Other publications or scientific promotion activities

Book review

Tajan N., Book review: Gonon A., Galan, C., Le monde comme horizon. Etat des Sciences Humaines et Sociales au Japon. Arles, France, Philippe Picquier, 2009, 327 p., L’Homme: Revue française d’anthropologie, 2/2011 (n°198-199), p. 367-460 (in French), 2011.

Tajan N., Book review: Marie-Jean Sauret, Malaise dans le capitalisme, Toulouse, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2010, 316 p., Cliniques Méditerranéennes, psychanalyse et psychopathologie freudiennes, 81, p. 173-176 (in French), 2010.

Tajan N., Book review: Jerôme Blumberg, Daniel Friedmann, Etre psy, Paris, Editions Montparnasse, 2009, coffret 14 DVD, Chimères: Revue des schizoanalyses, 72, p. 325-326 (in French), 2010.

Scientific popularization

日本とフランスの「ひきこもり」比較 / French Hikikomori, Wochi Kochi Magazine, Japan Foundation, (in English and Japanese), April 1st 2012.

French researchers seek “raison d’être” of hikikomori, in Japan Times Newspaper, (in English), Sunday November 20th 2011.

ひきこもりについて (À propos du hikikomori) interview with Ueyama Kazuki (in Japanese, with French subtitles) [DVD, 37 mn], Bordeaux, Claris, 2010.

Symposium and workshop organization

With Marie-Jean Sauret, Christian Galan and Pascale Macary-Garipuy: Symposium “Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youths in Japan”, organized by the Center of Japanese Studies – Toulouse Annex (INALCO, EA 1441) and the Laboratory of Clinical and Intercultural Psychopathology, Toulouse 2 University Le Mirail (LCPI, EA 4591), Toulouse Le Mirail University, January 31st 2014 (In French).

With Tsuiki Kosuke : Symposium “Social Withdrawal: Past, Present and Future”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所), Kyōto, July 13th 2013 (in Japanese).

With Tanaka Masakazu and Tsuiki Kosuke : International Symposium “Contemporary Psychopathologies and Civilisation: Depression, Hikikomori, PTSD, Developmental Disorders”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所) Kyōto, June 30th 2012 (in English and Japanese).

With Uchida Yukiko, in partnership with Kyōto University and Paris Descartes University: “France-Japan Cross-Cultural Issues on Hikikomori and Social Withdrawal”, Kyōto, Kokoro Research Center, Kyōto University, October 31st 2011 (in English).

Scientific coordination

Panelist during the symposium debate “Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youths in Japan”, Toulouse Le Mirail University, January 31st 2014 (In French).

Coordination of the session “Cross-cultural Psychology” of the 54th National Congress of the French Society of Psychology, Montpellier University, Montpellier, September 3rd 5th 2012 (in French).

Panelist and comment of Kitanaka Junko’s Conference at the International Symposium “Contemporary Psychopathologies and Civilisation: Depression, Hikikomori, PTSD, Developmental Disorders”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所), Kyōto, June 30th 2012 (in English with consecutive translation in Japanese).

Presentations in a national or international symposium

2014, Tajan N. “Hikikomori vs taijin kyōfushō”, presentation at the symposium “Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youths in Japan”, Toulouse Le Mirail University, January 31st 2014 (In French)

2013, Tajan N. “Prevention of School Dropout in France”, Symposium “Social Withdrawal: Past, present and Future”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所), Kyōto, July 13th 2013 (in French translated in Japanese).

2013, Tajan N. “Is there a ‘Care’ apart from Psychiatric and Psychological ‘Cures’? Japanese NPOs and the Support to Withdrawn Youths”, presentation at the Symposium on Hikikomori of Nagoya University (名古屋大学), Nagoya, January 9th 2013 (in French translated in Japanese).

2012, Tajan N. “Function of the Letter in ‘Discours Nippologique’”, presentation at LCPI seminar, Toulouse 2 University, 15th December 2012 (in French).

2012, Tajan N. “Surrounding Hikikomori”, presentation at the Cermes3 PhD Candidates’ Annual Symposium, Paris Descartes University, Paris, October 3rd 2012 (in French).

2012, Tajan N. “Learning from Hikikomori”, presentation at the International Symposium “Contemporary Psychopathologies and Civilisation: Depression, Hikikomori, PTSD, Developmental Disorders”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities (京都大學人文科学研究所), Kyōto, June 30th 2012 (in English translated in Japanese).

2012, Tajan N. “French-Japan Research Perspectives in Psychology”, presentation at the French Embassy in Japan, Tōkyō, April 20th 2012 (in French).

2012, Tajan N. “‘Psychonippologies’ and Hikikomori Situations”, presentation at Maison Franco-Japonaise Doctoral Seminar, MFJ (日仏会館), Tōkyō, April 3rd 2012 (in French).

2011, Tajan, N. « About Hikikomori », National Symposium of FDCMPP “The Connected Child”, Palais des Congrès, Paris, February 1st 3rd 2011 (in French).

2011, Tajan N. “What is Hikikomori?”, presentation at the European Academic Seminar of Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis (SIUEERPP), Paris XIII University, Paris, December 3rd 2011 (in French).

2011, Tajan N. “Hikikomori as an Idiom of Distress”, presentation at the Workshop France-Japan Cross-Cultural issues on Hikikomori and Social Withdrawal, Kokoro Research Center, Kyōto University, Kyōto, October 31st 2011 (in English).

2011, Tajan N. “Comparative Psychopathology and Anthropology of Hikikomori phenomenon”, presentation and video screening at the Seminar of the Research Team “Childhood Education and Society in Contemporary Japan” (CEJ-EESJC), INALCO, Paris, February 18th 2011 (in French).

2010, Tajan N. “Hikikomori: New Psychopathology and Social Phenomenon”, presentation at the European Academic Seminar of Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis (SIUEERPP), Toulouse 2 University, Toulouse, December 11th 2010 (in French).


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