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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.

BIO

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. 

MY RESEARCH

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.

SHINTARO'S CV

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

July 2019 - Present

In the area of leisure studies, in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

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.

PHD STUDENT/CANDIDATE

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.

M.S. STUDENT

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.

PUBLISHED WORK

News

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U of A Alumni Talk

Dr. Kono gave a talk about "Ikigai (Life Worth Living), Leisure, and Beyond" for the webinar organized by the University of Alberta Alumni Association.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Kono received one of Excellence in Teaching awards from the Interdepartmental Science Students' Society at the University of Alberta!

NEW BOOK: POSITIVE SOCIOLOGY OF LEISURE

A new book, Positive Sociology of Leisure: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Dr. Kono and his colleagues will be out soon from Palgrave. Check it out!

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THE RESEARCH VISION OF ONLINE LEISURE EDUCATION INTERVENTION (ONLEI)

I made a presentation entitled "Online leisure education interventions (ONLEI to improve well-being and active living among rural Albertans: A vision and plan" at the 2019 ARPA conference.

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MY IKIGAI RESEARCH IS ON A PODCAST!

I spoke with Nicholas Kemp about my ikigai research!

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THE 2019 ACADEMY OF LEISURE SCIENCES (TALS) CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

I made a presentation entitled "Smartphone based experience sampling method study of leisure and life worth living" at the 2019 TALS conference.

PHD DEFENSE - SUCCESSFULLY PASSED!

Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Kono received one of Excellence in Teaching awards from the Interdepartmental Science Students' Society at the University of Alberta!

NEW BOOK: POSITIVE SOCIOLOGY OF LEISURE

A new book, Positive Sociology of Leisure: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Dr. Kono and his colleagues will be out soon from Palgrave. Check it out!

2019ARPA presentation pic.png

THE RESEARCH VISION OF ONLINE LEISURE EDUCATION INTERVENTION (ONLEI)

I made a presentation entitled "Online leisure education interventions (ONLEI to improve well-being and active living among rural Albertans: A vision and plan" at the 2019 ARPA conference.

Ikigai podcast pic1.png

MY IKIGAI RESEARCH IS ON A PODCAST!

I spoke with Nicholas Kemp about my ikigai research!

2019TALS presentation pic.png

THE 2019 ACADEMY OF LEISURE SCIENCES (TALS) CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

I made a presentation entitled "Smartphone based experience sampling method study of leisure and life worth living" at the 2019 TALS conference.

PHD DEFENSE - SUCCESSFULLY PASSED!

I successfully defended my PhD dissertation at the University of Alberta! All requirements of PhD have been completed!

Meet The Team

Seung Jin Cho

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Seung Jin is a Master's student at U of Alberta. He's interested in leisure and tourism behavior.

 

Dr. Jingjing Gui

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Dr. Gui is a postdoc fellow in the Dept. of Psychology at U of Alberta. She's specialized in leisure and culture.

Dr. Eiji Ito

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Dr. Ito is an associate professor in the Faculty of Tourism and an acting director in the Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan

Contact

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