SHINTARO KONO'S LEISURE RESEARCH LAB
Exploring one of the most understudied aspects of our life
My research aims to understand how people experience leisure, and more importantly why they live a leisure life that they have. This involves studying what constrains or motivates people's leisure experience, and what outcomes people derive from their leisure. I am also interested in how different and similar people's leisure experience is across different cultures.
Who I Am
I’m an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. I truly believe in the value of studying and teaching leisure. Leisure is the life domain that makes our lives worth living. Yet, many of us do not know how to make most out of it. And that's the knowledge that I would like to research and teach.
I am originally from Japan. My leisure interests involve both active (e.g., badminton, golf) and cultural (e.g., trying new food) activities.
LEISURE AND IKIGAI, OR LIFE WORTH LIVING
This was my doctoral research conducted at the University of Alberta. I developed a theory of the relationships between leisure and ikigai (i.e., life worth living in Japanese), using the mixed methods research design. The first qualitative study guided by grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2015) created a substantive theory on the topic based on photo elicitation data from Japanese university students. The second quantitative study tested this theory, using partial least squares structural equation modeling (Hair et al., 2017), with online survey data collected from a larger sample of Japanese university students.
LEISURE-TIME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND CONSTRAINTS/CONSTRAINT NEGOTIATION
This cross-cultural research project was led by my collaborator Dr. Eiji Ito (Wakayama University, Japan). We conducted free-descriptive online surveys with Japanese and Euro-Canadian adults to learn about what constrained their LTPA participation and how they negotiated such constraints. Based on this information we developed new typologies of constraints and negotiation as well as new survey items. We used these items in the follow-up cross-cultural survey to examine their validity. My contributions have been methodological.
LEISURE AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS
This was my Master's research conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After seeing the devastation caused by the 3.11 tsunami and earthquake in Japan, I worked to understand how leisure experiences after the disasters helped survivors recover psychologically. This qualitative study was based on semi-structured interviews with survivors and disaster volunteers as well as my field observations.
January 2017 - Present
With focus on General Recreation/Therapeutic Recreation in the Department of Public Health and Recreation Professions, College of Education and Human Services, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
May 2013 - December 2017
With focus on leisure behavior in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta (Canada). My supervisor was Dr. Gordon J. Walker.
September 2011 - December 2012
With focus on leisure behavior in the Department of Recreation, Sports, and Tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My supervisor then was Dr. Kimberly J. Shinew.
NEWS & RESOURCES
PHD DEFENSE - SUCCESSFULLY PASSED!
December 18, 2017
I successfully defended my PhD dissertation at the University of Alberta! All requirements of PhD have been completed!