Government, professional and public efforts in japan to change the designation of dementia (chihō)

Misa Miyamoto, Daniel George, Peter J. Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


In 2004, the label for dementia was officially changed in Japan as part of a publicity campaign to raise public awareness about dementia and replace the previously stigmatizing word 'chihō', which translates as a 'disease of cognition associated with idiocy'. The aim of this study is to examine the name-changing process and to explore its implications for Japan and the field of dementia studies in general. First, this article explains the process through which the new name for 'dementia', 'ninchishō', was selected and why. It then addresses Alzheimer's Association Japan (AAJ), describing the influence of this organization on the name-changing process. Finally, the article delineates how an educational initiative was developed in response to the decision to advance a new terminology, ninchishō, and evaluates the initial impact of the name-changing project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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