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Taketomo, Y. (1989). An American–Japanese Transcultural Psychoanalysis and the Issue of Teacher Transference. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 17(3):427-450.

(1989). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 17(3):427-450

An American–Japanese Transcultural Psychoanalysis and the Issue of Teacher Transference

Yasuhiko Taketomo, M.D.

This report deals with the work done by a psychoanalyst from an “American” background and an analysand from a “Japanese” background. It is a highly personal disclosure, so it may cause some discomfort to my professional colleagues. I wish to make it clear, however, that my interest is in a full and candid scientific discussion of the issues of transcultural analysis raised in this report. In this regard, I should point out that, in referring to a “Japanese” background (or an “American” one), I am not considering Japanese culture as a monolithic entity; it would be wrong to speak of the Japanese background or the Japanese character.

Despite Freud's theoretical stance, which is generally opposed to that of the “culturalists,” his interest in culture began in childhood and pervaded his lifetime work—even if at times his interest seemed submerged by his absorption in his neurological studies and later in psychodynamics and structure of the mind (Freud, 1935). As is well known, Freud's psychoanalytic theories stimulated new ideas and critical scrutiny by outstanding scientific thinkers from the boundaries of psychoanalysis and cultural anthropology. Out of these endeavors, the so-called culture and personality school emerged. Born, raised, and educated in Japan, I began my psychoanalytic training in the United States at the age of 30—at the height of the influence of the culture and personality school.

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