Kathryn describes in great detail how pharmaceutical companies targeted Japanese citizens with an angle based on their cultural beliefs rather than science.
Around 1999 pharmaceutical companies and their genius marketing teams used a ploy that only they could get away with. An all out attack that defies belief [at least it would have once, until I started writing about pharma]
"Your soul has a cold" [Kokoro no Kaze] was the catchy terminology pharmaceutical companies used to warn Japanese citizens that mild depression can be cured by prescription drugs.
For years the Japanese people showed great courtesy [they still do to this day] by wearing surgical masks when they caught the common cold. One only has to watch news footage of Japan to witness a passer-by adorning a mask. These are pretty common-place in Japan and have been for a long time.
Before pharma invaded the Japanese culture, terms such as 'depression' [utsubyo] were rarely heard. "Kokoro no Kaze" changed that.
From 1999 pharma publicized mild depression in Japan, the majority of citizens never even knew [utsubyo] existed let alone there being a 'cure' for it.
With pharma money and a goal of antidepressant medication, they launched this campaign to Japanese folk who up until then had inadequately addressed serious mental health conditions. Depression was tarred with the same brush as schizophrenia and treatment was available almost solely in mental institutions. 'Mild depression' did not exist, it was never a problem. The problem only occurred when the campaign was launched..."Your soul has a cold."
Up until 2004, 5 years after pharma launched their campaign in Japan, 177 books had been published about depression. Only 27 books about depression were published before the "Your soul has a cold" campaign. Depression-related doctor visits in Japan increased 46 percent from 1999 to 2003.
Japan, was, and still is in some quarters, a nation that based their beliefs on energies. Pharma changed that along with the media. To play on the minds of cultural beliefs is a genius tactic. To turn a runny nose into one's vital energy leaking should recieve an award, if only for 'The Best Award for Deception' category.
Buddhism encourages the acceptance of sadness and I guess if pharma had their way, an advertising campaign with Buddha sitting holding a packet of antidepressants would have been a road to go down. But pharma know they cannot be so blatant. "Kokoro no Kaze" was created, I believe, to chip away at the cultural beliefs that have made Japan a great country, it's a form of brainwashing rather than creating awareness.
On the 7th April 1999 the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare approved Luvox and Depromel (both brand names contain the active ingredient: fluvoxamine) for marketing in Japan. It was co-developed by Solvay-Meiji and Meiji Seika. Solvay-Meiji is a joint venture of Solvay SA and Meiji Seika. The marketing around this time was to run injunction with the phrase "Kokoro no Kaze" or "Your soul has a cold".