About

Nicolas TAJAN

Ph.D. (Psychopathology)

Contact : nicolastajan[at]yahoo.fr

Research themes

Socially Withdrawn Youths (hikikomori), School Non-Attendance and Dropout.

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

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.

 

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

Articles in international and national peer-reviewed journals

  1. Tajan N., The Prevention of School Dropout in France, Zinbun [Annals of the Institute for Research in Humanities – Kyōto University], 44: 93-103, (in French), June 2014.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 [Commonalities and Differences in Hikikomori Youths in Japan and France], Nagoya Journal of Health, Physical Fitness & Sports, 34(1): 29-33 (in Japanese with English abstract), 2011.

Academic book chapters

  1. Tajan N., “The Withdrawn Child: an Investigation on Hikikomori and Futōkō”, in Christian Galan (ed.), Childhood and Adolescence in Contemporary Japan, Philippe Picquier Press, forthcoming (in French with English abstract), 2014.12.
  2. Tajan N., フランスの学校心理士制度 [School Psychology in France] in長谷川啓三, 花田里欧子, & 佐藤宏平 (Eds.) 事例で学ぶ生徒指導・進路指導・教育相談 (小学校編) [Hasegawa K., Hanada R., and Sato K. (Eds), Learning with Examples: Student Guidance, Vocational Guidance, Educational Counseling at Primary School]. 東京: 遠見書房. 共著 (日本語, 立木康介訳), p. 148 (in Japanese), 2014.3.
  3. Tajan N., “About Hikikomori”, in Dominique Texier (ed.), The Connected Child, collection “1001 et +”, Eres Press, p. 201-207 (in French), 2014.

Book reviews

  1. 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. 449-450 (in French), 2011.
  2. 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.
  3. Tajan N., Book review: Jerôme Blumberg, Daniel Friedmann, Être psy, Paris, Editions Montparnasse, 2009, coffret 14 DVD, Chimères: Revue des schizoanalyses, 72, p. 325-326 (in French), 2010.

Presentations with publication of the proceedings at national and international symposiums

  1. Tajan N. “Psychiatric, NPOs and Clinical Approaches of Hikikomori”, presentation at the 10th Symposium of the French Society of Japanese Studies, Toulouse II University le Mirail, Toulouse, December 19th 21st 2012, in Japon Pluriel 10, p. 203-210, forthcoming (in French with English abstract), 2014.10.
  2. 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.
  3. Tajan, N. “Hikikomori, an Idiom of Distress”, presentation at Japanese French Research (JFR), Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tōkyō, December 17th 2011, p. 32-33 (in French and English), 2011.

Scientific popularization and other publications

  1. Miwaki Y. and Tajan N., McGill Illness Narratives Interview (MINI), first Japanese translation, August 2014, retrieved from http://www.mcgill.ca/tcpsych/research/cmhru/mini
  2. 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
  3. Otake, T., “French researchers seek ‘raison d’être’ of hikikomori”, in Japan Times newspaper, (in English), Sunday November 20th 2011.
  4. Interview with Ueyama Kazuki (in Japanese subtitled in French) DVD 37 min, 2010.

 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Research

01/04/2014         Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities, Japan. Post-doctoral researcher at the Canon Foundation in Europe. Research topic: France-Japan comparative study of junior high school non-attendance (~ March 31st 2015).

05/10/2012          Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities, Japan. Post-doctoral fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science – JSPS short-term program for North American and European Researchers, through a Nominative Authority (CNRS). Research topic: France-Japan comparative study of social withdrawal and school non-attendance (~ October 4th 2013).

14/04/2011         Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities, Japan. Research fellow at The Japan Foundation. Research topic: French-Japan comparative study of social withdrawal (~August 31st 2012).

Teaching

30/08/2014          French Institute of Kansai, Kyōto, Japan. Lecturer in History of Thought & Psychology (starting August 30th 2014).

Clinical responsibilities

05/2007               Agen city Guidance center (CMPP), France. Clinical psychologist & psychotherapist (~ March 2011).

03/2006               Bordeaux city Child & Welfare services (PMI), France. Clinical psychologist (~ June 2007).

09/2004               Cadillac sur Garonne Psychiatric Hospital for teenagers “La demi-lune”, France. Assistant-psychologist (~ June 2005).

09/2003               Bordeaux Children’s Hospital – Pediatric Neurology department. Assistant-psychologist (~ June 2004).

09/2002               Créon city Guidance and rehabilitation center for children and teenagers (ITEP-AGREA). Assistant-psychologist (~ 2011).

 

EDUCATION HISTORY

08/02/2014          Ph.D. in Psychopathology, with highest honors (Doctorat en psychopathologie mention “Très Honorable à l’unanimité”). Title: “Social Withdrawal in Japan: An Investigation on Hikikomori and School Non-Attendance (Futōkō)”, under the supervision of Marie-Jean Sauret (Professor, Toulouse University) and Pierre-Henri Castel (Research Director, CNRS-Paris Descartes University) defended February 8th 2014 at Toulouse II University le Mirail (France).

07/2009               Master of Arts, Letters and Languages, “Research in Philosophy”, with highest honors (mention Très Bien), Montpellier III University Paul Valéry (France).

07/2005               Master of Humanities and Social Sciences, “Child and Adolescent Psychology”, with honors (mention Bien), Bordeaux II University Victor Segalen (France).

 

RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS

International collaborations

10/2014               Research collaborator: “Emotions and the senses” application for Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), project leader Prof. Dumouchel (Ritsumeikan University).

Since 08/2014      Member of an international collaborative investigation of “illness narratives” (McGill University, Montréal, Canada).

Since 2010           Associate researcher of the Team “Childhood Education and Society in Contemporary Japan”, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO, Paris)

09/2010               Laboratory of Clinical and Intercultural Psychopathology (LCPI – EA 4591), Toulouse University (~June 2014)

09/2010               Research Center for Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health, Society (Cermes3 UMR 8211-U988, CNRS, INSERM, Paris Descartes University, EHESS) (~June 2014)

09/2010               Member of Nagoya University psychiatrists’ collaborative research on social withdrawal (Japan-France comparative study), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), social welfare (grant number: 22402045) (~2013).

Symposiums’ and workshops’ organization

31/01/2014          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, EA1441) and the Laboratory of Clinical and Intercultural Psychopathology, Toulouse II University le Mirail (LCPI, EA 4591), Toulouse II University le Mirail, (in French).

13/07/2013          With Tsuiki Kosuke : symposium “Social Withdrawal: Past, Present and Future”, Kyōto University Institute 
for Research in Humanities, Kyōto (in Japanese).

30/06/2012          With Professors Tanaka M. and Tsuiki K. of the international symposium “Contemporary Psychopathologies and Civilisation: Depression, Hikikomori, PTSD, Developmental Disorders”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyōto, June 30th 2012 (in English and Japanese).

31/10/2011          With Uchida Yukiko, in partnership with Kyōto University and Paris Descartes University: “France-Japan Cross-Cultural Issues on Hikikomori and Social Withdrawal”, Kyōto University Kokoro Research Center, Kyōto, (in English).

Scientific coordination (selection)

18/04/2014          Translation support (Japanese-French) during Professor David Cohen’s conference “Social Signal Processing and Developmental Psychopathology Research”, Kyōto University Faculty of Medicine – Neuropsychiatry department, Kyōto (in English).

31/01/2014          Panelist during the symposium’s debate “Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youths in Japan”, Toulouse II University le Mirail, (in French).

09/2012               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).

30/06/2012          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, Kyōto, (in English with consecutive translation in Japanese).

Presentations at national and international symposiums (selection)

2014                    Tajan N. “Hikikomori vs Taijin Kyōfushō”, presentation at the symposium “Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youths in Japan”, Toulouse II University le Mirail, January 31st 2014 (in French)

2013                    Tajan N. “Prevention of School Dropout in France”, presentation at the symposium “Social Withdrawal: Past, Present and Future”, Kyōto University Institute for Research in Humanities, 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, Nagoya, January 9th 2013 (in French translated in Japanese).

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

2012                   Tajan N. “Surrounding Hikikomori”, presentation at the “Cermes3 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, 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 the Maison Franco-Japonaise Doctoral Seminar, MFJ, Tōkyō, April 3rd 2012 (in French).

2011                    Tajan, N. “About Hikikomori”, presentation at the national symposium of guidance centers’ federation (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”, Kyōto University Kokoro Research Center, 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 University, Toulouse, December 11th 2010 (in French).

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