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Wataru Iijima: Jishuku as a Japanese Way for Anti-COVID-19. Some Basic Reflections. [Abstract]

It is very important and interesting that the Japanese government did not mandate an anti-COVID-19 lockdown from 2020 to now. The main measure against COVID-19 before the vaccination and treatment pill was the people’s isolation from coronavirus by Jishuku in Japanese. What is Jishuku? To complete isolation from coronavirus, the Japanese government asked the ordinary people to stay at home by self-restriction. This Japanese way seems to have been very successful during the first wave of COVID-19, with the number of infections and deaths by COVID-19 being more moderate than many other countries, including Germany. Why did the ordinary people stay at home under the government policy? The main motive of Jishuku was Docho Atsuryoku in Japanese, which sometimes translates to “peer pressure” in English, but it is not good translation. “A disciplined pressure by collectivism” is better, as it helps to understand Japanese behavior against COVID-19 during the first wave of 2020. As in many other countries, the anti-COVID campaign was advanced and organized by scientific knowledge based on medicine and public health, but the Japanese way had been highly dependent on the cultural context, collectivism. These situations have been accumulated in the Japanese history.

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