American Perspective of Fukushi Recreation in Japan
by Charles C. Dixon, MS, CTRS
Hiro Chino-san at NRAJ office
|With the great assistance
of Hiro Chino, Fukushi Recreation professor from MWU in Nishinomiya,
Japan, I learned about fukushi recreation in Japan. Please note
that this is my personal perspective.
Therapeutic recreation or recreation
therapy in Japan is a new concept. There are very few individuals
practicing recreation therapy in Japan. Rather, there are approximately
1800 individuals practicing fukushi recreation.
Fukushi literally means social welfare.
Many of those clients receiving fukushi recreation services are older
Japanese living in Rojin Homes (nursing homes) & other programs
for the aged. At present, only one fukushi recreation worker is employed
in a psychiatric facility.
The National Recreation Association
of Japan (NRAJ) is responsible for the licensure of fukushi recreation
workers. A college degree is not necessary to work in fukushi recreation.
At a recent fukushi recreation forum which I attended in Yokohama,
most of the individuals in attendance were home health care workers.
There had been a 3 year grant (which recently stopped) that provided
funding to train home health care workers in provision of recreation
services to older clients they served in the client's homes.
Fukushi recreation as a job is less
than 5 years old in Japan. The movement started as a grass roots effort
in attempt to improve the quality of life among older Japanese citizens
through recreation services. NRAJ has then picked up on the movement
and has attempted to develop standards, licensure, and direction.
NRAJ has sent individuals to the US on fact finding tours and, obtained
information about TR through its members working in the US & going
to school here.
||They are attempting to develop models that will work for them
in Japan NRAJ and its researchers have studied the various US
therapeutic recreation models including the Peterson/Gunn model.