[Publication] Theorizing Leisure's Roles in the Pursuit of Ikigai (Life Worthiness): A Mixed-Methods Approach
An article written by Dr. Shintaro Kono (University of Alberta), Prof. Gordon J. Walker (Distinguished University Professor, Wakayama University / Professor, University of Alberta) and Dr. Eiji Ito (Wakayama University), was published in a tourism academic journal, the Leisure Sciences.
Theorizing Leisure's Roles in the Pursuit of Ikigai (Life Worthiness): A Mixed-Methods Approach
Shintaro Kono, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Gordon J. Walker, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Eiji Ito, Faculty of Tourism, Wakayama University, Wakayama City, Japan
Yumiko Hagi, Department of Sport & Leisure Management, Tokai University, Hiratsuka, Japan
Leisure Sciences, 2017
The purpose of this mixed-methods research project is to theorize the linkage between leisure experience and life worthiness, or what the Japanese call ikigai. A grounded theory analysis of photo-elicitation interview data from 27 Japanese university students led to the inductive development of a substantive theory. This theory was then tested based on online survey data collected from 669 Japanese students using structural equation modeling. Results indicate that leisure pursuits enhance students’ perception of ikigai when they are valued as enjoyable and/or effortful. Moreover, the balance between overall enjoyment and/or effort is found to be a key mediator in the relationship between valuable leisure experience and life worthiness. Ikigai comprises the subjective perceptions that one's daily life is worth living and that it is full of energy and motivation. Our findings are discussed in light of relevant leisure and well-being theories as well as their implications for practice.
leisure, eudaimonic well-being, ikigai, life worthiness, mixed methods