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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
September 18, 2019

Shrinking but Happy? Investigating the Interplay of Social and Individual-Level Predictors of Well-Being in Rural Japanese Communities

Rural communities in Japan have been facing accelerating structural and demographic decline in recent decades. Yet, there is limited evidence on how these challenges impact communities and the quality of life of their inhabitants in Japan. Much of the available international data shows that rural municipalities report higher subjective well-being than urban areas despite being affected by greater structural decline in objective well-being indices.

This presentation will introduce a comprehensive, multidimensional approach to well-being, sensitive to individual and ‘Japanese’ constructions of happiness, and provide tentative insights into well-being in the rural Japanese town of Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, which is average in terms of its demographic and economic situation.

Dionyssios Askitis, University of Vienna