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This paper focuses on two of Japan's first psychotherapists, exploring the interface of religious modernism, politics, and mental health in their work. Kosawa Heisaku studied with Freud in Europe, before pioneering his own form of therapy, later criticized by his famous student Doi Takeo as overly maternal and 'Buddhistic'. Ohtsuki Kenji came from a literature background, and used psychoanalysis as a way of exploring some of the major social and political questions of his era, earning him the unwanted attentions of Japan's Special Higher Police during WWII. Both were concerned with Japan's place in the world, and the place of the individual in a modernizing, often disorientating context. Both saw Buddhism as having a contribution to make to an emerging Japanese identity, in the pre- and postwar years.