Background Exposure to household air pollutants released during cooking has been linked to numerous adverse health outcomes among residents of rural areas in low-income countries. Improved cookstoves are one of few available interventions, but achieving equity in cookstove access has been challenging. Therefore, innovative approaches are needed. To evaluate a project designed to motivate adoption of locally-produced, ceramic cookstoves (upesi jiko) in an impoverished, rural African population, we assessed the perceived benefits of the cookstoves (in monetary and time-savings terms), the rate of cookstove adoption, and the equity of adoption. Methods The project was conducted in 60 rural Kenyan villages in 2008 and 2009. Baseline (n = 1250) and follow-up (n = 293) surveys and a stove-tracking database were analyzed. Results At baseline, nearly all respondents used wood (95%) and firepits (99%) for cooking; 98% desired smoke reductions. Households with upesi jiko subsequently spent <100 Kenyan Shillings/week on firewood more often (40%) than households without upesi jiko (20%) (p = 0.0002). There were no significant differences in the presence of children <2 years of age in households using upesi jiko (48%) or three-stone stoves (49%) (p = 0.88); children 2–5 years of age were less common in households using upesi jiko versus three-stone stoves (46% and 69%, respectively) (p = 0.0001). Vendors installed 1,124 upesi jiko in 757 multi-family households in 18 months; 68% of these transactions involved incentives for vendors and purchasers. Relatively few (<10%) upesi jiko were installed in households of women in the youngest age quartile (<22 years) or among households in the poorest quintile. Conclusions Our strategy of training of local vendors, appropriate incentives, and product integration effectively accelerated cookstove adoption into a large number of households. The strategy also created opportunities to reinforce health messages
The suicide of Kawabata Yasunari has been studied in terms of loneliness, aestheticism, postwar Japan's mass democracy, and ill health and old age. This paper places focus on the Oedipus complex in relation to Kawabata's concepts of beauty, life, and death. This analysis was supported by the psychosocial data which were provided by Jiko no Tenmatsu (An Account of the Incident) by Usui Yoshimi. The book is based on the story told by a maid of Kawabata, who is believed to have played an important role in his suicide. Although it is a novel, Usui claims that he followed events as told by the reporter as closely as possible.
Gaffa, T; Jideani, I A; Nkama, I
A survey of the production, consumption and storage of Kunu was carried out. Some of the information included consumption rate, processing techniques and equipment, producer's status and grains used. About 73% consume Kunu daily, 26% occasionally; 1% know it is produced but may or may not be consuming it. Millet (Pennisetum typhoideum), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare), maize (Zea mays), rice (Oryza sativa) and acha (Digitalis exilis) were used in its production in decreasing order of preference. The grains were used singly or combined; sorghum/millet was the most common combination in a ratio of 1:2 (w/w). Steeping was done in ordinary water for 12-72 h, depending on the grain type, in local clay pots, plastic buckets, calabashes or basins or 5-7 h in warm water (60-70 degrees C). The grains were dry or wet milled with or without spices such as ginger, red pepper, black pepper, clove and garlic. Other ingredients introduced included: sweet potatoes, malted rice, malted sorghum and Cadaba farinosa crude extract. Both dry and wet milling was done with grinding mills, mill stones or mortar and pestle, depending on locality. The product was then cooked into a thin free flowing gruel. The various types of kunu were: Kunun zaki, Kunun gyada, Kunun akamu, Kunun tsamiya, Kunun baule, Kunun jiko, Amshau and Kunun gayamba. Kunun zaki was the most commonly consumed. Production and consumption cut across all social classes of the society.
Specker Sullivan, Laura
Scholarship in cross-cultural bioethics routinely frames Japanese informed consent in contrast to informed consent in North America. This contrastive analysis foregrounds cancer diagnosis disclosure and physician paternalism as unique aspects of Japanese informed consent that deviate from American practices. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 15 Japanese medical professionals obtained during fieldwork in Japan from 2013 to 15, this article complicates the informed consent discourse beyond East-West comparisons premised on Anglo-American ethical frameworks. It expands professional perspectives to include nurses, medical social workers, clinical psychologists, and ethicists and it addresses informed consent for a broad range of conditions in addition to cancer. The results suggest that division of affective labor is an under-theorized dimension of informed consent that is perceived as at odds with principled demands for universal informed consent. These practical tensions are conceptualized as cultural differences, with Japan identified in terms of omakase as practical and supportive and the United States identified in terms of jiko kettei as principled and self-determining. These results have implications for the methodology of cross-cultural bioethics as well as for theories and practices of informed consent in both Japan and the United States. I conclude that responsible cross-cultural work in bioethics must begin from the ground up, incorporating all relevant stakeholder perspectives, attitudes, and experiences.
Kato, Masae; Sleeboom-Faulkner, Margaret
This article examines the dichotomies of collectivism and individualism in the debates on the selective abortion of disabled fetuses, which have occurred over the last four decades in Japan. Disagreements in debates on abortion in Japan have often revolved around the concept of self-determination (jiko-kettei). These debates usually focus on whether this 'foreign' concept is appropriate in a Japanese context, as the dominant Japanese discourse stereotypes the Japanese as making decisions in a harmonious manner. Both in public debates and in academic writing on abortion, the idea that the West is devoid of harmonious collectivism is often presented in an uncritical manner. In this article, we argue that the notion of 'self-determination' is borrowed from 'reverse Orientalist' and Occidentalist discourses that portray Westerners as individualistic or ego-centric and the Japanese as collectivist. The concept of 'self-determination' was remolded and projected onto Japanese public and academic debates on abortion. The relevance of this concept lies in the ways in which dichotomous views of 'Japan as harmonious' versus 'the West as individualistic' influence guidelines concerning prenatal testing and its daily practice. By critically analyzing the narratives of policy-makers and academic studies on self-determination and prenatal testing, this study traces these polarizing views back to the processes of national identity formation. These processes underlie political debates and academic work associated with the search for 'Japanese-ness'. This article further demonstrates that policy-makers' criticism of self-determination in prenatal testing derives from gender bias, which is also related to issues of Japanese identity. This article is based on both archival and field research materials collected between 1997 and 2008. We also refer to interviews with medical doctors, policy-makers, journalists, counselors, nurses, participants in various social movements and