Who I Am
I’m an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. I am passionate about studying and teaching leisure. Research suggests that leisure is the life domain that can make 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 produce 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.
ONLINE LEISURE EDUCATION INTERVENTIONS (ONLEI)
Leisure education has been traditionally an intervention tool for people with disabilities. However, the conventional in-person delivery costs many resources. Can we do it online -- through videos, apps, website, messengers, etc.? This project is inspired by online positive psychological interventions. One of the main outcomes I examine is subjective well-being. This is a new research -- join me!
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.
July 2019 - Present
In the area of leisure studies, in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta.
January 2017 - June 2019
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.
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
NEW STUDENT JOINS LAB
Dr. Kono received one of Excellence in Teaching awards from the Interdepartmental Science Students' Society at the University of Alberta!
PHD DEFENSE - SUCCESSFULLY PASSED!
I successfully defended my PhD dissertation at the University of Alberta! All requirements of PhD have been completed!