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American Perspective of Fukushi Recreation in Japan

by Charles C. Dixon, MS, CTRS
April 1998

Mr. Hiro Chino
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.

wheelchair basketball in JapanAt 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.

peterson-gunn model in Japanese 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.


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