Since the late 1990s, many firms in different industries have launched a large number of "iyashi" (healing) products and services. Although such a product category had not existed in Japan until this boom, it had been socially constructed through the self-enforcing interaction between media discourse that reported the boom and the imitative behavior of firms, which was triggered by the reports. This presentation examines the so-called healing boom through the analysis of media coverage and marketing behaviors.
Takeshi Matsui (PhD in commerce and management) is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University. He is interested in popular cultures such as the "healing boom" in Japan and the manga (Japanese comics) industry in the US from a sociological standpoint. He was a Abe Fellow (2007-2008) and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (2007-2009).