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The Empowerment of Japanese Women Aged 50 and over through Leisure-Travel


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THE EMPOWERMENT OF JAPANESE WOMEN AGED 50 AND OVER THROUGH LEISURE-TRAVEL By MICHIKO YONEMARU A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Michiko Yonemaru

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This study is dedicated to my late father, Takeo Seki, and my mother, Shizuko Seki.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Heather Gibson for her knowledge and patient guidance in implementing and writing this thesis. She is beyond an advisor: the best mentor whom I have ever had. Without her help and guidance I could not have completed this thesis. I would also thank my other committee membersDr. Lori Pennington-Gray and Dr. Amy Pientafor their feedback and support of this study. I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the 17 women who took part in this study, and shared their experiences and knowledge with me. I deeply appreciate the ETD consultants wonderful guidance. Special thanks go to my husband for his support. I appreciate my daughter for her encouragement and support with using English. I would like to express my gratitude to my friends in North Carolina, Darlene and Buddy Guerry, for their hearty encouragement. Many thanks also go to my sister for constantly brightening me up. My mothers never-ending support and love are of the greatest importance. I am always inspired and encouraged by her and her way of life. Lastly, I am forever grateful to my friend George Merritt for his inspiration and moral support. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF FIGURES..........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of Research Problem....................................................................................2 Theoretical Rationale....................................................................................................4 Purpose of Study...........................................................................................................8 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................9 Tourist Motivation......................................................................................................10 Tourist Role................................................................................................................13 Travel and Aging........................................................................................................16 Women and Travel.....................................................................................................18 Japanese Women and Travel......................................................................................20 Japanese Womens Life Course..................................................................................23 Japanese Womens Changing Values.........................................................................27 Summary.....................................................................................................................30 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................31 Research Design.........................................................................................................31 Research Method........................................................................................................31 Pilot Study...........................................................................................................31 The Interview Guide............................................................................................32 Data Collection....................................................................................................33 The Participants..........................................................................................................34 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................36 Description of Interview Site......................................................................................38 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................40 v

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Historical Backgrounds..............................................................................................40 The War...............................................................................................................40 Parents.................................................................................................................42 Education.............................................................................................................44 Volunteering........................................................................................................45 Feelings of Freedom...................................................................................................47 Feeling Free.........................................................................................................48 Relative Freedom.................................................................................................51 Longing for Knowledge..............................................................................................54 Own Experience..................................................................................................55 Knowing Ones Own Country.............................................................................57 Challenge.............................................................................................................58 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................60 Resistance...................................................................................................................60 Empowerment.............................................................................................................64 Resultant Model..........................................................................................................67 Conclusions.................................................................................................................69 Limitations and Delimiations.....................................................................................71 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE.................................................................................................73 B ................................................................................................75 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................77 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................88 vi

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 The interview site map.............................................................................................39 5-1 Meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over..........................68 vii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies THE EMPOWERMENT OF JAPANESE WOMEN AGED 50 AND OVER THROUGH LEISURE-TRAVEL By Michiko Yonemaru May 2004 Chair: Heather Gibson Major Department: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism With increased longevity, people are enjoying longer periods of later life. Some studies show that leisure-travel is one activity that contributes to the life satisfaction of older adults. In recent years, leisure-travel has become a popular activity among Japanese women over the age of 50. Indeed, these older women are likely to travel more often than younger Japanese women. This study examined the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over, and explored the contribution of leisure-travel to the quality of their later lives. A poststructural feminist perspective was the guiding framework for this study. It was proposed that leisure-travel might provide these older Japanese women, who had grown up with very traditional values, with opportunities for resistance and empowerment. Using a semi-structured interview guide and theoretical sampling, 17 Japanese women aged 50 and over were interviewed about the meanings of leisure-travel and their lives. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, and analyzed using viii

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constant comparison and grounded theory methods. They ranged in age from 50 to 83 years old. When socio-historical influences were taken into account, two themes emerged from the data: feeling of freedom and longing for knowledge. Most women in this study felt inequality and constraints in their lives due to the traditional social system. However, they felt free through leisure-travel as it took them away from their ordinary lives. Furthermore by interacting with different cultures, they acquired knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem. Some women showed evidence of resistance to the social structure. More commonly, the women were more likely to feel empowered as leisure-travel provided them with a chance to find and construct their true identities. Employing grounded theory methods, a model of meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over was suggested. Influenced by the war, their parents, and education, the women enjoyed their freedom outside their home through leisure-travel and gained knowledge which they used to establish their true identities. Their actions did not necessarily bring about radical change at the societal level, but at the micro level they were able to exert more control over their lives. ix

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. With increased longevity, more people can look forward to enjoying a longer period of later life than ever before. At the same time, in line with the objectives of United Nations International Plan of Action on Ageing that promote older persons independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity (Management and Coordination Agency, 1996), more attention is being paid to the quality of life for older adults. One of the pressing social issues of the 21 st century is the aging of the worlds population. Among the many graying countries, Japan is rapidly turning into an aging nation. According to the projection of the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (2002), the percentage of the aged generation (aged 65 and over) will grow from the current 17.4% (2000) to 25% in 2014, meaning that this age group will account for one-quarter of the population of Japan. Impacted by the low fertility rate, it is projected to increase to 35.7% by 2050; that is, a ratio of 1 in 2.8 people will be over 65. Responding to this demographic change, the Management and Coordination Agency of the Japanese Government established the General Principles Concerning Measures for the Aging Society in 1996. The Principles are implemented with the goal of building an affluent society full of solidarity and vitality where each and everyone can feel that they are happy to live long and are in perfect harmony with one another (Management and Coordination Agency, 1996). In order to achieve this goal, several basic objectives have 1

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2 been set. One goal is to promote social involvement through engagement in meaningful activities. By improving the facilities for recreation, sightseeing, hobbies and leisure, it is hoped that older adults will be able to live meaningful lives. Sightseeing is one of the activities which tourists may engage in, however, it should be noted that sightseeing is considered as a general term meaning travel for pleasure for Japanese. Although Japanese elders have fewer hobbies than do elders in other countries, as Maeda (1993) found that the mean number of hobbies per person aged 60 and over was 2.7 in Japan, compared to 7.0 in the United States, leisure-travel was the most frequently reported leisure activity of Japanese elders next to watching television. Statement of Research Problem Despite the economic downturn, 17.81 million Japanese people traveled abroad in 2000, a 108.9% increase above the previous year (Japan Travel Bureau [JTB], 2001). The remarkable growth in Japanese outbound travelers is attributed to the fact that the number of travelers in their fifties, sixties, and seventies rose 12%, 12.8% and 15.1% respectively from the previous year, while the number of travelers in their twenties, who were the main outbound travelers before, only increased 2.7% (JTB, 2001). In addition, more women aged fifty and above traveled in 2000 (12.2% increase) compared to men of the same age (8.7% increase) (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport [MLIT], 2001). How do we explain the increasing number of female travelers aged fifty and over? Previous studies have investigated various aspects regarding the preferences of Japanese overseas travelers (Ahmed & Krohn, 1992; Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995; Lang, OLeary & Morrison, 1993; Mok & Lam, 2000; Woodside & Jacobs, 1985; Yuan & McDonald, 1990). Although researchers have examined the relationship between

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3 aging and travel propensities (Sakai, Brown & Mak, 2000; You & OLeary, 2000), motivations (Kim & Lee, 2000), and behavior (Faranda & Schmidt, 1999), few studies have investigated the travel and tourism patterns of female Japanese tourists aged 50 and over. Furthermore, little is known as to why more Japanese women like travel after they reach fifty or sixty years old compared to younger Japanese women. There are several reasons for focusing on this group of female tourists. One reason is that the number of Japanese female outbound travelers aged 50 and over has shown remarkable growth. The other reasons are largely due to cultural background. Traditionally age 60 has a special meaning for Japanese people. There are numerous practices of praying for and celebration of long life. To share the joy of longevity, a celebration is held at certain ages. The first celebration is held at age 60. This age is referred to as kanreki for the combinations of jikkan, on the decimal scale, and jnishi, on the duodecimal scale, complete a full cycle and return to the original combination of the year when one was born (Sugiura & Giillespie, 1993, p. 139), or, a return to ones original birth combination of the sexagenary cycle. This is a happy event for the person who reaches age 60. In addition, most companies set mandatory retirement between the ages of 55 and 60. The ages between 55 and 60 may be considered as the pre-retirement phase (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1975). At present, similar to much of the Western world, those who are aged 55 are regarded as baby boomers in Japan. They were born just after World War II. By including women in their fifties, this study may provide insights into the lives of women who grew up during the internationalization of Japan after World War II as well as those who are pre-baby boomers. The last reason is that middle-aged and older women have experienced more gender inequality than those

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4 who are in their 20s or 30s. At the present, the relationship between conventional Japanese social values and recent womens travel patterns has not been studied. This study will adopt a poststructural feminist perspective to help us understand the relationship between social values and travel patterns. It is proposed that tourism provides a personal space to enable mid to later life women a chance to resist traditional Japanese behavioral expectations. With a better understanding of Japanese women, especially those aged fifty and over, more positive and active ways of life that promote older persons independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity (Management and Coordination Agency, 1996), may be identified. Moreover, by knowing how those women cope with traditional society through leisure-travel, it is hoped that this study will demonstrate an idea of resistance and empowerment through leisure-travel to younger generations, and shed some light on recent problems in Japan. Theoretical Rationale The idea that tourism is a space for resistance is based on Wearings (1998) idea that for women, leisure is a heterotopia, a personal space for resistance to domination, a space where there is room for the self to expand beyond what it is told it should be (p. 146). She cited Foucaults (1986) idea of heterotopias; that is, heterotopias in contrast to utopias which are fictitious places, exist in reality (Foucault 1986, p. 24). According to Shaw (2001), resistance refers to acts challenging the structured power relations of class, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other forms of societal stratification. Such resistance may be conscious or subconscious. Wearing and Wearing (1996) postulated that tourism is an individual experience and interaction in a space apart from the everyday life of the tourist. Thus, in this sense, tourism can be

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5 viewed as an escape to a social space where individuals can learn and grow rather than merely an escape from the mundane world (Wearing & Wearing, 1996). There are various kinds of feminist theories; this study will adopt a poststructural feminist perspective of aging. Feminist perspectives are defined as philosophical and theoretical framework that embodies equality, empowerment, and social change for women and men (Henderson, Bialeschki, Shaw & Freysinger, 1989, p. 14). Bengtson, Burgess, and Parrott (1997) described the advantages of using feminist perspectives of aging, which not only focus on the needs of women who are the majority of the aging population but also emphasizing the need to explore other forms of difference among the aged. They also suggested that feminist theories provide models for macro-micro conceptual linkages in the sociology of aging by addressing both structural and individual levels of theory (p. S81). Poststructural feminist theory addresses both individual and structural levels of everyday life and it focuses on the needs of the majority of the aging population: women. Aitchison (2000) suggested, engagement with poststructural theory has enabled analysis of both structural and symbolic power through the direction of our attention to the social-cultural nexus of gender-leisure relations (p. 131). She cited Adkinss (1998) writing at the intersection of sociology and gender studies, referring to the social/non social nexus(p. 47), and called this the social-cultural nexus(p. 131). In other words she advocated an analytical perspective that recognized individual agency within the context of the social forces of the wider society. As such, this supports Rojeks (1995) warning that one cannot separate leisure from the rest of life (p. 1). Shaw (2001) pointed out that the advantages of a poststructuralist view of resistance is that it recognizes diversity among women as well as among men and that it also focuses

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6 on diversity of personal subjectivities and on idiosyncratic factors which may affect access to power and to resistance strategies (p. 190). Wearing (1998) emphasized Foucaults idea of resistance in that it allows for a more flexible and optimistic situation grounded in the everyday experiences of individual, real-life women (p. 145). The concept of leisure as personal space is based on the assumption that leisure and leisure experiences provide a site of personal choice, self-determination (Green, 1998), a space for challenging traditional gender identities and creating liberating individual identities for women (Wearing, 1991). In spite of the fact that leisure is a basic right of all individuals, women have been constrained by traditional gender roles and tend to have fewer opportunities than do men (Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991). Henderson (1990) suggested that for many women, activity in the home is for the most part never free from such role obligations as household chores and childcare responsibilities. Henderson concluded, however, a number of women have expressed a need for leisure experiences as an opportunity for expressing autonomy, self-definition, and choice often not present in other aspects of their lives (1990, p. 240). Freysinger and Flannnery (1992) explained that leisure might be a realm of life where women can be relatively free to generate a time and space in which they can define their identity, and in which they step outside of socially expected roles. When the notion of space is applied to tourism for Japanese, the dualism of hare and ke arises. According to Sakurai (1981), hare refers to sacred or special, while ke refers to mundane or everyday. These Japanese symbolic principles are based on rice planting farmers. Ohmuki-Tierney (1993) explained when the production of ke decreases, it becomes kegare (impurity or a state of waning ke). There are two ways to

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7 rejuvenate the state of; one is a festival, and the other is travel (Kanko Marketing, 2002). Ritual is central to these concepts and is reminiscent of the idea of liminality as it has been applied to tourism (Turner, 1969; Graburn, 1983a, 1983b). Cohen (1988) explained that in ritual states: through the separation, the individual has crossed the threshold (Latin limen) of his[sic] ordered world, and finds himself[sic] in a state of anti-structure, out of time and place, where his[sic] ordinary role and status obligations are suspended and where general human (rather than particular social) bonds are emphasized. (p. 37) In addition to the notions of hare and ke, the concept of the spatial boundary for Japanese is fairly important in understanding Japanese society. The social boundary such as uchi (inside) and soto (outside), or ura (rear) and omote (front) implies sex segregation (Lebra, 1992). Soto or omote corresponds to public, and belongs to male domain, whereas, uchi or ura parallels to private, and is equivalent to female domain (Lebra, Smith, 1987). Those spatial demarcations might bind women to traditional gender roles. For Japanese, travel is to escape from profane life, thereby invoking the concepts of ritual process (Turner, 1969). This study will also apply the notion of heterotopia (Foucault, 1986). Whereby it is assumed that tourism will provide Japanese women with a space to uncover their true subjectivities, which may engender resistance and empowerment to conventional forms of behavior. Palmore and Maeda (1985) found that among Japanese the most satisfying activities were in the home for women and in work for men. These findings were confirmed by the Report of the Survey on the Opinion on late Life in 1973 by the Japanese Government. Almost thirty years after the survey, are these findings still valid? What about Japanese women who are exposed to traditional values in which men are viewed as superior to women? Under the influence of Western ideas of identity

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8 construction, with womens increasing higher education and labor force participation, as Wearing (1991) suggested, can Japanese women have space to choose leisure activities which provide them with experiences that are not necessarily in accordance with the traditional patterns of feminine passivity and caring? Purpose of Study The purpose of this study was to investigate the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over and to identify the contribution of leisure-travel to the quality of their later lives. Particularly, this study examined both traditional Japanese gender roles and the opportunities to resist these values provided by leisure-travel. Specifically, as Wearing (1995) suggested, this study focused on what a person can do rather than what she cannot do (p. 276). The aim was not to focus on older womens problems but to identify ways in which they enjoy vivid, and fulfilling lives in their later years (Friedan, 1993; Kart & Kinney, 2001). This study was guided by the following research questions: 1. What are the leisure-travel patterns of Japanese women aged 50 and over? 2. Have their leisure-travel patterns changed over their life course? 3. What meanings does leisure-travel have for Japanese women aged 50 and above? 4. Have their meanings related to leisure-travel changed over their life course? 5. Do Japanese women aged 50 and above consider their leisure-travel behaviors socially acceptable? 6. How do their friends and family view these womens leisure-travel?

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Although the number of Japanese outbound travelers decreased from 17.8 million in 2000 to 16.2 million in 2001 due to the threat of terrorism, the JTB projected that this number will increase in 2002. Actual bookings for package tours have steadily increased. The JTB predicted that women in their thirties and fifties and over will play a leading role in the Japanese outbound market (JTB, 2002). It is interesting to look at their report. They pointed out four noteworthy themes in the travel market for the future. Travel will increase: (a) among women aged fifty and over who have sufficient savings; (b) women aged thirties who are very active travelers such as solo-travel, group travel, mother and daughter or three generations (her mother, herself and her daughter); (c) traveling with specific themes is getting popular among women in their twenties; and (d) frequent travelers (JTB, 2002). Historically, the original aim of the Grand Tour was pleasurable educational journeys for young men (Graburn & Jafari, 1991; Rojek & Urry, 1997). It is interesting that several centuries later middle-aged and older women are becoming a subject of the tourism market. This chapter reviews various aspects of the literature exploring the meaning of tourism for older womens lives and examines the assumptions that leisure-travel is a space for resistance to traditional gender relations, ageism and empowerment. Cohen (1996) suggested, travelling for pleasure beyond the boundaries of ones life-space assumes that there is some experience available out there, which cannot be found within the life-space, and which makes travel worthwhile(p. 93). To explore this 9

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10 idea, literature which addresses motivations for travel; tourist role; women and travel; Japanese women and travel; Japanese womens life course, and Japanese womens changing values are explored. Tourist Motivation The origin of the term motivation was derived from the Latin word movere, which means, to move (Steers & Porter, 1979). What makes the subject of move actually move? One of the most prevailing ideas in the area of motivation is Maslows need hierarchy theory. Maslow (1954) postulated that psychological needs range from lower order to higher order. Physiological motives like hunger appear first, second safety, third love motives, then esteem, and finally, self-actualization motives. Pearce (1982) explained the advantages of using Maslows theory as a fundamental framework of tourist motivation. According to Pearce, historically, travel motivations were health, education, spiritual values and self-indulgence. He explained that traveling for health was the equivalent to emotional and physical security, educational reasons might be connected to self-esteem, traveling for spiritual values would be tied with self-actualization, and self-indulgence motivations were related to the satisfaction of physiological needs and belongingness. He suggested that Maslows concept of self-actualization contained an inherent notion of individual choice and self-determination, because tourist motivation theory should be dedicated to the non-deterministic nature of intrinsically motivated behaviour (p. 53). Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) employed Maslows hierarchy of needs in their study to understand travel motivations from travelers experiences and found that more experienced travelers were motivated by higher order needs.

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11 The concept of push and pull factors (Dann, 1977) is a widely accepted explanation for tourist motivation (Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995; Parrinello, 1993). Push factors refer to socio-psychological motives or internal forces (Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995). Escape from everyday routine and obligations are one example of push factors. Pull factors are motives attracting tourists to a certain destination. Iso-Ahola (1983) stated that, motivation is a more important determinant of recreational travel than other factors(p. 50) and suggested that recreational travel must be motivated by intrinsic reasons. Furthermore, he explained that psychological benefits stem from the interaction of two factors: escape from routine and stressful environment and seeking novelty. Crompton (1979) interviewed 39 respondents and conceptualized the role and relationships of their motivations for a pleasure vacation based on the concept of state of disequilibrium. According to Crompton, when disequilibrium arises, a break from routine is used to restore homeostasis. Going on a pleasure vacation is one component to satisfy states of disequilibrium. The data suggested respondents motivations were located along a cultural-socio-psychological disequilibrium continuum (p. 415). He found seven socio-psychological motives or push factors: escape from a perceived mundane environment; exploration and evaluation of self; relaxation; prestige; regression; enhancement of kinship relationships, and facilitation of social interaction, and two cultural motives: novelty and education. McGehee, Loker-Murphy and Uysal (1996) examined female Australian leisure travelers motivations from a gendered perspective. They conducted a survey of 1,503 Australians, and found that Australian women travelers put more importance on cultural experience, family and kinship and prestige. Cultural experience includes, new lifestyles,

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12 foreign destinations, learning new things, trying new foods, historical places, and escaping the ordinary. The prestige factor represents safety and security, reporting back on the trip, being entertained, maximizing experience, new places, and a homelike feel. While men rated sports and adventure as more important than did women. Cha, McCleary and Uysal (1995) explored the travel motivations of Japanese overseas travelers using a factor-cluster market segmentation approach. Their study revealed six motivation factors: relaxation, knowledge, adventure, travel bragging, and family sports. They identified three major needs: sports, novelty, and family/relaxation. Age and education explained statistically significant differences among the three groups in relation to motivation. Novelty seekers were more likely to be aged 60 and over, and family/relaxation seekers had the highest education levels. Cai and Combrink (2000) focused on the gender difference among male-female Japanese tourists in terms of travel motivations. They found that seven push factors and nine pull factors were evident. The data suggested that men and women were remarkably differentiated in their travel motivations. Japanese females showed a stronger need for escape from the demands of home than did the males. Sirakaya, Uysal and Yoshioka (2003) examined motivations of Japanese travelers to Turkey. They applied Iso-Aholas (1983) arousal theory as a framework to describe and segment Japanese travelers motivations. They found eight factors: love of nature, enhancement of kinship, experiencing culture, living the resort lifestyle, escape, education in archaeology/history, living the extravagant lifestyle, and travel bragging. The factor-cluster segmentation analysis of motivations indicated two types of Japanese travelers, seekers and escapers.

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13 Tourist Role According to Wickens (2002), the word role refers to the pattern of behavior expected of an individual who occupies a particular status, with each role carrying certain characteristic actions, emotions, and attitudes (p. 846). Based on Goffmans (1961) concept of role enactment, Wickens explained, Role embracement is used to describe the tourists purposeful engagement in certain activities(p. 847). As Gibson and Yiannakis (2002) suggested tourist behaviors or roles are related to specific background characteristics, and as such might help to understand tourist needs and the meaning of tourism for individuals over the life course. Cohen (1972) proposed four tourist roles based on a continuum of novelty and familiarity: the organized mass tourist, the individual mass tourist, the explorer, and the drifter. The organized mass tourist experiences familiarity at a maximum while novelty is at a minimum. The individual mass tourist is still controlled by familiarity but the novelty experience is greater. Although the explorer prefers contact with local people and tries to leave the environment a bubble(p. 166), he/she is not completely in a situation where novelty dominates. On the other hand, the drifter experiences novelty at the highest level and familiarity is at the lowest. Cohen (1996) developed a phenomenological typology of tourist experiences. Five modes of touristic experiences were identified: the recreational, the diversionary, the experiential, the experimental, and the existential. The main concerns in these modes were where the spiritual center of the individual is located (Cohen, 1979a, p. 22). The recreational tourist just enjoys the trip and recuperates physical and mental powers. They enjoy pseudo-events (Boorstin, 1964). This type of tourists still holds the cultural center of his/her society, but finds no meaning in the surrounding cultures. The tourist in

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14 the diversionary mode does not possess a spiritual center at home and does not seek it outside. He or she takes a trip to merely escape from the boredom and mundaneness of everyday life. The experiential mode corresponds to MacCannells (1973) concepts of the tourist. This type of tourist has lost their own center and seeks and leads experiences of authenticity in the life of others. The tourists of the experimental mode do not cling to the spiritual center of their own society; instead, they engage in an unfamiliar, alternative ways of life in quest of a new spiritual center. The existential mode tourists have acquired a new elective spiritual center (Cohen, 1979, p. 22), and the elective center becomes the new center of his[sic] cosmos (Cohen, 1979, p. 22). Redfoots (1984) typology of touristic realities classified tourists in the following way: the first-order or true tourist, the second-order or angst-ridden tourist, the third-order or anthropological tourist, and the fourth-order or spiritual tourist (p. 291). The first-order tourists experiences are constantly related to the reality back home and the trip is a temporary escape for them. The experiences of the second-order tourist are characterized by having an anxiety and shame over being a tourist. They are likely to seek real experiences like traveling alone or learning a few words of the local language. The reality experience of the third-order tourist is built into the anthropologists role whose strategies are developed to maintain a subjective detachment, to avoid going native(p. 299). The fourth-order tourists are engaged in saving their own souls(p. 301) through a rejection of modern culture. They search spiritual reality in the experiences of others. Pearce (1985) identified 15 travel-related roles. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed five clusters of roles: environmental, high contact, exploitative,

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15 pleasure first, and spiritual travel. Wahlers and Etzel (1985) investigated the relationship between vacation activity preferences and individual stimulation needs. Using the 40-item Arousal Seeking Tendency scale (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974), the findings suggested that stimulation seekers preferred invigorating and innovative vacations, while stimulation avoiders preferred structured and enriching vacations. Yiannakis and Gibson (1992) found at least 13 leisure-based tourist roles. They also found gender differences among tourists in that females prefer safer and more tranquil settings to seek self and/or spiritual knowledge, and males prefer more stimulating or exciting environments. Yiannakis and Gibson suggested that, tourist role preference may be influenced by culture specific factors and may reflect, to a great extent, culture-specific patterns in sex-role differences and opportunities(p. 298). In a later study Gibson and Yiannakis (2002) employed Levinsons model of the adult life course (Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson & McKee, 1978; Levinson, 1996) to investigate the relationship between psychological needs and tourist role preference patterns for men and women. The findings showed three trends in tourist role preference patterns over the adult lifecourse. Trend one was described by decreasing preference over the lifecourse such as the action seeker, the active sport tourist, the thrill seeker, the explorer, the drifter, and the sunlover. Trend two was characterized by roles increasing in preference like the anthropologist, the archaeologist, the high-class tourist, the educational tourist, and the organized mass tourist. The anthropologist refers to those who are willing to experience local cultures, such as enjoying the local people and sampling the local food. The archaeologist is described as acquiring the history of ancient civilizations. Trend three was roles, which demonstrated variable patterns over

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16 the lifecourse such as the seeker, the jetsetter, the independent mass tourist, and escapist. The findings also suggested gender differences. There were slightly different patterns according to stages in the lifecourse. Women engaged in or followed male preferences activities about five years later. These findings indicate that women may be constrained by cultural expectations such as motherhood and ethic of care, but in their late 50s they might be less constrained and have more freedom of choice. Wickens (2002) interviewed 86 British holidaymakers in Chalkidiki, Greece and identified five types of tourist: the Cultural Heritage, the Raver, the Shirley Valentine, the Heliolatrous, and the Lord Byron. The Cultural Heritage type demonstrated a strong emphasis on the natural beauties of Greece, its culture and history. This type of tourist is similar to MacCannells (1973) tourist authenticity seeking. The Raver type looked for sensual and hedonistic pleasures and their interest was primarily in the beach and night-clubs. The Shirley Valentine type was characterized by their expectation of a romantic experience with Greek males. This cluster consisted of all women travelers. The characteristics of the Heliolatrous type showed the need for sunshine. They expected and wanted the authenticity of the Greek weather (p. 841). The Lord Byron type was the tourist who returned to the same place every year. They were more likely to have contact with and direct experience of the locals. Thus, the literature shows that a range of tourist behaviors exist and men and women may be motivated by different needs to choose certain types of behaviors and at different stages in the life course. Travel and Aging There are many studies about aging and tourism. However, many of them have focused on tourism strategies or marketing as aging was seen as an emerging trend in the travel industry, rather than understanding the meaning of travel for older adults. These

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17 studies focused on the maturing market, which ranged from 50 to 65 and over, because it was assumed that they have the time and money to travel (Faranda & Schmidt, 1999; Hagan & Uysal, 1991; Shoemaker, 2000; Tongren, 1980). Zimmer, Brayley and Searle (1995) examined the differences between seniors who travel and those who do not. They found that household income level was the most influential predictor classifying travelers from nontravlers. Education was the second most powerful influence of travel behavior. Cleaver, Muller, Ruys, and Wei (1999) explored travel motives among seniors aged between 56 and 93, and identified seven travel-motive segments: nostalgics, friendlies, learners, escapists, thinkers, status-seekers, and physicals. The first four segments accounted for 83 percent of the senior tourism market. Nostalgics tend to renew memories and gaining satisfaction from experiencing favorite memories again, to tighten family togetherness, and to return to places that are full of pleasant aspects of their past. Friendlies like to meet new people and make new friends. Learners have a tendency of collecting new experiences, discovering the world, learning new things and knowledge. Escapists travel for the need to get away from the responsibilities of daily life. However, as Kelly (1999) suggested, leisure is not a separate domain of life, but is woven through all sorts of roles and relationships (p. 143), it is also important to examine what role travel plays for older people in later life. Hawes (1988) investigated the travel-related life-style profiles of women aged 50 and over. His findings suggested that many older women had the energy and desire to do active things. Penatla and Uysal (1992) suggested that travel contributes to a sense of continuity of life style for older people because travel would provide new roles and create new and positive role images lost due to retirement. Lipscombe (1995) postulated that

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18 travel experiences would facilitate self-development, learning and unique individual experiences. Gibson (2002) interviewed men and women aged between 65 and 90 years old. She found that most of the participants felt leisure-travel was an important part of their lives. Indeed, Rojek (1993) wrote, Travel is required to yield an intensified, heightened experience of oneself (p. 175). Recent studies about Japanese travelers showed different tendencies among Japanese seniors. For instance, more Japanese seniors are familiar with English movies because of the domination of the American movie industry. For those people, New York City or Hollywood is a niche for seeking authenticity. Sakai, Brown and Mak (2000) examined Japanese population aging and its potential impact on Japanese international travel in the 21 st century, and they suggested that Japanese outbound travel was expected to continue to rise. You and OLeary (2000) compared two senior Japanese groups, age 55 to 64 years old, both in 1986 and 1995, and they stated, the 1995 senior market seems to be more experienced, place higher values on overseas travel and have an overall higher activity involvement level (p. 36). Future seniors may show different leisure behavior, travel desires and patterns, and interests. More seniors may choose to expose themselves to new experiences or more novelty. Women and Travel Many studies related to women and tourism focus on women as producers (Gibson, 2001; Swain, 1995; Butler, 1995). This study concentrates on women as consumers (Gibson, 2001; Timothy, 2001). As Timothy (2001) suggested: Women experience travel, whether for business or pleasure, in context of a male-dominated industry; therefore women must go out of their way to create their own

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19 space and be recognized as equal consumers of a similar product but with individual needs. (p. 240) What are their needs for travel? Few women could travel outside of their homelands before the eighteenth century (Tinling, 1989). Historically, men traveled for exploration, conquest, challenge, adventure, and imperialism (Robinson, 1990; Tinling, 1989). For women, their needs to travel seem very personal (Tinling, 1989, p.xxiv). Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whose husband was appointed to Turkey as British Ambassador in 1716, decided to join him. She was the first authoress to travel abroad for mere curiositys sake, and call herself, with considerable pride, a traveller (Robinson, p. 32). Lady Carven began to travel in 1783 searching for adventure, as she was bored with her husband. She continued to travel until 1817 (Robinson). Isabella Lucy Bird Bishop was one of the most well-known Victorian women travelers. Although she took a trip to North America and Canada in her twenties, her traveling career started quite late in life. Until she was 40, she devoted her life to caring for her parents. Robinson described Isabella Bird, in her up-to-anything free-legged air she certainly had her moments (p. 83), and she was a born traveller, and a lasting inspiration(p. 83). Alexandra David-Neel was the first Western woman to enter Lhasa, the capital of Tibet in 1923 (Robinson; Tinling). She went there simply because she was not allowed to---and because it was her spiritual home(Robinson, p.9). Some were with their husbands; others were escapees from family responsibilities or attracted by curiosity. Whatever their reasons were, they were questing spirits, a characteristic which is not confined to one sex (Tinling, 1989, p. xxiii). Hall and Kinnaird (1994) pointed out that Victorian women used travelling as a means to an end. They were doubly removed, from other

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20 women and from societal norms, for seeking fulfillment in life other than with family and fireside (p. 194). Japanese Women and Travel Graburn (1983a) observed that the Japanese have had a very long history of domestic tourism. Umesao (1995) explained the beginning of Japanese travel as follows: By the mid-seventeenth century, in the first half of the Edo period, not only was the entire nation equipped with a system of roadways, but numerous way stations were also established with inns offering lodging and meals. The establishment of the sankintotai (alternate attendance) system spurred the development of these travel devices. And yet, transportation facilities hardly advance at all during the Edo period. This was because the shougunates policy forbade the use of mobile transportation facilities such as horse drawn carriages. As a result, people were forced to travel the roadways on foot. This led, paradoxically, to the popularization of travel among the general populace. (p. 5) About 350 years later, more than 16 million Japanese travel abroad. After the Japanese government liberalized international travel in 1964, with the help of several changes such as rapid economic growth, surging values of the yen, introduction of wide-bodied jets and rising labor force especially among women, Japanese rushed into traveling abroad (Sakai, Brown & Mak, 2000). Graburn pointed out that, the Japanese are inveterate tourists(p. 2). It might be true, but do international travelers motivations differ because of travelers cultural background? For example, it is well known that American Society is based on individualism, while Japanese society values, a sense of harmony, or togetherness. Kim and Lee (2000) investigated tourist motivation between Anglo-American and Japanese tourists. They found that Japanese tourists were more likely to show collectivism, while American tourists were more likely to show individualism. These findings show that there were cultural differences based on nationality in terms of individualism and collectivism.

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21 The geographical feature of Japan: an archipelago whose distance from the Asian Continent was neither too far to accept cultural influence nor too close to be invaded, it was suitable for Japan to create a peculiar cultural realm: homogeneous in race, language, religion and sentiments (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993). An encounter with the outer world is both fearful and exciting for the Japanese. Cohen (1972) pointed out that the organized mass tourist remains mainly within his/her environmental bubble(p. 167) throughout his/her trip. Package tours to the U.S. accounted for nearly half of the total Japanese outbound travelers both in 1998 and 1999, and about two-thirds of senior travelers bought full a package tour (JTB, 1997). These numbers show, familiarity is at a maximum, novelty at a minimum (Cohen, 1972, p. 167) for Japanese travelers in their preference for a collective style of travel. Language barriers are one of factors of strangeness for Japanese outbound travelers. Language barriers are influential on destination choices (Cohen & Cooper, 1986). Even their search for different environments and new social contacts suggests a desire for novelty and strangeness, but at the same time many Japanese maintain some sense of familiarity. Lang, OLeary and Morrison (1993) studied Japanese female overseas travelers using activity segmentation. They found that five types of travel were popular: outdoor, sports, sightseeing, life-seeing, activity combo, and naturalist. Also, they found many females took package tours. Mok and Lam (2000) reviewed the literature of travel-related behavior of Japanese leisure tourists, and they indicated that travel-related behavior of Japanese tourists was influenced to a great degree by cultural values. March (2000) identified eight stages of the Japanese travel life cycle: the family trip, school excursion, graduation trip, overseas weddings, honeymoon travel, in-company trip, and

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22 silver market which refers to senior travelers. March suggests that a combination of cultural and historical factors unique to Japan have shaped the travel life cycle. By looking at recent travel trends, especially, the fastest growing segment of senior women travelers, it is conceivable that outbound female traveler aged 50 and over and women in their 20s and 30s who choose to have fewer children or later marriage have a common idea: resistance to the social conventions of traditional Japanese society. Several studies showed that fertility change was due to changing values and gender roles among younger women (Ogawa & Retherford, 1993; Tsuya & Mason, 1995; Raymo, 1998; Yamada, 1999). Higher education and labor force participation has led women to greater economic independence and realization of individualism and gender equality (Retherford, Ogawa & Sakamoto, 1996). As a result, they refuse or delay entry into the traditional ie (family) system, where conservative values about womens roles prevail. Women should be a good wife and good mother without an identity of her own. Moreover, it is conceivable that if Japanese female outbound travelers aged 50 and over seek a non-ordinary domain apart from home-based daily life, they might resist not only the traditional wifes image but also negative stereotypes of aging. Creightons (1995) study of craft tourism for Japanese women provided a sense of how the idea of some Japanese women legitimated their travel. She described Japanese women who participated in the craft workshops. The travel, which has educational and traditional nature, is cloaked in cultural legitimacy so that they could visit various sightseeing spots, rather than having it defined as pleasure travel (p. 476). As Craik (1997) pointed out, cultural tourism has been feminised (p. 133), Japanese women need some legitimate reasons to travel not just to escape from ordinary life or to relax, but

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23 socially accepted reasons like touching and feeling authenticity or learning from professionals (JTB, 2002). In fact, the Japan Travel Bureau provides a new package tour especially for people in their fifties and sixties. They do not focus only on women, but their main focus is women who are over fifty (JTB, 2002). Moreover, from the JTB report in 2002, two interesting characteristics of Japanese oversea travelers are found. One is that more mothers and daughters are traveling abroad, and the other is that more women who are fifty and over prefer traveling with their friends than their husbands (JTB, 2001). The former trend can be explained by Kawamura (1994) in that parent-child relationships in Japan are much stronger than those between husband and wives. The latter can be understood by the desire that these women have for a space to construct her own meanings and own self-development (Gibson, 2001). For Japanese women who travel with their husbands, they will not be afforded the same opportunities to liberate themselves from traditional family roles. Japanese Womens Life Course Probably most Japanese women who are middle age and older have heard or have been told that they are like Christmas cakes. This riddle-like expression implies one stage of Japanese womens life course. Brinton (1992, 1993) explained this riddle in that Christmas cakes are very popular and sell like hot cakes up until twenty-five and after that you have a lot of trouble getting rid of them(p. 80). The metaphor of twenty-five indicates womens marriageable age. This story suggests the strong norm about marriage and age (Brinton). According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (2002), mean age at first marriage of Japanese women was 23 years old in 1950, and 27 years old in 2000. Though nowadays this metaphor may be obsolete, still Japanese women are bound to cultural norms. For example, women who are approaching

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24 the appropriate marriage age are often asked when they are going to marry. Once they are married, they are asked, when they will have their first baby. Then again they are asked when they will have a second baby. After women have had two children, they are free from these questions. Finally, they have become socially regarded as a fully-fledged woman. Marriage and childbirth are culturally the most deep-rooted life events for women in Japan. Brinton analyzed the life course in the U.S. and Japan. She suggested three dimensions of the life course presented by Modell, Furstenberg, and Herschberg (1976) were useful in cross-cultural comparisons. They are spread, reversibility of entrance and exit from specific institutions, and age-congruity. According to Brinton, spread refers to the length of time it takes to make a specific transition for a given proportion of the population. Reversibility represents whether entrance into a role or state tends to be reversed (by exit) at a later date (Brinton, p. 83). Age-congruity may be described as the extent of overlap between statuses. She suggested how to apply these concepts to life course comparison between Japan and the United States. In addition, she pointed out, American researchers of the life course have usually treated the individual as a fairly independent decision maker responding to a set of choices regarding significant role transitions according to a normatively defined life script (1992, p. 82). On the other hand, those who have a stake in exercising some control over the individuals life course transitions have more influence on individuals life course transitions entering and exiting social institutions in the social organization of Japanese society than American society. She argued the timing of life course transitions for Japanese women is described as irreversibility, with little spread, and age-incongruity, and strongly influenced by

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25 stakeholders such as parents, spouses, and employers. On the contrary, the life course transitions of American women are more reversible than permanent, and show a good amount of spread and age-congruity across individuals. The stakeholders in the life course of American women seem to be less influential than those for Japanese women. Those dimensions of the life course and the stakeholders are deeply rooted in Japanese cultural and traditional norms. For example, a main purpose of womens education in Japan is preparation for family roles (Brinton, 1992, p. 87). It is very rare that Japanese women return to school after marriage, and there is very little overlap with roles such as students and wives, or mothers. The labor market in Japan also reflects three dimensions and the stakeholders. The labor force participation of Japanese women increases until age 24 and declines from age 25 to 34 (The Cabinet Office, 2002). When they enter the work force, employers encourage them to think of the workplace not as the first stage of a working career but rather as a way station on the route to marriage (McLendon, 1983, p. 156). Brinton (1992) explained, Employment before marriage was followed by exit from the labor force after marriage. Reentry into the labor force occurred after the last child left home. In other words, labor force participation was a reversible decision (p. 92). Age-incongruity between marriage and labor force participation is attributed to Japanese euphemistic expression of marriage, which is regarded as lifetime employment (Brinton, p. 93). As Brinton suggested, The life course is affected by the historical development of social institutions within specific cultural settings (p. 101), ages at marriage and at first birth in Japan have risen over the twentieth century, while that of the United States have dropped. Educational attainment has risen in both countries, but Japanese women finish

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26 their education as scheduled. American women show more diversity such as returning to school after marriage, or divorce (Brinton). Though the Japanese womens life course is strongly influenced by the conventional ideas, changes have gradually occurred. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws put into effect in 1986, which officially prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex and from denying opportunities for jobs and promotions to women (Brinton, 1993; Rosenberger, 1996). Other aspects of change are the aging society and fertility decline. Aging itself is not a problem, rather aging is considered as a happy occasion in Japanese Confucian values, however, population aging is thought to bring a health-care system collapse and a financial crisis in the social security system (Ogawa & Retherford, 1993). Moreover, the continuing low birthrate accelerates a demographic change into an aging society. The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research revised the birthrate projection downward from1.61 to 1.39 (2002). It indicates old-age dependency ratios will exceed 60.0 by 2050. Several studies have investigated fertility decline in Japan (Morgan, Rindfuss & Parnell, 1984; Ogawa & Retherford 1993; Raymo, 1998; Tsuya & Mason, 1995). Raymo pointed out increasing number of unmarried women in their 20s and early 30s have contributed to the recent fertility decline. Tsuya and Mason argued that because of the new opportunities in the educational and economic systems Japanese women tend to delay their marriage. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare take the trend of fewer numbers of children seriously; they have adopted several measures to cope with it. They held the Meeting of the Learned to Consider Measures to Cope with Fewer Numbers of Children (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 1999). The proposals submitted at the Meeting

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27 include: revision of the division of roles between men and women, the promotion of joint participation by men and women in family affairs, and the improvement of child care services such as daily nurseries (Chapter 5, Section 1). In response to the proposals, the government has promoted day-care measures. They have introduced more flexible and less uniform nursery care services than have been traditionally provided. Encouraging men to participate in child rearing was also one of the measures that the Ministry took in 1999. Low fertility rates will result in decreased labor force population, which may hinder the economic growth and increase the burden on the younger generation. Whether she chooses family roles or not is an individuals matter. However, when this movement becomes collective, it may be construed as a form of political practice (Shaw, 2001). Nozawa (1995) examined the Japanese tourism industry and found, There seems to be a correlation between the growth of the Japanese female outbound market and the improvement of the working conditions and environment for female professionals in travel-related industries (p. 486). Japanese Womens Changing Values Improved educational opportunities were thought to be one of the main factors leading to changing values for women. With the prevalence of the egalitarian ideology introduced by the postwar constitution (Meguro, 1990), more women became better educated and independent. It is expected that the young generation at present will have an influence on the behaviors or attitudes of the next generation. Anderton, Tsuya, Bean, and Mineau (1987) found indirect associations of intergenerational transmission regarding the timing of fertility-related life-course events. Although womens higher education was supposed to be associated with the recent fertility decline through four generations, it was not a single factor. The number of junior colleges or universities for

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28 women is an important indicator in understanding womens status, but more importance should be put on intergenerational relations. Daughters of the first generation spent their adolescence in the typical traditional family where their mothers did not have any right to choose or decide, because they had neither higher education nor economic independence. Some women might have antipathy against inequality, but most women would give up fighting inequality, and some would not even think of fighting inequality. Coupled with the introduction of democratic and egalitarian ideologies, daughters of the second generation began to advance in higher education and participate in paid work. Increasing numbers of daughters from the next generation graduated from junior colleges or universities, and got paid jobs. Thanks to high economic growth during 1950s to 1970s, they would have material security. However, gender roles in the family still reflected pre-industrial culture (Inglehart, 1990). More women began to enjoy themselves fully until they were bound to traditional family roles. The recent survey by the Institution of Population Problems (2000) showed that 50.7% of respondents felt that men were treated better than women at home, 60.7% of them thought men received better treatment than women at work, and 76.6% of them believed that men had better treatment than women culturally and traditionally. However, 63.9% of them thought that men and women were treated equally in education (N=3,378). Tsuya and Mason (1995) suggest that unless gender roles especially at home change and become more attractive for young women, the Japanese government should expect a continuing declining in fertility. However, the Japanese traditional systems may be changing, but at a very slow pace. According to the survey by the Institution of Population Problems in 1997, from 1975 the number of women of 20 to 29 years old who

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29 have never married increased sharply, and that of women aged 30 to 34 almost doubled. These trends coincide with the onset of womens educational opportunities. More opportunities for women in education provided them with more opportunities to participate in the labor force, and women gained significant new opportunities for individual survival, as well as a sense of belonging, esteem, and self-realization (Tsuya & Mason, 1995, p. 142). As a result, fertility and female marriage may have declined in recent years. There were important transitions for womens life course after the Second World War. For example, the age cohort of 70 years old experienced the democratization of educational system just after the war. They encouraged their daughters to take higher education. Women aged 60 and over devoted themselves to hard work after the war. They sacrificed their adulthood for their countrys development. It is not surprising that they thought they did not want their children to live like them (Yamada, 1999). Their children inevitably came to enjoy time and money for themselves until they met an ideal partner. Moreover, because of the current recession and low-growth economy, male wages are relatively low. On the other hand, women who co-reside with their parents are relatively wealthy because their parents have higher income based on the seniority system. It may be difficult for a woman to find a man who has a higher salary and education compared to her parents. It is ironic that the purpose of womens education in Japan was to produce good wives and good mothers and to prepare for family roles (Brinton, 1992). However, the contemporary educational system which is considered to be equal for both men and women makes women realize how their world has been still confined to the traditional

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30 demand and age-appropriate norms (Iwao, 1993). Iwao explains that womens education in Japan has encouraged the ideas of independence and self-identity in women who were born after the World War II. Consequently, the number of unmarried women has risen and as a consequence the birth rate has declined. Moreover, Japanese women may resist Japanese government policies which channel women into nurturing positions at home and lower-level positions at work in order to maintain a societal order (Rosenberger, 1996, p. 12), and may pursue the fulfillment of their desires based on the ideals of individuality and freedom. Summary Given that tourism is considered to enable individuals to spend a period of time in a new place or places (Kinnaird & Hall, 1994, p. 11), leisure-travel may provide women with spaces where they can express themselves more freely than in their home environments (Graburn, 1983a, 1983b; Wearing, 1998). Like the Victorian women travelers, although the number of travelers was much smaller than that of today, Japanese women may travel in search of experiences that they find meaningful. Coupled with the prevalence of womens higher education, their labor force participation, and exposures to egalitarian ideas, more Japanese women have become aware of their own identities. The literature clearly shows that traditional Japanese values are changing. The increasing numbers of Japanese female leisure-travelers aged 50 and over suggests that this may be one realm of their lives where they can resist traditional family roles and a society where they are expected to do as they are told. Tourism may enable them to learn more about their own subjectivities to a greater extent (Wearing, 1998) and develop a sense of empowerment.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS Research Design A qualitative research design was adopted for this study. In-depth semi-structured interviews were the primary method used to uncover the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women who are 50 years old and over. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between tourism and quality of life for these older women. Particularly, this study examined both traditional Japanese gender roles and changing womens values and how these might be related to leisure-travel choices in later life. Research Method Pilot Study As Gibson (2001) suggested, Interviewing tourists about their experiences may be one way to understand the meaning of travel in peoples lives (p. 27), using a semi-structured interview guide, in-depth interviews were conducted in two data collection stages with older Japanese women. The first stage involved two interviews via the telephone during spring 2003 and was the pilot study for the second stage of data collection. The telephone interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, read and re-read, and then examined line-by-line to identify prominent patterns and concepts. Then the transcripts were translated into English. The initial patterns that emerged from the data were: both women were strongly influenced by the Second World War and their parents; they were willing to learn what they did not know; they preferred an individual tour to a package tour and they had optimistic views toward their life. From this process the 31

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32 interview guide was revised in three ways. First, when asked about their travel experiences, they were asked whether their travel was domestic or international. Since this study worked from the assumption that tourism provides a personal space for challenging traditional gender roles and creating individual identity for women, no specific limitations as to the type of travel was used. The second revision was as they talked much about their parents, but little about their husbands, one more question, Tell me about your husband was added if they did not mention their husbands for married women. The final revision was to employ some flexibility in the order of the interview guide so as to allow participants to speak more freely during the interviews. The Interview Guide Interview questions were based on the womens life events, life review, identity, aging, and the present (Kaufman, 1986). Hence, the interview guide was designed to encourage the women to talk about their lives, family roles, and travel history. The questions included: (a) asking interview participants travel history and experiences, and meanings of each trip for them (Gibson, 2002); (b) the role of travel over their life course; (c) insights on their parents, marriage, and children; and, (d) their feelings about growing old (see Appendix A for Interview Guide). Six questions addressed their travel history: (1) Please tell me about your most recent vacation or trip; (2) Looking back over your life talk to me about some of your travel experiences; (3) What meanings does travel have for you; (4) Do you have any activities you regularly take part in; (5) In comparison to these activities, how important is travel to you; and (6) Do you have a dream vacation. Three final questions asked about life in general: (7) Life events; (8) Life review; and (9) Aging. These questions also had probes associated with them and were used to delve more deeply into aspects of their lives. The first question had two objectives: a) to make

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33 the participants feel at ease; and b) to talk about their most recent travel patterns. The second question was asked to find out whether their travel patterns changed over their life course. The third question attempted to ask participants about the meanings of travel through out their lives. The fourth question endeavored to recognize their daily activity patterns. The fifth question asked them about the role of travel in their life compared to everyday activities. The sixth question asked them about their dream vacations. The seventh question asked about their parents. The eighth question inquired about their personal history. The final question asked their feelings about getting old and their attitudes toward later life. Data Collection The second stage of the data collection comprised face-to-face interviews conducted during summer 2003. During this second stage, snowball and theoretical sampling were employed based on concepts from the literature review and patterns emerging from the pilot study interviews. Consequently, participants were selected on the basis of age, travel experiences, socio-economic background, and marital status. Participants were initially contacted by letter or phone call. They lived in the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. (see Figure 1.) The study was explained to them and they were asked to participate in a 40 to 60-minute face-to face interview about the meanings of travel in their lives. Upon their consent, an interview was scheduled at a time and place they designated as convenient for them. The interviews lasted between 35 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes. Ten were interviewed at their residences, four took place in a quiet coffee shop, and one woman was at her office. Prior to beginning the interview, the interviewer read the informed consent form, asked for a signature on two copies of it, obtained permission to audiotape the interview, explaining that the tape could be turned

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34 off at any time, and their confidentiality would be maintained at all times. The principal investigator conducted the interviews in Japanese. Tapes, transcripts and translations were stored in a locked file cabinet. Research participants were identified with codes to ensure their privacy and confidentiality. After each interview a transcribed copy was sent to the research participant for verification and approval. The Participants Purposive sampling was employed initially in the pilot study. Two women living in the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan were interviewed via the telephone in April 2003. The two women were selected on the basis of the researchers knowledge of their travel experiences and socio-economic background. They were first contacted by the telephone. Then both the consent form and the interview guide were sent to them via email and surface mail. After a few days for one woman and two weeks for the other, they were contacted by telephone to confirm their agreement to participate in the study. One of these women is a 66-year-old married retiree with two grown-up children. The other is a 70-year-old married English teacher with no children. The former woman has extensive travel experiences. The latter woman has visited the USA once every two years since 1990. After the interviews the two women were asked to suggest additional people for interviewing. A further 15 Japanese women who were 50 years old and over, and have travel experiences were recruited to take part in the second stage of the data collection process. All participants of this study are residents of the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. In the middle of June 2003, the primary investigator had an opportunity to give a presentation about Floridas tourism to an audience of about 80 in the Kagawa Prefecture Japan. As part of this presentation she spoke about the study and recruited additional interview participants. Six women responded after the presentation and consented to

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35 Table 1: Profile of interview participants *Participants Age Marital Status Biographical Notes Work History Aki 66 Married Swimming, English conversation Two grown-up children. Retired Kaori 70 Married No children. Frequent traveler Teaching English Chisato Late-60s Married Volunteer for people who have a visual impairment. Extensive traveler Retired Tomo Mid-60s Married Volunteer for people who have a visual impairment. Longing for Tibet. Extensive traveler Retired Etsuko 70 Married Volunteer for people who have a visual impairment. Travels abroad twice every year Housewife Fumi 66 Married Chorus, Arts Extensive traveler Housewife Takako 65 Single, never married Swimming, more than 20 international trips Retired Haruyo Late-50s Married Volunteer for homeless people Extensive traveler Housewife Izumi Mid-50s Married Teaching Japanese for foreign people. Extensive traveler Housewife Junko 54 Married Trekking. No children Extensive traveler Housewife Kumiko 58 Married Two children. Taught in schools for handicapped children. Retired Rie 53 Single, never married Individual traveler. Volunteer for an international exchange program. Secretary Mai 65 Married Extensive traveler. Teaching English & Womens Studies at several colleges. Novelist, translator, & teacher Naomi 70 Married Lived in Panama for two years. Volunteer for people with handicapped. Poet Sumire 83 Widowed Loves nature. Three children & six grandchildren Pharmacist Yuri 50 Married Three children Infrequent traveler Pharmacist Ryoko 52 Married Two children. Infrequent traveler Substitute teacher *Pseudonym used

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36 participate in the interview. The rest of women were introduced to the primary investigator by the first and second stage interview participants. Coupled with the findings from the first telephone interviews, such as influence of the War and parents, marital status, and work experience, and the purpose of the study, these participants were selected on the basis of theoretical sampling. On two occasions, two participants unexpectedly invited their friends to their homes. Consequently, collective interviews were conducted, that is, three women were interviewed at once. The interviews were the same as the others although a few questions regarding to their socioeconomic backgrounds including age, education and income were not asked because of their sensitive nature. The interviews were conducted to the point at which the data were theoretically saturated and no new findings were evident in subsequent interviews. Research participants were selected from several different communities and volunteer groups in the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. A total of 17 women ranging in age from 50 to 83 years were interviewed (see Table 1). Seven were in their 50s, six were in their 60s, three were in their 70s, and one woman was in her 80s. One was widowed, two had never married, and 14 women were currently married. As for travel experiences, one women who was in her 80s did not have any international travel experience, however, most women traveled frequently both domestic or internationally. All names used in this study are pseudonyms. As some women were unwilling to answer annual income, education and accurate age, they were not required to answer them. Data Analysis Constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was employed through out the interviews and analysis of the data. Data analysis began with reading the transcriptions intensively. Then the interview data were broken down into distinct

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37 episodes, events, remarks, ideas and feelings. They were categorized by using the technique of labeling. Open coding was used to identify initial categories in the data. Then axial coding was used to explore how these categories were interrelated. Selective coding then was used to integrate and refine these categories into a grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Along with coding, memos were also used to clarify the categories and reduce ambiguity (Sausser, Dattilo & Kivel, 2000). According to Strauss and Corbin (1998), memos are to serve as reminders or sources of information, and very specialized types of written records-those that contain the products of analysis or directions for the analyst (p. 217). Through these methods, the interviews were coded, which allowed for the discovery of new concepts. Participants were contacted by follow-up letters, emails or phone calls for subsequent data collection based on these emerging new concepts. When no new concepts were identified, the principal investigator felt that the data were saturated and no further interviews were conducted. Glaser and Strauss described the constant comparative method as having four stages: a) comparing incidents applicable to each category; b) integrating categories and their properties; c) delimiting the theory; and d) writing the theory. Through these processes, important themes and sub-themes were identified from the data. To validate these themes and sub-themes, they were compared against the initial patterns that had been identified and also to the raw data. In addition, two women were contacted by email and asked for their comments about these themes. Following their confirmation, the themes and sub-themes emerging from the interview data were verified. As for the translation from the original language into English, Strauss and Corbin (1998) suggested, key passages and their codes can be translated, approximating the

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38 original as closely as possible(p. 286), because often, there is no equivalent English word capable of capturing the subtle nuances in meaning of the original language(p. 285). Much attention was paid to the translation process from Japanese into English. Initially the principal investigator translated all of the interviews into English. Then a Japanese individual who has lived in the US more than three years was asked to translate the English translations back into Japanese, and then those Japanese translations and the original interviews were then compared for discrepancies. When different nuances were found, the primary investigator and the bilingual person discussed them and agreed on a fitting translation. Description of Interview Site The Kagawa Prefecture is located in the northeast area of Shikoku Island, which is in southwest Japan (see Figure 1). Kagawa faces the Seto Inland Sea. Kagawa's population is slightly over one million. Almost 40% of employed people (210,000) in Kagawa engage in the primary and secondary industries. Kagawa's population is growing older with elderly people comprising about 21%. Today, internationalization in Kagawa is pervasive. After Kagawa created friendly ties with Shaanxi province in China in 1994, various cities, towns and groups around the prefecture have sister city affiliations and friendly links with cities including St. Petersburg FL, towns and groups overseas. Furthermore the number of people traveling abroad and the number of exchange students coming from various countries to Kagawa increases every year. Internationalization is growing steadily at both governmental and grass roots level (Kagawa Prefecture, 1999). There are two reasons why Kagawa was chosen as an interview site. One reason was that Kagawa was the place where the primary investigator was born, brought up, and

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39 lived until 2000. Because theoretical sampling was employed in this study, it was convenient to conduct interviews in the place where prospective interviewees lived. The other reason was that despite the fact Kagawa has relatively conservative atmosphere, people tend to be influenced by non-traditional ways of life, and they are becoming more conscious of internationalization. Figure 3-1. The interview site map (Source: http://www.student.kuleuven.ac.be/~m9205627/shikoku/kagawa/index.html )

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This study investigates the meaning of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over and identifies the contribution of tourism to the fulfillment of their later lives. Particularly, this study examines both traditional Japanese gender roles and the opportunities for women to resist these values and to empower themselves by seeking new aspects of their identity through leisure-travel. Two themes were identified from the interviews with 17 Japanese women and the memos taken during the interviews. Feeling of freedom from ordinary life or obligation was the first theme. The second theme was longing for knowledge. Under these two themes there were several sub-themes, which were difficult to categorize as they were closely interconnected. Before discussing the themes, however, it is essential to understand the life context of these women in terms of the historical time frame in which they grew up along with the attitudes of their parents, and their educational backgrounds. In addition to the socio-historical events, volunteering is also discussed, as it is perceived that volunteering is an important part of the majority of the womens present lives. Historical Backgrounds The War The Japanese women in this study were born between 1920 and 1953. When asked about leisure-travel through their lives, seven women who were 50 and over did not talk about the Second World War at all, instead, they mentioned their family trips with parents or grandparents. Eight women aged 60 and over, however, did talk about the 40

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41 War. They said that when they were children or young adults, little thought was given to leisure-travel. Rather, some women thought travel meant going or moving somewhere. Aki, a 66-year-old married retiree, and Takako, a 65-year-old single and never married, returned to Japan from China when the War was over. Both women had similar experiences. Aki vividly remembered the day she returned to Japan, she said: My memories of childhood travel are totally miserable. The ship we were on was the last one from China. It was a cargo boat. We were packed in the bottom of the ship with cows and horses. We arrived in Sasebo, and then went to Niigata, Kagawa, Kobe, and Hokkaido. I kept crying the whole journey. Just four months after coming back to Japan, Aki lost her mother when she was ten. After the War, times were difficult so she, her father and brother traveled around to live with various relatives. Takako also recollected: I barely remember, but I think we left Shenyang, China in September 1946. We consisted of myself along with my two sisters and two brothers. I was the oldest and in the second grade. One sister was six and one three months. One brother was five and one three. As my father and mother carried all the baggage, my sister of six carried my baby sister of three months on her back. I carried my three-year-old brother on my back because he suffered from malnutrition and could not walk by himself. We boarded the train, an open freighter car, and were fortunate it did not rain on the way to the port to board the ship. The ships hold was like a sports field, and probably had been loaded with tanks. On the trip I saw a ship get caught in a torpedo net, it sank, and the ships crew that died were buried at sea. I still remember the fear I felt at that time. We arrived in Sasebo, Japan in October. I remember the whole trip took one month. After they returned to Japan, Takakos mother had a baby boy. She died of pancreatic cancer when the baby boy was one year and six months old. When she was in the sixth grade, her father remarried. Takako did not say much about her stepmother, but she missed her real mother. She explained: My stepmother was not a bad person, but I wanted my mother. I didnt really want to marry. Maybe I live an easy life. I dont think seriously about my life, but the loss of my mother was the most tragic memory in my life. I am happy now and I dont regret not marrying or having children.

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42 She has traveled abroad both intensively and extensively since 1968 with her sisters, brothers, other relatives or her friends. For example, between 2000 and 2001 she traveled to Israel, Jordan, Oregon, Canada, Europe, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She wants to travel to several places where she has never been including the Arctic and Antarctica. When asked the most important thing in living a good life, she answered, Peace and no war. Sumire, an 83-year-old pharmacist, did not have much to say about the War except, I never relaxed a single day until the War was over. Like Kaori, a 70-year-old English teacher, Etsuko, a 70-year-old housewife, and Chisato, late 60s married retiree, they did not really travel when they were children. They said, It was that kind of time. Therefore, most women aged 60 and over did not really travel, while women in their 50s had a few travel experiences with their family with the post-war high economic growth. Parents Their parents were born in the period from the 1880s to the 1930s, roughly just after the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the pre-war era. Smith (1987) noted those women who lived during this period were meant to obey three men throughout their lives: their father, husband, and the eldest son. The eldest son is included because he acts as the head of the household in her later life. Smith described this further: (P)rewar Japan was a highly andocentric society the good and virtuous woman--mother and wife, be it remembered--was nonetheless a limited being. Women were thought to be less intelligent than men, more emotional and so less rational, less reliable, vindictive, potentially dangerous if not rigorously disciplined, and worst of all, silly. (p. 9) Women in this study grew up in such families where traditional gender roles dominated. They spoke of the great influences their parents had over them while growing up.

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43 When asked who had been the most influential people at various stages in their lives, most women mentioned their parents in different ways. Chisato, Etsuko, and Rie, a 53-year-old single secretary, remembered that their fathers were powerful and oppressive. Rie said: Typically, my father was a commanding tyrant when my mother was at home. Recently she has been suffering from dementia and only remembers when she had a hard time with him. She often says she wanted to be free from him. So I told her, then why didnt you leave him when you were young. She did not say anything about it, though. Akis father was different from those described by the other women. She described her parents: My father, I think, lacked vitality for living, but he bought me a set of paints even though we were on welfare, because I liked painting. My mother was very realistic and a hard-worker. I think my personality is similar to hers. I act like her. Although her mother died when she was ten years old, Aki was strongly influenced by her mother. Izumi, in her mid-50s and married, explained that her mother served her husband obediently until he retired. However, Izumi closely looked at her mother and noticed that her mother began to get very domineering after her father retired. Chisato spoke about her parents. She explained that her father had great influence on the family, but he also contemplated much before doing anything. Her mother was a woman who walked behind him, but after he died, she became a much more active woman. Naomi, a 70-year-old poet, depicted her father as a reticent man who made his presence felt, yet her mother was a very social and out-going person. Though their mothers lived according to typical traditional Japanese norms, some of them differed from societal expectations. Junko, 54-years-old and married, portrayed her mother as a woman who got her own way. Tomo, mid-60s and married, said her mother has been complaining to Tomos father that only she is always busy working.

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44 She wanted to be a man if she could be reborn because men could do whatever they wanted to do. Sumire remembered her father was very gentle, while her mother was a strong-minded woman. Thus, the women in this study had been influenced by their parents and their mothers influences in particular appeared to be reflected in their daughters lives. Some mothers were typical traditional mothers, while the others were not. Women in this study assimilated their mothers influence either by adopting or rebelling against their mothers way of life. Education Women in this study were not explicitly asked about education, even so, ten women among those interviewed were college or university educated. Until the Fundamental Law of Education was proclaimed in 1947, the idea that learning is unnecessary for women and an over-educated daughter would fare poorly in the marriage market of the times (Smith, 1987, p. 7) were widely recognized. Some women talked about their education in terms of endearment, some in terms of anger, and some a little of both. Their mothers were always happy with the fact that their daughters received an education, but their fathers primarily believed that an education was unnecessary. Fumi, a 66-year-old married retiree, said quietly but firmly: My father liked to look down on my mother because she had only an elementary school education. He had a bachelors degree in business. She encouraged me to go to a college, though he insisted that higher education was not necessary for me. Despite this, she graduated from a university in Tokyo with her mothers blessing, for which she was very grateful. About 40 years later, she completed a masters degree in art in a graduate school at a national university in Japan. Kaori remembered:

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45 My father was a very gentle and enjoyable person. But as for education, my mother was an education mom(kyiku mama). They could not afford to let me have higher education, but she persuaded him that women would certainly need education in the future. I attended a mission school, which was her great contribution to me. At that time, it was conventional wisdom that women did not have to get a higher education. However, my mother insisted that the time for higher education had come, and convinced him not to miss the chance. Iwao (1993) defined herself as an education mom, one who pursues vicarious fulfillment through the accomplishments of her children. Whether their mothers were education moms or not, there were some women who pursued educational attainment by resisting social norms with the help of their mothers who had not been able to fulfill their own educational ambitions. Aki reminisced about her younger days and said, I really wanted to go to a college. However, she finished her high school education attending evening classes while she worked during the day. She has been learning English conversation twice a week. Her dream vacation is staying at homes in English speaking countries. Though Kaori had a college education, she still wants to study English in a university. Historical events and social structure prevented some women from pursuing higher education. Some women attended community education programs, while others were involved in volunteer activities. Volunteering In their home lives, twelve women were involved in volunteering activities. Eight women participated in volunteering regularly, while four women did so occasionally. Chisato, Tomo and Etsuko belong to the same volunteer group where they read books for people who have visual impairment once a week. Tomo described volunteering as a facilitator of mind growth. She believed travel was along the same lines. Chisato explained her thoughts about volunteering:

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46 When we are volunteering, we interact with people at a daycare center. They teach us how to make pickles. When they say they anticipate seeing us next month, we feel all the more pleased. I think volunteer experiences help my personal growth. Her engagement in volunteer activities gave her an opportunity to interact with others and participate fully in society. As a result, she could find a place outside her home within her ordinary life, similar to escaping the mundane through travel. Haruyo supports homeless people in Osaka mainly by sending goods twice a year. Once she stayed at the shelter with them. She described her experience: I was shocked to see people lying on the street such a cold night in February. At night between buildings, cardboards, just a size of coffin, were placed one after another. Next morning, I saw a long, long line and found they lined up to get rice balls. I found myself asking that this happened in Japan? She added that most important thing for her was a moment that is just a moment and cannot be repeated. She cherished the chance of once-in-a-lifetime (Ichigo ichie), which is the idea that every single encounter never recurs in a lifetime introduced by Sen-no-Riky in the sixteenth century. She always thinks of this concept in everyday life as well as in traveling and volunteering. Bradley (1999-2000) said, Individuals use volunteering to construct an enhanced sense of purpose by doing things for others, to build a fuller sense of identity by pursuing personal interests, or to create a reasonable structure for their daily lives(p. 45). In addition, as Henderson et al. (1989) pointed out, volunteerism has generally been considered as work rather than leisure, women in this study think volunteering is a socially acceptable activity, in other words, they do not have to feel guilty for not being at home or not taking care of their husbands while they are volunteering. The women have found a space where they can maintain their personal growth away from home which is socially acceptable.

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47 On the one hand the women participate in volunteering without feeling guilty because it is not for their own sake but for other peoples sake, but on the other some women feel guilty when they travel because it is not sanctioned in the same way as volunteering. However, they may negotiate such feelings by persuading themselves that they should have a right to travel, as they dedicate themselves not only to their families but also to others. Moreover, their motivations to engage in volunteering are very similar to their travel motivations. By involving themselves in the lives of others this provides them with a sense of self-worth. Likewise, by interacting with local people and cultures the women know the differences between their own cultures and other countries. Consequently, they became conscious of themselves. Feelings of Freedom The women in this study shared or experienced common historical contexts in regards to their social and cultural background. From their travel patterns, all women in this study had travel experiences when they were children, even though some times these were tragic. However, most women in their 50s went on family trips as well, other women did not mention family trips, instead they brought up the excursions from their school days. A school excursion refers to a systematized school trip where elementary, junior and senior students travel around to see historical and cultural interests as a part of their school program. These trips originated in the 1880s as a means of physical and spiritual education for Japanese youth (March, 2000). Kaori remarked, When I was in the sixth grade, I went to Kochi and in high school, we went to Osaka as a school excursion. Until I began to work, I did not specifically travel anywhere. The only enjoyable memory about travel for Aki was the school excursion to Tokyo. Sumire also experienced a school excursion in sixth grade. Although she only traveled 40 miles, she

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48 remembered it took a long time. She noted, I was sitting in the school yard in the faint morning light. I only remember that charcoal soot got into my eye. Thus, most travel undertaken in their childhood tended not to be motivated by intrinsic reasons. Therefore, when did such desires as getting away from the demands of home or escaping from the ordinary emerge for these women? It obviously began after they married or got a job. Twelve women remarked that the meanings of travel for them were to feel free, including relaxation (rirakkusu), escape (thi), and enjoying non-ordinary life (hi-nichji). An additional sub-theme, relative freedom, is also related to the main theme. This sub-theme may negatively influence aspirations for travel, but the women were somehow able to negotiate any constraints they felt might impede their travel. Feeling Free Six women explained relaxation was the meaning of travel. Kumiko, a 58-year-old retiree said, Relaxation is the most important. Travel takes me to a more dynamic world, because Im free from ordinary life. Izumi said that travel energized her. Sumire emphasized the importance of relaxation by traveling. She felt that when she traveled she could be free from busy days. Although she is 83 years old, she still works as a full-time pharmacist in a hospital six days a week. She continued: I prefer traveling by myself to a group tour. When I am surrounded by nature in a different place, I feel I can be selfless. Only travel can enable me to get away from busy days and rest my body and soul in Mother Nature. Being a full-time pharmacist, Sumire traveled less frequently than the others, but she remembered her past travel with her husband and family. Although she was concerned about her age and health, she always cherished a hope of visiting places of natural beauty, which, she thought, encouraged her to stay healthy.

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49 When asked the meaning of travel, two women in their 50s, mentioned that it was escape. Rie said, For me travel is just escape, escape from work, and escape from various pressures. That is the most important. Yuri a 50-year-old pharmacist with three children said, Travel means escape from the real world. Travel enables me to feel I live in a different world. Yuri is in the middle of motherhood, has a job, and is concerned about her childrens education, and about her husband who is approaching retirement age. She wants to travel whenever she feels like it, but does not want to worry about her family. As Rie is single, she has different social pressures than Yuri. Sooner or later nearly 90% of Japanese women marry (Statistics Bureau, 2000). She did not talk about her feelings of remaining single, but she did say that her father puts great pressure on her to marry. Since he is a very traditional man, it is assumed that he may worry about the surrounding world (seken). As Benedict (1967) pointed out, Japanese culture is a shame culture, for Japanese behavior is not ruled by an inner belief but an external feeling of shame (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993). Lebra (1984) emphasized the importance of seken (surrounding world) and sekentei (the honorable appearance as viewed by the surrounding world), The seken (surrounding world) in whose eyes the ie reputation is to be preserved consists of shinseki, nakodo, neighbors, employers, employees, bosses, subordinates, colleagues, customers, or a more vaguely defined community (p. 154). Because of this, it is likely that Rie is under pressure from not only her parents but also her surrounding world. Indeed, she said, One thing I am looking forward to is being 60 years old is because I will travel without any obligations. As noted in Chapter 2, the age

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50 of 60 symbolizes the entrance to the last life stage beginning with the middle age. Lebra explained this life stage that: (W)hen a woman, freed from the burden of childrearing, can enjoy autonomy, obtain power and leadership in and out of the household, begin to have her past hardship and energy investment repaid, taste a sense of accomplishment and, ikigai, [lifes worth] and develop a retrospective insight and wisdom on life. (p. 253) Therefore, she thought she could be free from social obligations when she reached 60 years old. For Fumi, the meaning of travel was escape from everyday life. She added, Travel lets me feel free from the ordinary life, traveling abroad especially allows me to escape from the burdensome relationship with family or relatives. Five more women also said travel was something they used to escape from everyday life or obligations. Four women said leisure-travel took them to non-ordinary life. Ryoko, a 52-year old substitute teacher, explained traveling with her friend is the most enjoyable because she could feel liberated and was fully satisfied with non-ordinary life without family. She added travel plays a role of adding punctuation marks on life. Aki said, Regardless of domestic or international, travel brings me to a non-ordinary world. Thats fun. Aki truly enjoys her non-ordinary life, but interestingly she is attracted by an everyday life in different cultures. Mai, a 65-year-old novelist, pointed out the reason she liked travel is, I dont have to wash the dishes or clear the table. Thats really nice. I can be anybody. I feel I am coming back to life as a new person. Travel recreates my soul. Tomo depicted her feeling when she went on a trip to northern Japan. She said: First, I read a book; next, I visit the places where I am inspired by the book. Then I can feel the spirit of the places. I cant tell what I feel, but the most important thing is the fact I experience myself with my body and spirit standing in the places surrounded by nature. I love nature. I feel liberated, no, not such a saccharine sentimentality, something sinking deep into my mind, a great peace in mind. As a

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51 result, I can attain a spiritual state of selflessness. I think I look for those senses in my travel. When she had argued with her husband about values of freedom, or other values, she found a great gap existed between the two of them, so she started traveling alone, which she found to be much more pleasant because it allows her to communicate with her inner self. Thus, some women just enjoyed the free atmosphere apart from home, others recreated their body and mind. Though their feelings of freedom may come from different psychological situations, Wearing (1998) explains women construct many subjectivities, many Is. This seems to describe the womens experiences of travel in this study. Relative Freedom The second sub-theme is relative freedom. Four women mentioned somewhat negative feelings accompanied by leisure-travel. Womens lives are influenced by various social roles and values, particularly family responsibilities. While most of the women in this study spoke of the freedom that leisure-travel afforded them, they also identified two constraints: husbands tagging along and feeling guilty. The majority of women agreed that tourism enabled them to feel free from various situations. Nonetheless, this freedom sometimes depended on whom they traveled with. Fumi was disappointed that she did not get a chance to revisit England by herself, where she had lived for two years, before her husband retired. She explained: After he retired, he was always tagging along with me (wahi-mo-zoku). I feel I lost my freedom. It was difficult to deal with because caring for him made it hard to enjoy my feeling of freedom at times. When I was in my 50s, I had a lot of dreams. I will feel relieved becoming 70 when everything will be settled. I will be happy with being a good grandmother.

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52 Although generally the onset of 60 years old means the beginning of feeling rewarded for the long years of hardship and energy investment (Lebra, 1984), Fumi did not feel that she had achieved this state as her husbands retirement had constrained her somewhat. Instead she looked to the age of 70 where she could either give up her dreams or find a new dream in grandmotherhood. Etsuko also felt constrained by her husband. She had traveled abroad several times with her friends before. However, she began to feel sorry for her husband, so she asked him to go abroad with her, and since then he plays a leading role in her travel. They travel twice a year regularly. However, she complained: Whenever I travel with him, I feel like I am dragging my home. He asks me where his underwear are, where his pajamas are. When we get on a train or bus, I cant sit by the window, because he insists on taking pictures. He always sits by the window. So I feel half-free from everyday life when I travel with him. Traveling with friends is much more pleasant than with my husband because we have a different sense of values. She went on to explain that her dream vacation was anywhere without her husband. Chisato agreed that traveling with her husband was a limited freedom, however, she always went abroad with her husband. She said: I enjoyed traveling with my friends twice as much as traveling with my husband, because I totally feel free and relaxed. I can visit whenever and wherever I want to see. I can view things from the new situation. Since Ive hurt my back, however, I knew going with him is very convenient, because he is my exclusive porter. Aki also expressed complaints about her husband: Every time we boarded a plane, he got airsick. He needs a lot of looking after. Nevertheless, he will not go anywhere without me, there is no way to travel and leave him behind. I think in general, husbands are jealous of wives for enjoying themselves without husbands. She traveled abroad several times, and all her international travels were with her husband. Their views that traveling with husbands might reduce their feelings of freedom from

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53 home or everyday chores are in common with Shaws (1992) findings. She explained that the caring aspects of family leisure frequently brought negative effects for women, because family leisure experiences often resulted in work for women, and furthermore: If women consistently put the leisure needs of other family members before their own needs, they may tend to lose a sense of their own right to leisure and right to leisure and right to time and enjoyment for themselves. (p. 284) These four women knew traveling with friends or alone was much more enjoyable than with their husbands, on the other hand, they recognized that the husband and wife were the last companion as they were left alone (Lebra). By maintaining the marriage the women feel a sense of accomplishment in perseverance. Mai was a little different from these women. She had lived in the United States for one year, and explained: American men, they take care of their wives when traveling together such as driving and buying ice cream. On the contrary, Japanese men expect to be taken care of by their wives even in their travels as a matter of course. It is not surprising that Japanese wives dont want to travel with their husbands. I travel within my own budget, with my own money. I dont financially depend on him. Our daughters have already grown up. Japanese women have served their family enough to deserve to be free. I keep house well. Its my choice to travel or not, or with whom to travel. She often travels abroad not with her husband but with her friends. Three women mentioned they felt guilty about their travel. Etsuko and Chisato felt guilty about their husbands. Their guilty feelings can be explained in terms of the ethic of care and a lack of entitlement to leisure (Henderson et al., 1989), Chisato explained how she got over her guilty feelings. She pulled her husband into her world, in other words; they share the enjoyment of travel. However, Izumi felt differently. Izumi felt guilty about people in developing countries; guilt accruing from her social conscience. She teaches Japanese to Asian people as a volunteer. She explained, For me traveling

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54 means spoiling myself with extravagance. Since I see many foreign people from poor countries, I feel guilty. She convinced herself when she traveled she could alleviate this feeling by saying that she only did this once a year. When asked about other peoples views of leisure-travel for women aged 50 and over, all of the women except Rie said their leisure travel behaviors have been socially accepted, and most of their family more or less support them. Rie lamented Some people made sarcastic remarks, while others reluctantly accept my travel. When she was interviewed, she was very busy with personnel changes at her office. She seemed to be very tired. It is not surprising that she says she is looking forward to being 60 years old. Three women agreed that women aged 50 and over already enjoyed domestic autonomy to some extent. Mai and Yuri stated, Whether accepted or not, I will travel when I want to go. Thus, it seems that Japanese women aged 50 and above may be establishing their own place as their contributions in all aspects of life are getting valued and appreciated (Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991), though it may not be at the societal level, but at least in their immediate environment. Since traditional Japanese cultures and norms are so strongly embedded in their everyday life, it is still very difficult to resist them. Instead these women seem to have adapted themselves to the cultures and norms on the one hand, and they are able to experience feelings of freedom and establish their own identities in another world through travel, on the other. Longing for Knowledge The second theme found in the data was a longing for knowledge. Many women said they traveled because they wanted to see, to feel, to touch, and to make choices with their own senses. Some women wanted to have a new experience. The others wanted to

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55 fulfill their curiosity. There are three sub-themes in the second theme: experience by oneself; knowing ones own country; and challenge. Own Experience The women in this study understand the importance of establishing their own sense of self. Seven women mentioned the importance of their own experiences in leisure-travel. Aki explained how she felt when she traveled abroad, Traveling abroad gives me a lot of opportunities to see different cultures, to feel different atmospheres, and to soak myself in often unseen nature. Kaoris first international trip was not by a packaged tour but as an independent traveler. She reminisced about when she arrived in Washington D.C. for the first time in 1990. The airport officer greeted her saying, Welcome to Washington, President Bush also welcomes you. She replied to his joke with humor, Thank you. I am planning to visit the White House tomorrow. I will say hi to the President. She felt happy that she could speak English during her trip to the United States. Further she continued, Travel gives me opportunities and joys to learn by myself, challenge new things, and to meet local people. Similarly, Rie commented about her travel to Europe when she was 19 years old: I traveled Europe alone without booking hotels, enjoying a carefree itinerary. I met a lot of people. I did what I would not do at my present age. People whom I met in my travels were very kind to me. Though I was told that I should be very careful regarding strangers, especially people in a certain country, they were very nice. They were opposite to what I was told. Mostly I believe what others say, but I knew I couldnt accept whatever others say without question. I ought to make sure of the truth with my own eyes and senses. Haruyo, late 50s and married, also felt that she wanted to experience things for herself. She explained: I want to see through my own eyes what is true. Even though I can see a picture of the Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, I dont know the real size or color. It is hard to get a good perspective from a photo. At times I am quite selfish, in other words, I

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56 like to experience things on my own. I can then make my own conclusions about what I have seen. Junko agreed: I dont know what the wind smells like, or what the wind feels like, unless I go to the place. Each country has its own culture. I may think it is right, but in a different country they may think it is wrong. These, sentiments of experiencing something for themselves and seeking the true essence of a destination were very important to these women and add to the meaning of leisure-travel for them. Over the years their travel patterns changed from family-based or family-oriented to self-centered, from curiosity to more knowledge. Takako answered, Travel satisfies my curiosity. I am very curious about everything. I want to learn and see what I dont know. Rie expects to experience new things and see a different world. She described travel compared to volunteer activities, Travel is for the sake of myself. I am the subject who is looking for my own pleasure. Naomi said as well, Travel is just for me, for my own sake. When I feel suffocated, I want to go with no definite destination in mind. Further she depicted her travel to Chile: I went down to Punta Arenas, which is the closest town to Antarctica, and although it was summer, it was very cold. I rode on the bus for many hours without seeing anything except great open spaces of green pastures, and where there were homes people raised sheep for a living. At some of the stops only one person would depart the bus and I would imagine what a lonely and isolated life they lived out in the middle of nowhere raising sheep. This travel was very inspiring because nothing was there, nobody was there, except a wonderful sense of isolation, desolation and loneliness. Even though the media keep us very well informed, there are so many places we still know very little about. It was wonderful and a very exhilarating travel experience. She concluded her impression of the trip by saying that the meaning of travel was somewhat to see and feel such feelings of isolation and loneliness. She believed such experiences could create self-confidence in a traveler.

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57 Thus the women emphasized I not We. Most women in this study had experienced the inequality of power distribution in the domestic domain. The womens experiences in travel enable them to construct their own spaces as being a subject of the action not a subordinate (Wearing, 1998). Knowing Ones Own Country In addition to acquiring knowledge and satisfying their curiosity, seven women who traveled abroad said they learned more about their own country than before they traveled. They compared the Japanese ways of life or ideas with those of foreign countries. Aki explained the importance of travel: I believe travel was necessary for me, because I learned more about Japan when I was in foreign countries. For example, I thought people in the US lived in so much luxury like Hollywood movies, but they didnt. They lived in a modest way. On the contrary, Japanese people waste things. Naomi expressed her disappointment when she lived in Panama: We often say Japanese value wa, a sense of harmony and togetherness, but it only applies to domestic matters. I dont think that value is used fully outside Japan. We are not all open to other nations. I think it was a pity. Seeing other countries means to stare into Japan itself. Then we can know what and who we are. She emphasized more Japanese people needed to experience overseas travel. She went on to explain: I will continue to travel. Travel enriches my life. I could not speak Spanish, but I could communicate with local people. I am not afraid of being humiliated. I knew we are all incomplete until we die. Ive learnt there are various different people in the world. I am very thankful what I gained from my trip. Thus, as Wearing and Wearing (1996) suggested, womens subjective experiences may enhance the self, offer opportunities for self-awareness, and help to construct identity by interacting with people and environments from different cultural backgrounds.

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58 Challenge The last sub-theme was challenging attitudes through their travel modes and patterns. Most women in this study preferred an individual tour to a package tour. Their preference for individual tours may support further their desire for freedom than arranged tours. Aki explained the advantages and disadvantages of a group tour: A group tour is convenient and economical, if we dont have time, money, experience, or knowledge. I have no interest in brand shopping. I prefer visiting museums and markets. I like seeing everyday life in travel destinations. I want to interact with local people. If I am in a group tour, I cant have free time. Riding public transportation by myself and reading maps are not easy, but such difficulties are good for me. I can learn much more on my own. Aki has traveled abroad five times. She traveled as part of a package tour four times, but her latest trip was an individual tour. Most of her domestic travel was independent. This is very similar to the other women. They planned by themselves and used public transportation or their own cars when they traveled in Japan. As for their international travel, five women who spoke English well traveled by themselves, but others used a package tour. Even so, they chose package tours, which allowed them to have more free time. Three women thought travel was a test of their physical limitations. Tomo sometimes traveled just to prove her physical and spiritual limitations. She explained, When I travel, I make a reckless plan beyond my physical strength. Then arriving in the destination, I just walk, walk, and walk. While walking I can be pure without worrying about anything. I feel so refreshed. Through that kind of travel I can contemplate. After she finishes her trip she feels she has confirmed her physical strength and rejuvenated herself. Then she begins to look for a new trip. Fumi explained her most enjoyable trip was visiting England alone:

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59 When I traveled abroad with my husband, as he can speak English, I felt left out. But when I traveled alone, I did or managed to do everything by myself. Meeting people and preparing plans for everything I did, was really fun and an adventure. As several women mentioned, it was sometimes difficult to travel abroad by themselves because of the language problems. Even so, after finishing their travel, they felt a sense of fulfillment because they had accomplished something using their own knowledge and skills. Through these challenging experiences they acquired a renewed sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. The positive views toward their life were a common theme throughout the interviews about both their travel experiences and their life in general. Fortunately, all of the women were relatively active and healthy, though every woman was concerned about her future health. Nevertheless, the women were hopeful of their future life because the burdensome relationships and influences of their parents and husbands were fading and they felt they had opportunities to make some good memories and widen their knowledge. They were also proud of their accomplishments in their home and family lives. Thus, they are able to maintain a sense of freedom by negotiating the demands from their parents and families and keeping a balance between the traditional social structures and cultural values and their inner selves through leisure-travel. Through leisure-travel they could increase their knowledge and find their true identities.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study set out to examine the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over, and to explore the contribution of leisure-travel to the quality of their later lives. A poststructural feminist perspective was adopted as it was proposed that leisure-travel might provide these older Japanese women who had grown up with very traditional values with opportunities for resistance and empowerment. The interview data provides us with several key ideas to understand what roles leisure-travel plays in the lives of these women. Resistance All women agreed that one of the most important meanings of leisure-travel was to feel freedom, however, their definitions of freedom varied somewhat. Six women pointed out the importance of relaxation. Three women highlighted escape. Eight women valued enjoying non-ordinary time and space. These definitions were taken from the words of the interview participants themselves, as Glaser and Strauss (1967) called them in vivo codes. Multiple situations and various aspects of their lives differentiated how they captured leisure-travel into their lives. For example, Sumire mentioned the necessity of relaxation, because her adolescence and young adulthood was spent in very turbulent social conditions due to the war years. After all her schooling was completed she joined the workforce and has been working to the present day. She thought travel could provide her with a place to relax and enhance herself by resting her spirit. For her, leisure-travel is an opportunity to seek self-fulfillment and at the same time to prepare for 60

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61 the final phase of life. She did not use resistance, but her desire to improve her inner-self suggests that she may challenge physical and mental abilities through tourism (Wearing, 1995), and resist traditional age-appropriate norms. Travel patterns that challenged Tomos physical and mental abilities showed two types of resistance. One was to challenge the negative stereotype of the aged as being fragile and sedentary. The other was a challenge to traditional gender roles. Her remarks that she wanted to be a man implied she was aware that women had limited opportunities. She still believes that men have received better treatment from society. Therefore, after her children grew up, she traveled alone or with friends and let her spirit be free as much as she could. She situated her body and mind in the place where she felt most free from gendered constraints. The space that afforded her this freedom was leisure-travel. Three women who said escape was the most important seemed to show evidence of resistance as well. Rie seemed very stressed from both her job and family pressure. She tried to pursue a career path, but the male dominated career structure (Lebra, 1984) disappointed her. More recently as young Japanese women delay their marriage, remaining single is one form of resistance to the Japanese ie system and traditional gender roles. Consequently, Rie at times escaped from such societal constraints and found a space where she could express her true self outside Japan, another example of heterotopia. Yuri is a typical Japanese middle-age wife and mother of three children, which means she has primary responsibility for most household chores and child care, even though she is working outside the home (Tsuya et al., 1995). Moreover, she will be a care provider of her husbands parents in the near future as well, since she married the

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62 eldest son, and society expects his wife to take care of his parents. Her remark that she will travel whenever she wants to go shows a subtle form of resistance against these expectations (Rosenberger, 1996). In the case of Fumi, she was upset by the fact that she was losing her autonomous time and space with her husbands retirement. Mason (1988) explained one effect caused by a husbands retirement is that women feel constrained. During the day, while their husbands were at work they had a certain amount of freedom. With retirement, this means that their husbands were more likely to infringe on their space. Fumi was in the middle of negotiating this new situation. She knew her husband would come with her if she wanted to travel. Although she seemed to compromise and tried to find new ways to enjoy her time and space with him, she often visited her daughter who lived near Tokyo by herself. This strategy (Mason, p. 84) or her resistance to conflicting feelings between her true desires was compromised as a result. Other women including Aki, Chisato, and Etsuko, also felt constraints on their personal time and space because of their husbands being there (Mason, p. 82), yet they all were able to successfully persevere and have a sense of harmony in their family life. This dilemma between their personal time and space and their husbands was attributed to the traditional gendered division of labor in Japan. Though the Japanese economy has been weak in recent years, and in spite of the Japanese governments efforts to reduce annual work time by spreading five-day workweeks and improving the frequency of paid holidays (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993), still Japanese men are business warriors, who devote themselves to their work. Indeed, only half of paid holidays were used in 2002 (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2003). Once they reach

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63 retirement, they are perplexed by the free time suddenly entering their lives (Sugiura & Gillespie). However, when husbands retire, wives have already established their own way of life, such as volunteering and going out with their friends and the sudden infringement on their freedom by their husbands can be problematic. The other problem is found in gender roles. According to a survey conducted by the Statistics Bureau in Japan (2002), married women spend an average of five hours per day on housework and related work such as caring and nursing, childcare, and shopping, while married men spend 36 minutes. The Statistics Bureau noted that there was still a significant difference between men and women in household responsibilities (The Statistics Bureau, 2002). As such, these patterns reflect very traditional gender roles and might be expected to be more prevalent among older couples. Therefore, it is necessary, though extremely difficult, to change Japanese traditional cultures and systems into more equal relationships between women and men, especially, a wife and a husband. It is hoped that husbands will help their wives not just after their retirement but also from the start of marriage. Although Japanese society has traditionally respected elders based on the Confucianism and its doctrines of filial piety (Palmore & Maeda, 1985), the fear of the fast-pace of aging impacting the social security system in Japan has created negative feelings toward elders. However, resistance to conventional discourses on aging in that to be old is to be regarded as inferior (Wearing, 1995), could be seen in the womens preferred mode of travel as well. They preferred an individual tour to a package tour, which suggests challenging attitudes toward a passive type of travel and their craving for a positive experience so that they might come to know their own mental and physical

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64 strength. Leisure-travel enabled them to resist the dominant discourse on aging and to challenge physical and mental abilities in old age (Wearing, 1995). Women in this study used leisure-travel to challenge their dissatisfaction with societal expectations about womens roles and behaviors by placing or situating themselves in a different world, a heterotopia (Foucault, 1984), in which to find or liberate themselves (Shaw, 2001). Empowerment Through their travel experiences, women in this study felt empowered because they could liberate themselves somewhat from traditional gender roles, which in turn gave them a sense of self-confidence in who they are (Wearing, 1998). Nonetheless, it is more appropriate to say that most women in this study have already acquired the power of self-expression, self-control and a relative autonomy, and they still seek self-enhancement and self-actualization, which can be described as self-identity. It should be noted that there is no proper Japanese translation of the concept of identity. Despite the fact that the National Institute for Japanese Language (2003) has been making every effort to find a right Japanese translation of identity for years, they announced that there is no plain or understandable translation because the concept of identity is not so popular or prevalent among the Japanese society or people. They suggest explaining it in an easy to understand as possible when the need arises. If Japanese women are asked what your identity is, the answer will most likely be wife, mother or what kind of work they do. For that reason, in their interviews no one used the word, identity, instead, for example, Naomi she said, we can know what and who we are. It is perceived that some women in this study who are empowered and autonomous in their personal lives, may be ambivalent as they may face oppression at the societal

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65 level. They tend to evaluate their life experiences negatively first, but then convert these negativities into positives. The positive attitudes, or optimism in their lives accrued from paying off or feeling rewarded for their earlier endurance and role investment (Lebra, p. 298); their pride in their past time in which they had dedicated themselves to their family and society, resulted in a sense of entitlement to make their own choices (Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991). Indeed, except health matters most women in this study were quite contented with their lives. Several women testified that once they reached 50 they had more opportunities. For instance, Izumi said, After I turned 50, I was willing to be involved in various activities. Furthermore, Mai stated, Life was not interesting until I reached 50 years old. Naomi added, Im not jealous of young women, because women aged 50s and 60s are more attractive. They would not confront the traditional Japanese social culture at the macro-level, because they knew they could not change it. Instead they might choose to cope with the Japanese social structure by micro-level resistance, one of their strategies being escape and expression in leisure-travel. This dual functioning partly resulted in mirroring their mothers life or rebelling against her way of life. For example, Takako might be fearful of motherhood because her mother died from childbearing. Likewise, Rie saw her mother obey her father and later her mother regretted her life. Rie might not want to replicate her mothers regret. Remaining single is the clearest expression of choosing their freedom by refusing the conventional gender-specific role (Lebra). Even though Takako and Rie could continue to remain single, it is very harsh for them to live by themselves in Japanese society because when Japanese women get old they accumulate a sense of lineal bonding both with their ancestors and with the succeeding generations (Lebra) so that they do not feel

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66 isolated. However, Takako may feel self-fulfillment by engaging in frequent international travel, and Rie may completely release herself from various pressures by choosing individual travel. Leisure-travel was not the only way as a means of acquiring empowerment, but helped to liberate them from restrictive gender roles, or social scripts (Wearing) and establish a sense of self-awareness. Despite the fact that they witnessed Japans rapid economic development accompanied by new opportunities in educational and economic participation, they knew that the traditional social system would not be easily changed (Tsuya et al., 1995). Accordingly, Japanese women might choose one tactic of getting along with the traditional social structure like their mothers did, but the difference between their mothers and the younger generations is that the latter ones were more aware of their identities with the help of education, economic independence and their mothers encouragement or example. Women in this study certainly exhibited resistance to the traditional Japanese culture and family system, and they seemed empowered as a result. Yet, they seemed to obtain a more self-centered fulfillment than resistance to the society. As Creighton (1995) pointed out, Japanese women do not try to take over mens position, but they attempt to find and perceive themselves as free as possible. Travel by means of their own senses, physical strength, and knowledge gives them the sense of independence and fulfillment, which enables a higher quality of life. However, its resistance and empowerment are still at the individual level (Foucault, 1984) and Japanese women have not yet stored up enough power to change traditional culture and social norms through political practice (Shaw, 2001). Therefore, these women find and enjoy their time and

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67 space through leisure-travel. Nonetheless, it is likely that the younger generation will show stronger resistance and empowerment not only through tourism but also in everyday life than these women from an older generation. This individual level resistance has been critiqued by various feminist scholars as it tends to weaken collective resistance and change (Shaw, 2001). However, as Wearing (1998) and Shaw suggest individual level resistance may ultimately lead to macro level change as more women develop a sense of their true abilities. Resultant Model By employing a grounded theory method which attempts to derive theories from constant comparative analysis of the patterns, themes and common categories in the interview data, a model of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over is suggested (see Figure 2). The lives of the women in this study have been shaped by a particular time in social history. For the older women in this study memories of the Second World War were very prominent in their recollections of their early lives. As in most countries affected by this war, rapid social and economic change occurred in the post war period. Thus, even though most of their parents were very traditional, social values were beginning to change and mothers in particular appeared to be very influential in shaping opportunities for their daughters, especially in their access to education. Growing up in post war Japan, with its technological innovation and resultant economic boom afforded these women different opportunities from their mothers. Some women pursued careers outside of the home and remained single. Others spent time volunteering which provided them with a socially acceptable space outside o the domestic realm which had been the domain of their mothers. Thus, within this very

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Socio-Historical Influences Aging Mid to later life Japanese Women Leisure-travel Feelings of Freedom Feeling free Relative freedom Resistance Empowerment Identity Construction Confirmation Par e nt s Wa r Education Japanese social structures and culture Longing for Knowledge Own experience Knowing ones own country Challenge Volunteerin g Japanese social structures and cu l t u r e Post war affluence 68 Figure 5-1. Meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over

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69 unique socio-historical context, we can understand the leisure-travel patterns of these mid to late Japanese women. These women comprised the first generations to travel abroad extensively. In leisure-travel they experienced freedom from the constraints of their own society and their social responsibilities. They also looked upon travel as a source of self development; a source of knowledge that helped them better understand themselves as well as their own society. Through leisure-travel, the women in this study enjoyed feelings of freedom and acquired knowledge, which helped them feel empowered and find their own identity. In the context of the social cultural nexus of tourism relations (Aitchison, 2000), in other words within the context of the social forces of the wider society, they seemed to reconcile themselves to traditional Japanese cultures and social structures, but privately they recreated their identities in the cultures of others when they traveled. Conclusions The lives of the seventeen women were so complex that they could not be entirely grasped in the short interviews. Nonetheless, their words, expressions and reactions indisputably conveyed some insights into their lives and a various number of ideas. Overall, women in this study seemed to be relatively economically and educationally advantaged and enjoyed moderate levels of autonomy. The women, however, in particular, as a housewife seem to carry a sense of obligation to guard the fixed home base (Lebra, p. 296). Even though they have relative autonomy at home, they need to be free from home in order to seek, establish and confirm their identity and a sense of self. Graburn (1983b) suggested:

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70 Styles of tourism may be leading indicators of fundamental changes which are taking place in a class or national culture, changes which may be latent in the more restricting institutions of the everyday world, because tourism is that short section of life in which people believe they are free to exercise their fantasies, to challenge their physical and cultural selves, and to expand their horizons. (p. 29) Leisure-travel is one option for them to express their true feelings and construct their identities, because leisure-travel takes them away from the mundane world, which enables them to feel free by geographical and psychological separation from traditional constraints. Leisure-travel also offers the possibility of self-reflection and self-enhancement (Wearing & Wearing, 1996). Though women in this study were frustrated by their domestic responsibilities and societal expectations, they incorporated them into their lives in a positive manner. It is debateable whether enhancing individual empowerment through leisure and tourism will lead to positive societal level change (Shaw, 2001). Even so, if the long-lasting Japanese fertility decline is one outcome of young womens reluctance to engage in the traditional family structure (ie), certain policy changes can be expected, such as creating friendly childrearing environments. Yet, as Tsuya et al (1995) pointed out: Real change, however, must come from drastic alteration of conjugal relationships. Unless Japanese men are able and willing to shoulder much more of the domestic work that a household and children require, and to treat their wives with greater respect as co-equal partners in the family enterprise, other policy interventions affecting work and non-familial child care are unlikely to bring about real change. (p. 164) Neither blaming women for the fertility decline because more Japanese young women remain single and delay marriage, even though it accelerates Japans aging society, nor putting the pressure of traditional gender roles on women is the answer, but encouraging them to be aware of their individual identities may be one route to change. Perhaps as Japanese women of the younger generations are more educated and economically

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71 independent, they will have more options and are likely to show more resistance to traditional gender roles than women from the older generations. Limitations and Delimiations Potentially, the most influential weakness of this study was that the interviews were to be conducted in Japanese and translated into English. The data were translated with great care. However, it was inevitable that nuances of the original language were not exactly the same, as Strauss and Corbin (1998) suggested. The other limitation was the extent to which interview participants answer honestly, because the Japanese usually keep private feelings out of the public eye. The interviewer spent time making sure that the interviewees felt comfortable with the research process before the first question was asked in an attempt to gain the trust of the female participants. The interviewer explained how the data would be confidential and if the interviewee felt uncomfortable answering a question she could refuse to do so without penalty. In the future, perhaps closed-ended questionnaires should be prepared for the sensitive nature of several questions including age, education, income, and health condition. Some Japanese hesitate to unveil this kind of information. If an interview participant is asked to select an answer from among a list provided by the researcher, she is more likely to respond than to verbalize the response. Due to the sample size and the use of non-probability sampling the results of this study might be limited in their generalizability. However, the use of theoretical sampling ensured diversity among the participants in the sample related to variables deemed to be relevant to understanding the role of leisure-travel in the lives of Japanese women aged 50 and over. It is possible however, that various regions and different social backgrounds may yield different results, for example, rural versus big cities, or farmers versus white-collar workers.

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72 The findings from this study suggest further needs for research. Because the sample was small, specific differences such as married with successor sons or not, or married to farmers or urban white-collar workers, were not examined. A woman who marries a successor of family (ie) or a farmer is more likely to take family burdens. In addition, the need to investigate younger women including those from ages 18 to 49 is recommended. The meanings of leisure-travel may differ among women in these age groups because they are less likely to have experienced the traditional Japanese social systems than women aged 50 and over. For example, single women in their 30s and married women in their 30s with children may differ in terms of the gender specific expectations. Moreover, the reactions of Japanese men about womens identity construction may also be useful in understanding Japanese society. Exploring differences of travel motivations between domestic and international destinations may also be useful to further crystallize the roles of leisure-travel for Japanese women. Leisure-travel is in essence based on ones own choice and it gives the women opportunities to express themselves, construct and confirm their own identities, and gain self-esteem (Show, 2001). For example, the travel patterns that the women chose in terms of independent not group travel may lead to greater sense of empowerment. Moreover, leisure-travel makes them aware of different cultures, lives and people. These senses contribute to what they are and who they are. The womens positive attitudes clearly showed empowerment in their later lives. As a result more women of all ages are encouraged to travel as far as both financial and heath enable them to do so.

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APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE We are going to talk about your travel patterns both now and in the past, some of your life memories and how leisure and other activities fit with travel in your life now. Travel history 1. Please tell me about your most recent vacation or trip. Probe: Where did you go? With whom? How long did you travel? How did you decide your travel destination? 2. Looking back over your life talk to me about some of your travel experiences Probe: Did you take vacations as a child What sort of trips did you take as a young adult What sort of trips did you take when you married/ had a family For each When did you go? Where did you go? With whom? What did you remember most about the trip? 3. What meanings does travel have for you? Probe: learn, try, develop, relax, feel confidence, etc.) How these meanings changed over time? If so, how? 4. Do you have any activities you regularly take part in? Probe: If yes, what is it? (volunteer work, religious, creative, physical) With whom do you participate? How long have you participated? What meanings do these activities hold for you? 5. In comparison to these activities, how important is travel to you? Probe: What is important about travel? Has the importance of travel changed for you over the years? What makes travel meaningful for you? Has your style of travel changed over years? How have you become to like travel? 73

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74 What role does travel play in your life? 6. Do you have a dream vacation? Probe: or have you achieved your dream vacation? Now, I am going to talk about your life in general. Life event 1. When and where were you born? 2. What did your parents do? 3. Tell me about memory of your parents? 4. Tell me about your first job, marriage and your children? 5. Who have been the most influential people at various stages in your life? Life review 1. What kinds of things gave you the most pleasure in your 20s, 30s, 40, and 50? What about now? 2. If you could live your whole life over, what would you do differently? 3. What do you think is the most important thing in living a good life? 4. Is there anything in your life that you would have liked to do but didnt? Aging 1. How do you feel about growing old? 2. What is the hardest thing about growing older? The best thing? 3. Do you think about the future? What are your concerns for the future? Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with me about your life, your leisure or your travels?

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APPENDIX B 75

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LIST OF REFERENCES Adkins, L. (1998). Feminist theory and economic change, in S. Jackson & J. Jones (Eds.), Contemporary feminist theories (pp. 34-49). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Ahmed, Z.U., & Krohn, F.B. (1992). Understanding the unique consumer behavior of Japanese Tourists. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 1(3), 73-86. Aitchison, C. (2000). Poststructural feminist theories of representing others: A response to the crisis in leisure studies discourse. Leisure Studies, 19, 127-144. Anderton, D.L., Tsuya, N.O., Bean, L.L. & Mineau, G.P. (1987). Intergenerational transmission of relative fertility and life course patterns. Demography, 24(4), 467-480. Babbie, E. (2001). The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Benedict, R. (1967). The chrysanthemum and the sword: Patterns of Japanese culture. Cleveland: Meridian Books. Bengtson, V.L., Burgess, E.O., & Parrott, T.M. (1997). Theory, explanation, and a third generation of theoretical development in social gerontology. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 52B(2), S72-S88. Boorstin, D.J. (1964). Their image: A guide to pseudo-events in America. New York: Harper. Bradely, D.B. (1999-2000). A reason to rise each morning: The meaning of volunteering in the lives of older adults. Generations, 23(4), 45-50. Brinton, M.C. (1992). Christmas cakes and wedding cakes: The social organization of Japanese womens life course. In T.S .Lebra, (Ed.), Japanese Social Organization, 79-107. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Brinton, M.C. (1993). Women and the economic miracle: Gender and work in postwar Japan. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Butler, K.L. (1995). Independence for western women through tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 22, 487-489. 77

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michiko Yonemaru grew up in Kagawa Prefecture Japan blessed with her parents love. She attended Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, majoring in English literature. After she married, she volunteered as a tour guide. This experience prompted her to study tourism and obtain a masters degree at the University of Florida. In the process of her study, she also realized the importance of the study of aging. She studied gerontology as a minor as well. She will continue to strive for providing older people with quality of life. 88


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THE EMPOWERMENT OF JAPANESE WOMEN AGED 50 AND OVER
THROUGH LEISURE-TRAVEL















By

MICHIKO YONEMARU


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Michiko Yonemaru

































This study is dedicated to my late father, Takeo Seki, and my mother, Shizuko Seki.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Heather Gibson for her knowledge and

patient guidance in implementing and writing this thesis. She is beyond an advisor: the

best mentor whom I have ever had. Without her help and guidance I could not have

completed this thesis. I would also thank my other committee members-Dr. Lori

Pennington-Gray and Dr. Amy Pienta-for their feedback and support of this study.

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the 17 women who took

part in this study, and shared their experiences and knowledge with me. I deeply

appreciate the ETD consultants' wonderful guidance.

Special thanks go to my husband for his support. I appreciate my daughter for her

encouragement and support with using English. I would like to express my gratitude to

my friends in North Carolina, Darlene and Buddy Guerry, for their hearty

encouragement. Many thanks also go to my sister for constantly brightening me up. My

mother's never-ending support and love are of the greatest importance. I am always

inspired and encouraged by her and her way of life.

Lastly, I am forever grateful to my friend George Merritt for his inspiration and

moral support.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

L IST O F F IG U R E S .... ......................................................... .. .......... .............. vii

A B S T R A C T .......................................... .................................................. v iii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

Statem ent of R research P problem ........................................................................ ......
Theoretical Rationale .................. .............................. ........ ...............
Purpose of Study ...................................... ............................... ......... 8

2 LITER A TU R E R EV IEW .............................................................. ....................... 9

Tourist M motivation ............................................ ............. ...............10
T tourist R ole ....................................................................... .......... 13
Travel and Aging ................................... ................................ ......... 16
Women and Travel ............................... ..... .. ......... .............. 18
Japanese W om en and T ravel ............................................ ....................................20
Japanese W om en's Life Course........................................................ ..................23
Japanese W om en's Changing Values......................................................................27
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 3 0

3 M E T H O D S ........................................................................................................3 1

R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 3 1
Research M ethod ...................................................................... ......... 31
P ilo t S tu d y .................................................................. ................................. 3 1
T he Interview G uide ............. .................................. .................. .. .... ...... .. 32
D ata C collection ................................................ .......... ....... ....33
The Participants ................................... .. .......... ................. 34
Data Analysis................................ ........... 36
D description of Interview Site............................................................... ........ ..... 38

4 R E S U L T S .......................................................................... 4 0



v









H historical B backgrounds ........................................... .................................40
T h e W a r .....................................................................................................4 0
P a re n ts ........................................................................................................... 4 2
E d u c a tio n ....................................................................................................... 4 4
V o lu n te e rin g ................................................................. ...............................4 5
Feelings of Freedom .................................................................. .. ......... 47
F feeling Free ......................................................................................................48
R elativ e F reed o m ........................................................................................... 5 1
L ongoing for K now ledge ........................................................................................ 54
O w n E experience .............................................................55
K now ing One's Ow n Country .................................................................. 57
C h a lle n g e ....................................................................................................... 5 8

5 D IS C U S S IO N ...............................................................................................6 0

R e sista n c e .............................................................................6 0
Empowerment ................ ........ .......................64
Resultant Model ................ ....... .................. 67
C onclusions.................................................. 69
Limitations and Delimiations .................................................71

APPENDIX

A IN T E R V IE W G U ID E ........................................................................................... 73

B 4 -- ............................................................................................... 7 5

LIST OF REFERENCES .......................................................................77

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ....................................................................................... 88
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

3-1 The interview site m ap ................................................. ................................ 39

5-1 Meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over........................68
















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies

THE EMPOWERMENT OF JAPANESE WOMEN AGED 50 AND OVER THROUGH
LEISURE-TRAVEL

By

Michiko Yonemaru

May 2004

Chair: Heather Gibson
Major Department: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

With increased longevity, people are enjoying longer periods of later life. Some

studies show that leisure-travel is one activity that contributes to the life satisfaction of

older adults. In recent years, leisure-travel has become a popular activity among

Japanese women over the age of 50. Indeed, these older women are likely to travel more

often than younger Japanese women.

This study examined the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50

and over, and explored the contribution of leisure-travel to the quality of their later lives.

A poststructural feminist perspective was the guiding framework for this study. It was

proposed that leisure-travel might provide these older Japanese women, who had grown

up with very traditional values, with opportunities for resistance and empowerment.

Using a semi-structured interview guide and theoretical sampling, 17 Japanese

women aged 50 and over were interviewed about the meanings of leisure-travel and their

lives. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, and analyzed using









constant comparison and grounded theory methods. They ranged in age from 50 to 83

years old.

When socio-historical influences were taken into account, two themes emerged

from the data: feeling of freedom and longing for knowledge. Most women in this study

felt inequality and constraints in their lives due to the traditional social system. However,

they felt free through leisure-travel as it took them away from their ordinary lives.

Furthermore by interacting with different cultures, they acquired knowledge, self-

confidence and self-esteem. Some women showed evidence of resistance to the social

structure. More commonly, the women were more likely to feel empowered as leisure-

travel provided them with a chance to find and construct their true identities.

Employing grounded theory methods, a model of meanings of leisure-travel for

Japanese women aged 50 and over was suggested. Influenced by the war, their parents,

and education, the women enjoyed their freedom outside their home through leisure-

travel and gained knowledge which they used to establish their true identities. Their

actions did not necessarily bring about radical change at the societal level, but at the

micro level they were able to exert more control over their lives.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating

1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. With increased longevity, more people

can look forward to enjoying a longer period of later life than ever before. At the same

time, in line with the objectives of United Nations' International Plan of Action on

Ageing that promote older person's independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and

dignity (Management and Coordination Agency, 1996), more attention is being paid to

the quality of life for older adults. One of the pressing social issues of the 21st century is

the aging of the world's population. Among the many "graying countries," Japan is

rapidly turning into an aging nation.

According to the projection of the National Institute of Population and Social

Security Research (2002), the percentage of the aged generation (aged 65 and over) will

grow from the current 17.4% (2000) to 25% in 2014, meaning that this age group will

account for one-quarter of the population of Japan. Impacted by the low fertility rate, it is

projected to increase to 35.7% by 2050; that is, a ratio of 1 in 2.8 people will be over 65.

Responding to this demographic change, the Management and Coordination Agency of

the Japanese Government established the General Principles Concerning Measures for the

Aging Society in 1996. The Principles are implemented with the goal of building an

affluent society full of solidarity and vitality where each and everyone can feel that they

are happy to live long and are in perfect harmony with one another (Management and

Coordination Agency, 1996). In order to achieve this goal, several basic objectives have









been set. One goal is to promote social involvement through engagement in meaningful

activities. By improving the facilities for recreation, sightseeing, hobbies and leisure, it is

hoped that older adults will be able to live meaningful lives. "Sightseeing" is one of the

activities which tourists may engage in, however, it should be noted that "sightseeing" is

considered as a general term meaning travel for pleasure for Japanese. Although

Japanese elders have fewer hobbies than do elders in other countries, as Maeda (1993)

found that the mean number of hobbies per person aged 60 and over was 2.7 in Japan,

compared to 7.0 in the United States, leisure-travel was the most frequently reported

leisure activity of Japanese elders next to watching television.

Statement of Research Problem

Despite the economic downturn, 17.81 million Japanese people traveled abroad in

2000, a 108.9% increase above the previous year (Japan Travel Bureau [JTB], 2001).

The remarkable growth in Japanese outbound travelers is attributed to the fact that the

number of travelers in their fifties, sixties, and seventies rose 12%, 12.8% and 15.1%

respectively from the previous year, while the number of travelers in their twenties, who

were the main outbound travelers before, only increased 2.7% (JTB, 2001). In addition,

more women aged fifty and above traveled in 2000 (12.2% increase) compared to men of

the same age (8.7% increase) (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport [MLIT],

2001). How do we explain the increasing number of female travelers aged fifty and

over?

Previous studies have investigated various aspects regarding the preferences of

Japanese overseas travelers (Ahmed & Krohn, 1992; Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995;

Lang, O'Leary & Morrison, 1993; Mok & Lam, 2000; Woodside & Jacobs, 1985; Yuan

& McDonald, 1990). Although researchers have examined the relationship between









aging and travel propensities (Sakai, Brown & Mak, 2000; You & O'Leary, 2000),

motivations (Kim & Lee, 2000), and behavior (Faranda & Schmidt, 1999), few studies

have investigated the travel and tourism patterns of female Japanese tourists aged 50 and

over. Furthermore, little is known as to why more Japanese women like travel after they

reach fifty or sixty years old compared to younger Japanese women. There are several

reasons for focusing on this group of female tourists. One reason is that the number of

Japanese female outbound travelers aged 50 and over has shown remarkable growth. The

other reasons are largely due to cultural background.

Traditionally age 60 has a special meaning for Japanese people. There are

numerous practices of praying for and celebration of long life. To share the joy of

longevity, a celebration is held at certain ages. The first celebration is held at age 60.

This age is referred to as "kanreki" for "the combinations ofjikkan, on the decimal scale,

andjunishi, on the duodecimal scale, complete a full cycle and return to the original

combination of the year when one was born" (Sugiura & Giillespie, 1993, p. 139), or, a

return to one's original birth combination of the sexagenary cycle. This is a happy event

for the person who reaches age 60. In addition, most companies set mandatory retirement

between the ages of 55 and 60. The ages between 55 and 60 may be considered as the

pre-retirement phase (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1975). At present, similar to much of the

Western world, those who are aged 55 are regarded as baby boomers in Japan. They

were born just after World War II. By including women in their fifties, this study may

provide insights into the lives of women who grew up during the internationalization of

Japan after World War II as well as those who are pre-baby boomers. The last reason is

that middle-aged and older women have experienced more gender inequality than those









who are in their 20s or 30s. At the present, the relationship between conventional

Japanese social values and recent women's travel patterns has not been studied. This

study will adopt a poststructural feminist perspective to help us understand the

relationship between social values and travel patterns. It is proposed that tourism

provides a personal space to enable mid to later life women a chance to resist traditional

Japanese behavioral expectations. With a better understanding of Japanese women,

especially those aged fifty and over, more positive and active ways of life that promote

older person's independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity

(Management and Coordination Agency, 1996), may be identified. Moreover, by

knowing how those women cope with traditional society through leisure-travel, it is

hoped that this study will demonstrate an idea of resistance and empowerment through

leisure-travel to younger generations, and shed some light on recent problems in Japan.

Theoretical Rationale

The idea that tourism is a space for resistance is based on Wearing's (1998) idea

that "for women, leisure is a 'heterotopia', a personal space for resistance to domination,

a space where there is room for the self to expand beyond what it is told it should be" (p.

146). She cited Foucault's (1986) idea of"heterotopias"; that is, "heterotopias" in

contrast to utopias which are fictitious places, "exist in reality" (Foucault 1986, p. 24).

According to Shaw (2001), resistance refers to acts challenging the structured power

relations of class, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other forms of

societal stratification. Such resistance may be conscious or subconscious. Wearing and

Wearing (1996) postulated that tourism is an individual experience and interaction in a

space apart from the everyday life of the tourist. Thus, in this sense, tourism can be









viewed as an escape to a social space where individuals can learn and grow rather than

merely an escape from the mundane world (Wearing & Wearing, 1996).

There are various kinds of feminist theories; this study will adopt a poststructural

feminist perspective of aging. Feminist perspectives are defined as "philosophical and

theoretical framework that embodies equality, empowerment, and social change for

women and men" (Henderson, Bialeschki, Shaw & Freysinger, 1989, p. 14). Bengtson,

Burgess, and Parrott (1997) described the advantages of using feminist perspectives of

aging, which not only focus on the needs of women who are the majority of the aging

population but also emphasizing the need to explore other forms of difference among the

aged. They also suggested that feminist theories "provide models for macro-micro

conceptual linkages in the sociology of aging by addressing both structural and individual

levels of theory" (p. S81). Poststructural feminist theory addresses both individual and

structural levels of everyday life and it focuses on the needs of the majority of the aging

population: women. Aitchison (2000) suggested, "engagement with poststructural theory

has enabled analysis of both structural and symbolic power through the direction of our

attention to ... the social-cultural nexus of gender-leisure relations" (p. 131). She cited

Adkins's (1998) writing at the intersection of sociology and gender studies, referring to

the 'social/non social nexus'(p. 47), and called this the "social-cultural nexus"(p. 131).

In other words she advocated an analytical perspective that recognized individual agency

within the context of the social forces of the wider society. As such, this supports

Rojek's (1995) warning that "one cannot separate leisure from the rest of life" (p. 1).

Shaw (2001) pointed out that the advantages of a poststructuralist view of resistance is

that it recognizes diversity among women as well as among men and that it also "focuses









on diversity of personal subjectivities and on idiosyncratic factors which may affect

access to power and to resistance strategies" (p. 190). Wearing (1998) emphasized

Foucault's idea of resistance in that it "allows for a more flexible and optimistic situation

grounded in the everyday experiences of individual, real-life women" (p. 145).

The concept of leisure as 'personal space' is based on the assumption that leisure

and leisure experiences provide a site of personal choice, self-determination (Green,

1998), a space for challenging traditional gender identities and creating liberating

individual identities for women (Wearing, 1991). In spite of the fact that leisure is a

basic right of all individuals, women have been constrained by traditional gender roles

and tend to have fewer opportunities than do men (Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991).

Henderson (1990) suggested that for many women, activity in the home is for the most

part never free from such role obligations as household chores and childcare

responsibilities. Henderson concluded, however, "a number of women have expressed a

need for leisure experiences as an opportunity for expressing autonomy, self-definition,

and choice often not present in other aspects of their lives" (1990, p. 240). Freysinger

and Flannnery (1992) explained that leisure might be a realm of life where women can be

relatively free to generate a time and space in which they can define their identity, and in

which they step outside of socially expected roles.

When the notion of space is applied to tourism for Japanese, the dualism of hare

and ke arises. According to Sakurai (1981), hare refers to sacred or special, while ke

refers to mundane or everyday. These Japanese symbolic principles are based on rice

planting farmers. Ohmuki-Tierney (1993) explained when the production of ke

decreases, it becomes kegare (impurity or a state of waning ke). There are two ways to









rejuvenate the state of; one is a festival, and the other is travel (Kanko Marketing, 2002).

Ritual is central to these concepts and is reminiscent of the idea of liminality as it has

been applied to tourism (Turner, 1969; Graburn, 1983a, 1983b). Cohen (1988) explained

that in ritual states:

through the separation, the individual has crossed the threshold (Latin limen) of
his[sic] ordered world, and finds himself[sic] in a state of"anti-structure," "out of
time and place," where his[sic] ordinary role and status obligations are suspended
and where general human (rather than particular social) bonds are emphasized. (p.
37)

In addition to the notions of hare and ke, the concept of the spatial boundary for Japanese

is fairly important in understanding Japanese society. The social boundary such as uchi

(inside) and soto (outside), or ura (rear) and omote (front) implies "sex segregation"

(Lebra, 1992). Soto or omote corresponds to "public", and belongs to male domain,

whereas, uchi or ura parallels to "private", and is equivalent to female domain (Lebra,

Smith, 1987). Those spatial demarcations might bind women to traditional gender roles.

For Japanese, travel is to escape from profane life, thereby invoking the concepts of

ritual process (Turner, 1969). This study will also apply the notion of 'heterotopia"

(Foucault, 1986). Whereby it is assumed that tourism will provide Japanese women with

a space to uncover their true subjectivities, which may engender resistance and

empowerment to conventional forms of behavior.

Palmore and Maeda (1985) found that among Japanese the most satisfying

activities were in the home for women and in work for men. These findings were

confirmed by the Report of the Survey on the Opinion on late Life in 1973 by the

Japanese Government. Almost thirty years after the survey, are these findings still valid?

What about Japanese women who are exposed to traditional values in which men are

viewed as superior to women? Under the influence of Western ideas of identity









construction, with women's increasing higher education and labor force participation, as

Wearing (1991) suggested, can Japanese women have space to choose leisure activities

which provide them with experiences that are not necessarily in accordance with the

traditional patterns of feminine passivity and caring?

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the meanings of leisure-travel for

Japanese women aged 50 and over and to identify the contribution of leisure-travel to the

quality of their later lives. Particularly, this study examined both traditional Japanese

gender roles and the opportunities to resist these values provided by leisure-travel.

Specifically, as Wearing (1995) suggested, this study focused on "what a person can do

rather than what she ... cannot do (p. 276). The aim was not to focus on older women's

problems but to identify ways in which they enjoy vivid, and fulfilling lives in their later

years (Friedan, 1993; Kart & Kinney, 2001).

This study was guided by the following research questions:

1. What are the leisure-travel patterns of Japanese women aged 50 and over?

2. Have their leisure-travel patterns changed over their life course?

3. What meanings does leisure-travel have for Japanese women aged 50 and above?

4. Have their meanings related to leisure-travel changed over their life course?

5. Do Japanese women aged 50 and above consider their leisure-travel

behaviors socially acceptable?

6. How do their friends and family view these women's leisure-travel?














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Although the number of Japanese outbound travelers decreased from 17.8 million

in 2000 to 16.2 million in 2001 due to the threat of terrorism, the JTB projected that this

number will increase in 2002. Actual bookings for package tours have steadily increased.

The JTB predicted that women in their thirties and fifties and over will play a leading role

in the Japanese outbound market (JTB, 2002). It is interesting to look at their report.

They pointed out four noteworthy themes in the travel market for the future. Travel will

increase: (a) among women aged fifty and over who have sufficient savings; (b) women

aged thirties who are very active travelers such as solo-travel, group travel, mother and

daughter or three generations (her mother, herself and her daughter); (c) traveling with

specific themes is getting popular among women in their twenties; and (d) frequent

travelers (JTB, 2002).

Historically, the original aim of the Grand Tour was pleasurable educational

journeys for young men (Graburn & Jafari, 1991; Rojek & Urry, 1997). It is interesting

that several centuries later middle-aged and older women are becoming a subject of the

tourism market. This chapter reviews various aspects of the literature exploring the

meaning of tourism for older women's lives and examines the assumptions that leisure-

travel is a space for resistance to traditional gender relations, ageism and empowerment.

Cohen (1996) suggested, "travelling for pleasure ... beyond the boundaries of one's

life-space assumes that there is some experience available 'out there', which cannot be

found within the life-space, and which makes travel worthwhile"(p. 93). To explore this









idea, literature which addresses motivations for travel; tourist role; women and travel;

Japanese women and travel; Japanese women's life course, and Japanese women's

changing values are explored.

Tourist Motivation

The origin of the term "motivation" was derived from the Latin word "movere",

which means, "to move" (Steers & Porter, 1979). What makes the subject of "move"

actually move? One of the most prevailing ideas in the area of motivation is Maslow's

need hierarchy theory. Maslow (1954) postulated that psychological needs range from

lower order to higher order. Physiological motives like hunger appear first, second

safety, third love motives, then esteem, and finally, self-actualization motives. Pearce

(1982) explained the advantages of using Maslow's theory as a fundamental framework

of tourist motivation. According to Pearce, historically, travel motivations were health,

education, spiritual values and self-indulgence. He explained that traveling for health

was the equivalent to emotional and physical security, educational reasons might be

connected to self-esteem, traveling for spiritual values would be tied with self-

actualization, and self-indulgence motivations were related to the satisfaction of

physiological needs and belongingness. He suggested that Maslow's "concept of self-

actualization contained an inherent notion of individual choice and self-determination",

because tourist motivation theory should be dedicated to "the non-deterministic nature of

intrinsically motivated behaviour" (p. 53). Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) employed

Maslow's hierarchy of needs in their study to understand travel motivations from

travelers' experiences and found that more experienced travelers were motivated by

higher order needs.









The concept of push and pull factors (Dann, 1977) is a widely accepted explanation

for tourist motivation (Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995; Parrinello, 1993). "Push" factors

refer to socio-psychological motives or internal forces (Cha, McCleary & Uysal, 1995).

Escape from everyday routine and obligations are one example of "push" factors. "Pull"

factors are motives attracting tourists to a certain destination. Iso-Ahola (1983) stated

that, "motivation is a more important determinant of recreational travel than other

factors"(p. 50) and suggested that recreational travel must be motivated by "intrinsic"

reasons. Furthermore, he explained that psychological benefits stem from the interaction

of two factors: escape from routine and stressful environment and seeking novelty.

Crompton (1979) interviewed 39 respondents and conceptualized the role and

relationships of their motivations for a pleasure vacation based on the concept of state of

disequilibrium. According to Crompton, when disequilibrium arises, a break from

routine is used to restore homeostasis. Going on a pleasure vacation is one component to

satisfy states of disequilibrium. The data suggested respondents' motivations were

located along a cultural-socio-psychological disequilibrium continuum" (p. 415). He

found seven socio-psychological motives or push factors: escape from a perceived

mundane environment; exploration and evaluation of self; relaxation; prestige;

regression; enhancement of kinship relationships, and facilitation of social interaction,

and two cultural motives: novelty and education.

McGehee, Loker-Murphy and Uysal (1996) examined female Australian leisure

travelers' motivations from a gendered perspective. They conducted a survey of 1,503

Australians, and found that Australian women travelers put more importance on cultural

experience, family and kinship and prestige. Cultural experience includes, new lifestyles,









foreign destinations, learning new things, trying new foods, historical places, and

escaping the ordinary. The prestige factor represents safety and security, reporting back

on the trip, being entertained, maximizing experience, new places, and a homelike feel.

While men rated sports and adventure as more important than did women.

Cha, McCleary and Uysal (1995) explored the travel motivations of Japanese

overseas travelers using a factor-cluster market segmentation approach. Their study

revealed six motivation factors: relaxation, knowledge, adventure, travel bragging, and

family sports. They identified three major needs: sports, novelty, and family/relaxation.

Age and education explained statistically significant differences among the three groups

in relation to motivation. Novelty seekers were more likely to be aged 60 and over, and

family/relaxation seekers had the highest education levels. Cai and Combrink (2000)

focused on the gender difference among male-female Japanese tourists in terms of travel

motivations. They found that seven push factors and nine pull factors were evident. The

data suggested that men and women were remarkably differentiated in their travel

motivations. Japanese females showed a stronger need for escape from the demands of

home than did the males. Sirakaya, Uysal and Yoshioka (2003) examined motivations of

Japanese travelers to Turkey. They applied Iso-Ahola's (1983) arousal theory as a

framework to describe and segment Japanese travelers' motivations. They found eight

factors: love of nature, enhancement of kinship, experiencing culture, living the resort

lifestyle, escape, education in archaeology/history, living the extravagant lifestyle, and

travel bragging. The factor-cluster segmentation analysis of motivations indicated two

types of Japanese travelers, seekers and escapers.









Tourist Role

According to Wickens (2002), "the word 'role' refers to the pattern of behavior

expected of an individual who occupies a particular status, with each role carrying certain

characteristic actions, emotions, and attitudes" (p. 846). Based on Goffman's (1961)

concept of role enactment, Wickens explained, "Role embracement is used to describe

the tourist's purposeful engagement in certain activities"(p. 847). As Gibson and

Yiannakis (2002) suggested tourist behaviors or roles are related to specific background

characteristics, and as such might help to understand tourist needs and the meaning of

tourism for individuals over the life course. Cohen (1972) proposed four tourist roles

based on a continuum of novelty and familiarity: the organized mass tourist, the

individual mass tourist, the explorer, and the drifter. The organized mass tourist

experiences familiarity at a maximum while novelty is at a minimum. The individual

mass tourist is still controlled by familiarity but the novelty experience is greater.

Although the explorer prefers contact with local people and tries to leave the

"environment a bubble"(p. 166), he/she is not completely in a situation where novelty

dominates. On the other hand, the drifter experiences novelty at the highest level and

familiarity is at the lowest.

Cohen (1996) developed a phenomenological typology of tourist experiences. Five

modes of touristic experiences were identified: the recreational, the diversionary, the

experiential, the experimental, and the existential. The main concerns in these modes

were "where the 'spiritual center' of the individual is located" (Cohen, 1979a, p. 22).

The recreational tourist just enjoys the trip and recuperates physical and mental powers.

They enjoy "pseudo-events" (Boorstin, 1964). This type of tourists still holds the cultural

center of his/her society, but finds no meaning in the surrounding cultures. The tourist in









the diversionary mode does not possess a spiritual center at home and does not seek it

outside. He or she takes a trip to merely escape from the boredom and mundaneness of

everyday life. The experiential mode corresponds to MacCannell's (1973) concepts of

the tourist. This type of tourist has lost their own center and seeks and leads experiences

of authenticity in the life of others. The tourists of the experimental mode do not cling to

the spiritual center of their own society; instead, they engage in an unfamiliar, alternative

ways of life in quest of a new spiritual center. The existential mode tourists have

acquired a new "elective spiritual center" (Cohen, 1979, p. 22), and "the elective center

becomes the new center of his[sic] cosmos "(Cohen, 1979, p. 22).

Redfoot's (1984) typology of touristicc realities" classified tourists in the following

way: the first-order or "true tourist," the second-order or "angst-ridden tourist," the third-

order or "anthropological tourist," and the fourth-order or "spiritual tourist" (p. 291). The

first-order tourists experiences are constantly related to the reality back home and the trip

is a temporary escape for them. The experiences of the second-order tourist are

characterized by having an anxiety and shame over being a tourist. They are likely to

seek real experiences like traveling alone or learning a few words of the local language.

The reality experience of the third-order tourist is built into the anthropologist's role

whose strategies are "developed to maintain a subjective detachment, to avoid 'going

native"(p. 299). The fourth-order tourists are "engaged in saving their own souls"(p.

301) through a rejection of modern culture. They search spiritual reality in the

experiences of others.

Pearce (1985) identified 15 travel-related roles. A multidimensional scaling

analysis revealed five clusters of roles: environmental, high contact, exploitative,









pleasure first, and spiritual travel. Wahlers and Etzel (1985) investigated the relationship

between vacation activity preferences and individual stimulation needs. Using the 40-

item Arousal Seeking Tendency scale (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974), the findings

suggested that stimulation seekers preferred invigorating and innovative vacations, while

stimulation avoiders preferred structured and enriching vacations. Yiannakis and Gibson

(1992) found at least 13 leisure-based tourist roles. They also found gender differences

among tourists in that females prefer safer and more tranquil settings to seek self and/or

spiritual knowledge, and males prefer more stimulating or exciting environments.

Yiannakis and Gibson suggested that, "tourist role preference may be influenced by

culture specific factors and may reflect, to a great extent, culture-specific patterns in sex-

role differences and opportunities"(p. 298).

In a later study Gibson and Yiannakis (2002) employed Levinson's model of the

adult life course (Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson & McKee, 1978; Levinson, 1996)

to investigate the relationship between psychological needs and tourist role preference

patterns for men and women. The findings showed three trends in tourist role preference

patterns over the adult lifecourse. Trend one was described by decreasing preference

over the lifecourse such as the action seeker, the active sport tourist, the thrill seeker, the

explorer, the drifter, and the sunlover. Trend two was characterized by roles increasing

in preference like the anthropologist, the archaeologist, the high-class tourist, the

educational tourist, and the organized mass tourist. The anthropologist refers to those

who are willing to experience local cultures, such as enjoying the local people and

sampling the local food. The archaeologist is described as acquiring the history of

ancient civilizations. Trend three was roles, which demonstrated variable patterns over









the lifecourse such as the seeker, the jetsetter, the independent mass tourist, and escapist.

The findings also suggested gender differences. There were slightly different patterns

according to stages in the lifecourse. Women engaged in or followed male preferences

activities about five years later. These findings indicate that women may be constrained

by cultural expectations such as motherhood and 'ethic of care', but in their late 50s they

might be less constrained and have more freedom of choice.

Wickens (2002) interviewed 86 British holidaymakers in Chalkidiki, Greece and

identified five types of tourist: the Cultural Heritage, the Raver, the Shirley Valentine, the

Heliolatrous, and the Lord Byron. The Cultural Heritage type demonstrated a strong

emphasis on the natural beauties of Greece, its culture and history. This type of tourist is

similar to MacCannell's (1973) tourist authenticity seeking. The Raver type looked for

sensual and hedonistic pleasures and their interest was primarily in the beach and night-

clubs. The Shirley Valentine type was characterized by their expectation of a romantic

experience with Greek males. This cluster consisted of all women travelers. The

characteristics of the Heliolatrous type showed the need for sunshine. They expected and

wanted the "authenticity of the Greek weather" (p. 841). The Lord Byron type was the

tourist who returned to the same place every year. They were more likely to have contact

with and direct experience of the locals. Thus, the literature shows that a range of tourist

behaviors exist and men and women may be motivated by different needs to choose

certain types of behaviors and at different stages in the life course.

Travel and Aging

There are many studies about aging and tourism. However, many of them have

focused on tourism strategies or marketing as aging was seen as an emerging trend in the

travel industry, rather than understanding the meaning of travel for older adults. These









studies focused on "the maturing market", which ranged from 50 to 65 and over, because

it was assumed that they have the time and money to travel (Faranda & Schmidt, 1999;

Hagan & Uysal, 1991; Shoemaker, 2000; Tongren, 1980). Zimmer, Brayley and Searle

(1995) examined the differences between seniors who travel and those who do not. They

found that household income level was the most influential predictor classifying travelers

from nontravlers. Education was the second most powerful influence of travel behavior.

Cleaver, Muller, Ruys, and Wei (1999) explored travel motives among seniors aged

between 56 and 93, and identified seven travel-motive segments: nostalgics, friendlies,

learners, escapists, thinkers, status-seekers, and physical. The first four segments

accounted for 83 percent of the senior tourism market. Nostalgics tend to renew

memories and gaining satisfaction from experiencing favorite memories again, to tighten

family togetherness, and to return to places that are full of pleasant aspects of their past.

Friendlies like to meet new people and make new friends. Learners have a tendency of

collecting new experiences, discovering the world, learning new things and knowledge.

Escapists travel for the need to get away from the responsibilities of daily life. However,

as Kelly (1999) suggested, "leisure is not a separate domain of life, but is woven through

all sorts of roles and relationships" (p. 143), it is also important to examine what role

travel plays for older people in later life.

Hawes (1988) investigated the travel-related life-style profiles of women aged 50

and over. His findings suggested that many older women had the energy and desire to do

active things. Penatla and Uysal (1992) suggested that travel contributes to a sense of

continuity of life style for older people because travel would provide new roles and create

new and positive role images lost due to retirement. Lipscombe (1995) postulated that









travel experiences would facilitate self-development, learning and unique individual

experiences. Gibson (2002) interviewed men and women aged between 65 and 90 years

old. She found that most of the participants felt leisure-travel was an important part of

their lives. Indeed, Rojek (1993) wrote, "Travel is required to yield an intensified,

heightened experience of oneself' (p. 175).

Recent studies about Japanese travelers showed different tendencies among

Japanese seniors. For instance, more Japanese seniors are familiar with English movies

because of the domination of the American movie industry. For those people, New York

City or Hollywood is a niche for seeking authenticity. Sakai, Brown and Mak (2000)

examined Japanese population aging and its potential impact on Japanese international

travel in the 21st century, and they suggested that Japanese outbound travel was expected

to continue to rise.

You and O'Leary (2000) compared two senior Japanese groups, age 55 to 64 years

old, both in 1986 and 1995, and they stated, "the 1995 senior market seems to be more

experienced, place higher values on overseas travel and have an overall higher activity

involvement level" (p. 36). Future seniors may show different leisure behavior, travel

desires and patterns, and interests. More seniors may choose to expose themselves to

new experiences or more novelty.

Women and Travel

Many studies related to women and tourism focus on women as producers (Gibson,

2001; Swain, 1995; Butler, 1995). This study concentrates on women as consumers

(Gibson, 2001; Timothy, 2001). As Timothy (2001) suggested:

Women experience travel, whether for business or pleasure, in context of a male-
dominated industry; therefore women must go out of their way to create their own









space and be recognized as equal consumers of a similar product but with
individual needs. (p. 240)

What are their needs for travel? Few women could travel outside of their

homelands before the eighteenth century (Tinling, 1989). Historically, men traveled for

exploration, conquest, challenge, adventure, and imperialism (Robinson, 1990; Tinling,

1989). For women, their needs to travel seem "very personal" (Tinling, 1989, p.xxiv).

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whose husband was appointed to Turkey as British

Ambassador in 1716, decided to join him. She was the "first authoress to travel abroad

for mere curiosity's sake, and call herself, with considerable pride, 'a traveller"

(Robinson, p. 32). Lady Carven began to travel in 1783 searching for adventure, as she

was bored with her husband. She continued to travel until 1817 (Robinson). Isabella

Lucy Bird Bishop was one of the most well-known Victorian women travelers. Although

she took a trip to North America and Canada in her twenties, her traveling career started

quite late in life. Until she was 40, she devoted her life to caring for her parents.

Robinson described Isabella Bird, "in her 'up-to-anything free-legged air' she certainly

had her moments" (p. 83), and "she was a born traveller, and a lasting inspiration"(p. 83).

Alexandra David-Neel was the first Western woman to enter Lhasa, the capital of Tibet

in 1923 (Robinson; Tinling). She went there "simply because she was not allowed to---

and because it was her spiritual home"(Robinson, p.9). Some were with their husbands;

others were escapees from family responsibilities or attracted by curiosity. Whatever

their reasons were, they were questing spirits, a characteristic which "is not confined to

one sex" (Tinling, 1989, p. xxiii). Hall and Kinnaird (1994) pointed out that Victorian

women used travelling as a means to an end. They were "doubly removed, from other









women and from societal norms, for seeking fulfillment in life other than with family and

fireside" (p. 194).

Japanese Women and Travel

Graburn (1983a) observed that the Japanese have had a very long history of

domestic tourism. Umesao (1995) explained the beginning of Japanese travel as follows:

By the mid-seventeenth century, in the first half of the Edo period, not only was the
entire nation equipped with a system of roadways, but numerous way stations were
also established with inns offering lodging and meals. The establishment of the
"sankintotai" (alternate attendance) system spurred the development of these travel
devices. And yet, transportation facilities hardly advance at all during the Edo
period. This was because the shougunate's policy forbade the use of mobile
transportation facilities such as horse drawn carriages. As a result, people were
forced to travel the roadways on foot. This led, paradoxically, to the popularization
of travel among the general populace. (p. 5)

About 350 years later, more than 16 million Japanese travel abroad. After the

Japanese government liberalized international travel in 1964, with the help of several

changes such as rapid economic growth, surging values of the yen, introduction of wide-

bodied jets and rising labor force especially among women, Japanese rushed into

traveling abroad (Sakai, Brown & Mak, 2000). Graburn pointed out that, "the Japanese

are inveterate tourists"(p. 2). It might be true, but do international travelers' motivations

differ because of travelers' cultural background? For example, it is well known that

American Society is based on individualism, while Japanese society values, a sense of

harmony, or togetherness. Kim and Lee (2000) investigated tourist motivation between

Anglo-American and Japanese tourists. They found that Japanese tourists were more

likely to show collectivism, while American tourists were more likely to show

individualism. These findings show that there were cultural differences based on

nationality in terms of individualism and collectivism.









The geographical feature of Japan: an archipelago whose distance from the Asian

Continent was neither too far to accept cultural influence nor too close to be invaded, it

was suitable for Japan to create a peculiar cultural realm: homogeneous in race, language,

religion and sentiments (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993). An encounter with the outer world

is both fearful and exciting for the Japanese. Cohen (1972) pointed out that the organized

mass tourist remains mainly within his/her "environmental bubble"(p. 167) throughout

his/her trip. Package tours to the U.S. accounted for nearly half of the total Japanese

outbound travelers both in 1998 and 1999, and about two-thirds of senior travelers bought

full a package tour (JTB, 1997). These numbers show, "familiarity is at a maximum,

novelty at a minimum" (Cohen, 1972, p. 167) for Japanese travelers in their preference

for a collective style of travel. Language barriers are one of factors of strangeness for

Japanese outbound travelers. Language barriers are influential on destination choices

(Cohen & Cooper, 1986). Even their search for different environments and new social

contacts suggests a desire for novelty and strangeness, but at the same time many

Japanese maintain some sense of familiarity.

Lang, O'Leary and Morrison (1993) studied Japanese female overseas travelers

using activity segmentation. They found that five types of travel were popular: outdoor,

sports, sightseeing, life-seeing, activity combo, and naturalist. Also, they found many

females took package tours. Mok and Lam (2000) reviewed the literature of travel-

related behavior of Japanese leisure tourists, and they indicated that travel-related

behavior of Japanese tourists was influenced to a great degree by cultural values. March

(2000) identified eight stages of the Japanese travel life cycle: the family trip, school

excursion, graduation trip, overseas weddings, honeymoon travel, in-company trip, and









silver market which refers to senior travelers. March suggests that a combination of

cultural and historical factors unique to Japan have shaped the travel life cycle.

By looking at recent travel trends, especially, the fastest growing segment of senior

women travelers, it is conceivable that outbound female traveler aged 50 and over and

women in their 20s and 30s who choose to have fewer children or later marriage have a

common idea: resistance to the social conventions of traditional Japanese society.

Several studies showed that fertility change was due to changing values and gender roles

among younger women (Ogawa & Retherford, 1993; Tsuya & Mason, 1995; Raymo,

1998; Yamada, 1999). Higher education and labor force participation has led women to

greater economic independence and realization of individualism and gender equality

(Retherford, Ogawa & Sakamoto, 1996). As a result, they refuse or delay entry into the

traditional ie (family) system, where conservative values about women's roles prevail.

Women should be a good wife and good mother without an identity of her own.

Moreover, it is conceivable that if Japanese female outbound travelers aged 50 and over

seek a non-ordinary domain apart from home-based daily life, they might resist not only

the traditional wife's image but also negative stereotypes of aging.

Creighton's (1995) study of craft tourism for Japanese women provided a sense of

how the idea of some Japanese women legitimate their travel. She described Japanese

women who participated in the craft workshops. The travel, which has educational and

traditional nature, is cloaked in cultural legitimacy so that they could visit various

sightseeing spots, "rather than having it defined as "pleasure travel" (p. 476). As Craik

(1997) pointed out, cultural tourism has been 'feminised' (p. 133), Japanese women need

some legitimate reasons to travel not just to escape from ordinary life or to relax, but









socially accepted reasons like touching and feeling authenticity or learning from

professionals (JTB, 2002). In fact, the Japan Travel Bureau provides a new package tour

especially for people in their fifties and sixties. They do not focus only on women, but

their main focus is women who are over fifty (JTB, 2002). Moreover, from the JTB

report in 2002, two interesting characteristics of Japanese oversea travelers are found.

One is that more mothers and daughters are traveling abroad, and the other is that more

women who are fifty and over prefer traveling with their friends than their husbands

(JTB, 2001). The former trend can be explained by Kawamura (1994) in that parent-

child relationships in Japan are much stronger than those between husband and wives.

The latter can be understood by the desire that these women have for a space to construct

her own meanings and own self-development (Gibson, 2001). For Japanese women who

travel with their husbands, they will not be afforded the same opportunities to liberate

themselves from traditional family roles.

Japanese Women's Life Course

Probably most Japanese women who are middle age and older have heard or have

been told that they are like Christmas cakes. This riddle-like expression implies one

stage of Japanese women's life course. Brinton (1992, 1993) explained this riddle in that

Christmas cakes are "very popular and sell like hot cakes up until twenty-five and after

that you have a lot of trouble getting rid of them"(p. 80). The metaphor of 'twenty-five'

indicates women's marriageable age. This story suggests the strong norm about marriage

and age (Brinton). According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security

Research (2002), mean age at first marriage of Japanese women was 23 years old in

1950, and 27 years old in 2000. Though nowadays this metaphor may be obsolete, still

Japanese women are bound to cultural norms. For example, women who are approaching









the appropriate marriage age are often asked when they are going to marry. Once they

are married, they are asked, when they will have their first baby. Then again they are

asked when they will have a second baby. After women have had two children, they are

free from these questions. Finally, they have become socially regarded as a fully-fledged

woman. Marriage and childbirth are culturally the most deep-rooted life events for

women in Japan.

Brinton analyzed the life course in the U.S. and Japan. She suggested three

dimensions of the life course presented by Modell, Furstenberg, and Herschberg (1976)

were useful in cross-cultural comparisons. They are spread, reversibility of entrance and

exit from specific institutions, and age-congruity. According to Brinton, spread refers to

the length of time it takes to make a specific transition for a given proportion of the

population. Reversibility represents "whether entrance into a role or state tends to be

reversed (by exit) at a later date" (Brinton, p. 83). Age-congruity may be described as the

extent of overlap between statuses. She suggested how to apply these concepts to life

course comparison between Japan and the United States. In addition, she pointed out,

"American researchers of the life course have usually treated the individual as a fairly

independent decision maker responding to a set of choices regarding significant role

transitions according to a normatively defined 'life script" (1992, p. 82). On the other

hand, those who have a stake in exercising some control over the individual's life course

transitions have more influence on individuals' life course transitions entering and exiting

social institutions in the social organization of Japanese society than American society.

She argued the timing of life course transitions for Japanese women is described as

irreversibility, with little spread, and age-incongruity, and strongly influenced by









stakeholders such as parents, spouses, and employers. On the contrary, the life course

transitions of American women are more reversible than permanent, and show a good

amount of spread and age-congruity across individuals. The stakeholders in the life

course of American women seem to be less influential than those for Japanese women.

Those dimensions of the life course and the stakeholders are deeply rooted in

Japanese cultural and traditional norms. For example, a main purpose of women's

education in Japan is "preparation for family roles" (Brinton, 1992, p. 87). It is very rare

that Japanese women return to school after marriage, and there is very little overlap with

roles such as students and wives, or mothers. The labor market in Japan also reflects

three dimensions and the stakeholders. The labor force participation of Japanese women

increases until age 24 and declines from age 25 to 34 (The Cabinet Office, 2002). When

they enter the work force, employers encourage them to "think of the workplace not as

the first stage of a working career but rather as a way station on the route to marriage"

(McLendon, 1983, p. 156). Brinton (1992) explained, "Employment before marriage was

followed by exit from the labor force after marriage. Reentry into the labor force

occurred after the last child left home. In other words, labor force participation was a

reversible decision" (p. 92). Age-incongruity between marriage and labor force

participation is attributed to Japanese euphemistic expression of marriage, which is

regarded as "lifetime employment" (Brinton, p. 93).

As Brinton suggested, "The life course is affected by the historical development of

social institutions within specific cultural settings" (p. 101), ages at marriage and at first

birth in Japan have risen over the twentieth century, while that of the United States have

dropped. Educational attainment has risen in both countries, but Japanese women finish









their education as scheduled. American women show more diversity such as returning to

school after marriage, or divorce (Brinton). Though the Japanese women's life course is

strongly influenced by the conventional ideas, changes have gradually occurred. For

example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws put into effect in 1986, which

officially prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex and from denying

opportunities for jobs and promotions to women (Brinton, 1993; Rosenberger, 1996).

Other aspects of change are the aging society and fertility decline. Aging itself is

not a problem, rather aging is considered as a happy occasion in Japanese Confucian

values, however, population aging is thought to bring a health-care system collapse and a

financial crisis in the social security system (Ogawa & Retherford, 1993). Moreover, the

continuing low birthrate accelerates a demographic change into an aging society. The

National Institute of Population and Social Security Research revised the birthrate

projection downward froml.61 to 1.39 (2002). It indicates old-age dependency ratios

will exceed 60.0 by 2050. Several studies have investigated fertility decline in Japan

(Morgan, Rindfuss & Parnell, 1984; Ogawa & Retherford 1993; Raymo, 1998; Tsuya &

Mason, 1995). Raymo pointed out increasing number of unmarried women in their 20s

and early 30s have contributed to the recent fertility decline. Tsuya and Mason argued

that because of the new opportunities in the educational and economic systems Japanese

women tend to delay their marriage.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare take the trend of fewer numbers of

children seriously; they have adopted several measures to cope with it. They held "the

Meeting of the Learned to Consider Measures to Cope with Fewer Numbers of Children"

(Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 1999). The proposals submitted at the Meeting









include: revision of the division of roles between men and women, the promotion of joint

participation by men and women in family affairs, and the improvement of child care

services such as daily nurseries (Chapter 5, Section 1). In response to the proposals, the

government has promoted day-care measures. They have introduced more flexible and

less uniform nursery care services than have been traditionally provided. Encouraging

men to participate in child rearing was also one of the measures that the Ministry took in

1999. Low fertility rates will result in decreased labor force population, which may

hinder the economic growth and increase the burden on the younger generation. Whether

she chooses family roles or not is an individual's matter. However, when this movement

becomes collective, it may be construed as a form of political practice (Shaw, 2001).

Nozawa (1995) examined the Japanese tourism industry and found, There seems to be a

correlation between the growth of the Japanese female outbound market and the

improvement of the working conditions and environment for female professionals in

travel-related industries" (p. 486).

Japanese Women's Changing Values

Improved educational opportunities were thought to be one of the main factors

leading to changing values for women. With the prevalence of the egalitarian ideology

introduced by the postwar constitution (Meguro, 1990), more women became better

educated and independent. It is expected that the young generation at present will have

an influence on the behaviors or attitudes of the next generation. Anderton, Tsuya, Bean,

and Mineau (1987) found indirect associations of intergenerational transmission

regarding the timing of fertility-related life-course events. Although women's higher

education was supposed to be associated with the recent fertility decline through four

generations, it was not a single factor. The number of junior colleges or universities for









women is an important indicator in understanding women's status, but more importance

should be put on intergenerational relations. Daughters of the first generation spent their

adolescence in the typical traditional family where their mothers did not have any right to

choose or decide, because they had neither higher education nor economic independence.

Some women might have antipathy against inequality, but most women would give up

fighting inequality, and some would not even think of fighting inequality. Coupled with

the introduction of democratic and egalitarian ideologies, daughters of the second

generation began to advance in higher education and participate in paid work. Increasing

numbers of daughters from the next generation graduated from junior colleges or

universities, and got paid jobs. Thanks to high economic growth during 1950s to 1970s,

they would have material security. However, gender roles in the family still reflected

pre-industrial culture (Inglehart, 1990). More women began to enjoy themselves fully

until they were bound to traditional family roles.

The recent survey by the Institution of Population Problems (2000) showed that

50.7% of respondents felt that men were treated better than women at home, 60.7% of

them thought men received better treatment than women at work, and 76.6% of them

believed that men had better treatment than women culturally and traditionally.

However, 63.9% of them thought that men and women were treated equally in education

(N=3,378). Tsuya and Mason (1995) suggest that unless gender roles especially at home

change and become more attractive for young women, the Japanese government should

expect a continuing declining in fertility. However, the Japanese traditional systems may

be changing, but at a very slow pace. According to the survey by the Institution of

Population Problems in 1997, from 1975 the number of women of 20 to 29 years old who









have never married increased sharply, and that of women aged 30 to 34 almost doubled.

These trends coincide with the onset of women's educational opportunities. More

opportunities for women in education provided them with more opportunities to

participate in the labor force, and women gained "significant new opportunities for

individual survival, as well as a sense of belonging, esteem, and self-realization" (Tsuya

& Mason, 1995, p. 142). As a result, fertility and female marriage may have declined in

recent years.

There were important transitions for women's life course after the Second World

War. For example, the age cohort of 70 years old experienced the democratization of

educational system just after the war. They encouraged their daughters to take higher

education. Women aged 60 and over devoted themselves to hard work after the war.

They sacrificed their adulthood for their country's development. It is not surprising that

they thought they did not want their children to live like them (Yamada, 1999). Their

children inevitably came to enjoy time and money for themselves until they met an ideal

partner. Moreover, because of the current recession and low-growth economy, male

wages are relatively low. On the other hand, women who co-reside with their parents are

relatively wealthy because their parents have higher income based on the seniority

system. It may be difficult for a woman to find a man who has a higher salary and

education compared to her parents.

It is ironic that the purpose of women's education in Japan was to produce "good

wives" and "good mothers" and to prepare for family roles (Brinton, 1992). However,

the contemporary educational system which is considered to be equal for both men and

women makes women realize how their world has been still confined to the traditional









demand and age-appropriate norms (Iwao, 1993). Iwao explains that women's education

in Japan has encouraged the ideas of independence and self-identity in women who were

born after the World War II. Consequently, the number of unmarried women has risen

and as a consequence the birth rate has declined. Moreover, Japanese women may resist

Japanese government policies which "channel women into nurturing positions at home

and lower-level positions at work in order to maintain a societal order" (Rosenberger,

1996, p. 12), and may pursue the fulfillment of their desires based on the ideals of

individuality and freedom.

Summary

Given that tourism is considered to enable "individuals to spend a period of time in

a new place or places" (Kinnaird & Hall, 1994, p. 11), leisure-travel may provide women

with spaces where they can express themselves more freely than in their home

environments (Graburn, 1983a, 1983b; Wearing, 1998). Like the Victorian women

travelers, although the number of travelers was much smaller than that of today, Japanese

women may travel in search of experiences that they find meaningful. Coupled with the

prevalence of women's higher education, their labor force participation, and exposures to

egalitarian ideas, more Japanese women have become aware of their own identities. The

literature clearly shows that traditional Japanese values are changing. The increasing

numbers of Japanese female leisure-travelers aged 50 and over suggests that this may be

one realm of their lives where they can resist traditional family roles and a society where

they are expected to do as they are told. Tourism may enable them to learn more about

their own subjectivities to a greater extent (Wearing, 1998) and develop a sense of

empowerment.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS

Research Design

A qualitative research design was adopted for this study. In-depth semi-structured

interviews were the primary method used to uncover the meanings of leisure-travel for

Japanese women who are 50 years old and over. The purpose of the study was to

investigate the relationship between tourism and quality of life for these older women.

Particularly, this study examined both traditional Japanese gender roles and changing

women's values and how these might be related to leisure-travel choices in later life.

Research Method

Pilot Study

As Gibson (2001) suggested, "Interviewing tourists about their experiences may be

one way to understand the meaning of travel in people's lives" (p. 27), using a semi-

structured interview guide, in-depth interviews were conducted in two data collection

stages with older Japanese women. The first stage involved two interviews via the

telephone during spring 2003 and was the pilot study for the second stage of data

collection. The telephone interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, read and re-read,

and then examined line-by-line to identify prominent patterns and concepts. Then the

transcripts were translated into English. The initial patterns that emerged from the data

were: both women were strongly influenced by the Second World War and their parents;

they were willing to learn what they did not know; they preferred an individual tour to a

package tour and they had optimistic views toward their life. From this process the









interview guide was revised in three ways. First, when asked about their travel

experiences, they were asked whether their travel was domestic or international. Since

this study worked from the assumption that tourism provides a personal space for

challenging traditional gender roles and creating individual identity for women, no

specific limitations as to the type of travel was used. The second revision was as they

talked much about their parents, but little about their husbands, one more question, "Tell

me about your husband" was added if they did not mention their husbands for married

women. The final revision was to employ some flexibility in the order of the interview

guide so as to allow participants to speak more freely during the interviews.

The Interview Guide

Interview questions were based on the women's life events, life review, identity,

aging, and the present (Kaufman, 1986). Hence, the interview guide was designed to

encourage the women to talk about their lives, family roles, and travel history. The

questions included: (a) asking interview participants' travel history and experiences, and

meanings of each trip for them (Gibson, 2002); (b) the role of travel over their life

course; (c) insights on their parents, marriage, and children; and, (d) their feelings about

growing old (see Appendix A for Interview Guide). Six questions addressed their travel

history: (1) Please tell me about your most recent vacation or trip; (2) Looking back over

your life talk to me about some of your travel experiences; (3) What meanings does travel

have for you; (4) Do you have any activities you regularly take part in; (5) In comparison

to these activities, how important is travel to you; and (6) Do you have a dream vacation.

Three final questions asked about life in general: (7) Life events; (8) Life review; and (9)

Aging. These questions also had probes associated with them and were used to delve

more deeply into aspects of their lives. The first question had two objectives: a) to make









the participants feel at ease; and b) to talk about their most recent travel patterns. The

second question was asked to find out whether their travel patterns changed over their life

course. The third question attempted to ask participants about the meanings of travel

through out their lives. The fourth question endeavored to recognize their daily activity

patterns. The fifth question asked them about the role of travel in their life compared to

everyday activities. The sixth question asked them about their dream vacations. The

seventh question asked about their parents. The eighth question inquired about their

personal history. The final question asked their feelings about getting old and their

attitudes toward later life.

Data Collection

The second stage of the data collection comprised face-to-face interviews

conducted during summer 2003. During this second stage, snowball and theoretical

sampling were employed based on concepts from the literature review and patterns

emerging from the pilot study interviews. Consequently, participants were selected on

the basis of age, travel experiences, socio-economic background, and marital status.

Participants were initially contacted by letter or phone call. They lived in the Kagawa

Prefecture, Japan. (see Figure 1.) The study was explained to them and they were asked

to participate in a 40 to 60-minute face-to face interview about the meanings of travel in

their lives. Upon their consent, an interview was scheduled at a time and place they

designated as convenient for them. The interviews lasted between 35 minutes to one

hour and 30 minutes. Ten were interviewed at their residences, four took place in a quiet

coffee shop, and one woman was at her office. Prior to beginning the interview, the

interviewer read the informed consent form, asked for a signature on two copies of it,

obtained permission to audiotape the interview, explaining that the tape could be turned









off at any time, and their confidentiality would be maintained at all times. The principal

investigator conducted the interviews in Japanese. Tapes, transcripts and translations

were stored in a locked file cabinet. Research participants were identified with codes to

ensure their privacy and confidentiality. After each interview a transcribed copy was sent

to the research participant for verification and approval.

The Participants

Purposive sampling was employed initially in the pilot study. Two women living

in the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan were interviewed via the telephone in April 2003. The

two women were selected on the basis of the researcher's knowledge of their travel

experiences and socio-economic background. They were first contacted by the

telephone. Then both the consent form and the interview guide were sent to them via

email and surface mail. After a few days for one woman and two weeks for the other,

they were contacted by telephone to confirm their agreement to participate in the study.

One of these women is a 66-year-old married retiree with two grown-up children. The

other is a 70-year-old married English teacher with no children. The former woman has

extensive travel experiences. The latter woman has visited the USA once every two

years since 1990. After the interviews the two women were asked to suggest additional

people for interviewing. A further 15 Japanese women who were 50 years old and over,

and have travel experiences were recruited to take part in the second stage of the data

collection process. All participants of this study are residents of the Kagawa Prefecture,

Japan. In the middle of June 2003, the primary investigator had an opportunity to give a

presentation about Florida's tourism to an audience of about 80 in the Kagawa Prefecture

Japan. As part of this presentation she spoke about the study and recruited additional

interview participants. Six women responded after the presentation and consented to









Table 1: Profile of interview participants
*Participants Age Marital Status Biographical Notes Work
History
Aki 66 Married Swimming, English Retired
conversation
Two grown-up children.
Kaori 70 Married No children. Frequent traveler Teaching
English
Chisato Late-60s Married Volunteer for people who have Retired
a visual impairment.
Extensive traveler
Tomo Mid-60s Married Volunteer for people who have Retired
a visual impairment. Longing
for Tibet. Extensive traveler
Etsuko 70 Married Volunteer for people who have Housewife
a visual impairment. Travels
abroad twice every year
Fumi 66 Married Chorus, Arts Housewife
Extensive traveler
Takako 65 Single, never Swimming, more than 20 Retired
married international trips
Haruyo Late-50s Married Volunteer for homeless people Housewife
Extensive traveler
Izumi Mid-50s Married Teaching Japanese for foreign Housewife
people. Extensive traveler
Junko 54 Married Trekking. No children Housewife
Extensive traveler
Kumiko 58 Married Two children. Taught in Retired
schools for handicapped
children.
Rie 53 Single, never Individual traveler. Volunteer Secretary
married for an international exchange
program.
Mai 65 Married Extensive traveler. Teaching Novelist,
English & Women's Studies at translator,
several colleges. & teacher
Naomi 70 Married Lived in Panama for two years. Poet
Volunteer for people with
handicapped.
Sumire 83 Widowed Loves nature. Three children Pharmacist
& six grandchildren
Yuri 50 Married Three children Pharmacist
Infrequent traveler
Ryoko 52 Married Two children. Substitute
_Infrequent traveler teacher
*Pseudonym used









participate in the interview. The rest of women were introduced to the primary

investigator by the first and second stage interview participants. Coupled with the

findings from the first telephone interviews, such as influence of the War and parents,

marital status, and work experience, and the purpose of the study, these participants were

selected on the basis of theoretical sampling. On two occasions, two participants

unexpectedly invited their friends to their homes. Consequently, collective interviews

were conducted, that is, three women were interviewed at once. The interviews were the

same as the others although a few questions regarding to their socioeconomic

backgrounds including age, education and income were not asked because of their

sensitive nature. The interviews were conducted to the point at which the data were

theoretically saturated and no new findings were evident in subsequent interviews.

Research participants were selected from several different communities and volunteer

groups in the Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. A total of 17 women ranging in age from 50 to

83 years were interviewed (see Table 1). Seven were in their 50s, six were in their 60s,

three were in their 70s, and one woman was in her 80s. One was widowed, two had

never married, and 14 women were currently married. As for travel experiences, one

women who was in her 80s did not have any international travel experience, however,

most women traveled frequently both domestic or internationally. All names used in this

study are pseudonyms. As some women were unwilling to answer annual income,

education and accurate age, they were not required to answer them.

Data Analysis

Constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was employed through out

the interviews and analysis of the data. Data analysis began with reading the

transcriptions intensively. Then the interview data were broken down into distinct









episodes, events, remarks, ideas and feelings. They were categorized by using the

technique of labeling. Open coding was used to identify initial categories in the data.

Then axial coding was used to explore how these categories were interrelated. Selective

coding then was used to integrate and refine these categories into a grounded theory

(Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Along with coding, memos were also used to clarify the

categories and reduce ambiguity (Sausser, Dattilo & Kivel, 2000). According to Strauss

and Corbin (1998), memos are "to serve as reminders or sources of information", and

"very specialized types of written records-those that contain the products of analysis or

directions for the analyst" (p. 217). Through these methods, the interviews were coded,

which allowed for the discovery of new concepts. Participants were contacted by follow-

up letters, emails or phone calls for subsequent data collection based on these emerging

new concepts. When no new concepts were identified, the principal investigator felt that

the data were saturated and no further interviews were conducted. Glaser and Strauss

described the constant comparative method as having four stages: a) comparing incidents

applicable to each category; b) integrating categories and their properties; c) delimiting

the theory; and d) writing the theory. Through these processes, important themes and

sub-themes were identified from the data. To validate these themes and sub-themes, they

were compared against the initial patterns that had been identified and also to the raw

data. In addition, two women were contacted by email and asked for their comments

about these themes. Following their confirmation, the themes and sub-themes emerging

from the interview data were verified.

As for the translation from the original language into English, Strauss and Corbin

(1998) suggested, "key passages and their codes can be translated, approximating the









original as closely as possible"(p. 286), because "often, there is no equivalent English

word capable of capturing the subtle nuances in meaning of the original language"(p.

285). Much attention was paid to the translation process from Japanese into English.

Initially the principal investigator translated all of the interviews into English. Then a

Japanese individual who has lived in the US more than three years was asked to translate

the English translations back into Japanese, and then those Japanese translations and the

original interviews were then compared for discrepancies. When different nuances were

found, the primary investigator and the bilingual person discussed them and agreed on a

fitting translation.

Description of Interview Site

The Kagawa Prefecture is located in the northeast area of Shikoku Island, which is

in southwest Japan (see Figure 1). Kagawa faces the Seto Inland Sea. Kagawa's

population is slightly over one million. Almost 40% of employed people (210,000) in

Kagawa engage in the primary and secondary industries. Kagawa's population is

growing older with elderly people comprising about 21%. Today, internationalization in

Kagawa is pervasive. After Kagawa created friendly ties with Shaanxi province in China

in 1994, various cities, towns and groups around the prefecture have sister city

affiliations and friendly links with cities including St. Petersburg FL, towns and groups

overseas. Furthermore the number of people traveling abroad and the number of

exchange students coming from various countries to Kagawa increases every year.

Internationalization is growing steadily at both governmental and grass roots level

(Kagawa Prefecture, 1999).

There are two reasons why Kagawa was chosen as an interview site. One reason

was that Kagawa was the place where the primary investigator was born, brought up, and










lived until 2000. Because theoretical sampling was employed in this study, it was

convenient to conduct interviews in the place where prospective interviewees lived. The

other reason was that despite the fact Kagawa has relatively conservative atmosphere,

people tend to be influenced by non-traditional ways of life, and they are becoming more

conscious of internationalization.









Kyoto




./








Tokushims Pref.
i Kouachi Pref.









Figure 3-1. The interview site map

(Source: http://www.student.kuleuven.ac.be/-m9205627/shikoku/kagawa/index.html)














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

This study investigates the meaning of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50

and over and identifies the contribution of tourism to the fulfillment of their later lives.

Particularly, this study examines both traditional Japanese gender roles and the

opportunities for women to resist these values and to empower themselves by seeking

new aspects of their identity through leisure-travel. Two themes were identified from the

interviews with 17 Japanese women and the memos taken during the interviews. Feeling

of freedom from ordinary life or obligation was the first theme. The second theme was

longing for knowledge. Under these two themes there were several sub-themes, which

were difficult to categorize as they were closely interconnected. Before discussing the

themes, however, it is essential to understand the life context of these women in terms of

the historical time frame in which they grew up along with the attitudes of their parents,

and their educational backgrounds. In addition to the socio-historical events,

volunteering is also discussed, as it is perceived that volunteering is an important part of

the majority of the women's present lives.

Historical Backgrounds

The War

The Japanese women in this study were born between 1920 and 1953. When asked

about leisure-travel through their lives, seven women who were 50 and over did not talk

about the Second World War at all, instead, they mentioned their family trips with

parents or grandparents. Eight women aged 60 and over, however, did talk about the









War. They said that when they were children or young adults, little thought was given to

leisure-travel. Rather, some women thought travel meant going or moving somewhere.

Aki, a 66-year-old married retiree, and Takako, a 65-year-old single and never married,

returned to Japan from China when the War was over. Both women had similar

experiences. Aki vividly remembered the day she returned to Japan, she said:

My memories of childhood travel are totally miserable. The ship we were on was
the last one from China. It was a cargo boat. We were packed in the bottom of the
ship with cows and horses. We arrived in Sasebo, and then went to Niigata,
Kagawa, Kobe, and Hokkaido. I kept crying the whole journey.

Just four months after coming back to Japan, Aki lost her mother when she was ten. After

the War, times were difficult so she, her father and brother traveled around to live with

various relatives. Takako also recollected:

I barely remember, but I think we left Shenyang, China in September 1946. We
consisted of myself along with my two sisters and two brothers. I was the oldest
and in the second grade. One sister was six and one three months. One brother
was five and one three. As my father and mother carried all the baggage, my sister
of six carried my baby sister of three months on her back. I carried my three-year-
old brother on my back because he suffered from malnutrition and could not walk
by himself. We boarded the train, an open freighter car, and were fortunate it did
not rain on the way to the port to board the ship. The ship's hold was like a sports
field, and probably had been loaded with tanks. On the trip I saw a ship get caught
in a torpedo net, it sank, and the ships crew that died were buried at sea. I still
remember the fear I felt at that time. We arrived in Sasebo, Japan in October. I
remember the whole trip took one month.

After they returned to Japan, Takako's mother had a baby boy. She died of pancreatic

cancer when the baby boy was one year and six months old. When she was in the sixth

grade, her father remarried. Takako did not say much about her stepmother, but she

missed her real mother. She explained:

My stepmother was not a bad person, but I wanted my mother. I didn't really want
to marry. Maybe I live an easy life. I don't think seriously about my life, but the
loss of my mother was the most tragic memory in my life. I am happy now and I
don't regret not marrying or having children.









She has traveled abroad both intensively and extensively since 1968 with her sisters,

brothers, other relatives or her friends. For example, between 2000 and 2001 she traveled

to Israel, Jordan, Oregon, Canada, Europe, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She

wants to travel to several places where she has never been including the Arctic and

Antarctica. When asked the most important thing in living a good life, she answered,

"Peace and no war."

Sumire, an 83-year-old pharmacist, did not have much to say about the War except,

"I never relaxed a single day until the War was over." Like Kaori, a 70-year-old English

teacher, Etsuko, a 70-year-old housewife, and Chisato, late 60s married retiree, they did

not really travel when they were children. They said, "It was that kind of time."

Therefore, most women aged 60 and over did not really travel, while women in

their 50s had a few travel experiences with their family with the post-war high economic

growth.

Parents

Their parents were born in the period from the 1880's to the 1930's, roughly just

after the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the pre-war era. Smith (1987) noted those women

who lived during this period were meant to obey three men throughout their lives: their

father, husband, and the eldest son. The eldest son is included because he acts as the head

of the household in her later life. Smith described this further:

(P)rewar Japan was a highly andocentric society ... the good and virtuous woman--
mother and wife, be it remembered--was nonetheless a limited being. Women were
thought to be less intelligent than men, more emotional and so less rational, less
reliable, vindictive, potentially dangerous if not rigorously disciplined, and worst of
all, silly. (p. 9)

Women in this study grew up in such families where traditional gender roles dominated.

They spoke of the great influences their parents had over them while growing up.









When asked who had been the most influential people at various stages in their

lives, most women mentioned their parents in different ways. Chisato, Etsuko, and Rie, a

53-year-old single secretary, remembered that their fathers were powerful and oppressive.

Rie said:

Typically, my father was a commanding tyrant when my mother was at home.
Recently she has been suffering from dementia and only remembers when she had
a hard time with him. She often says she wanted to be free from him. So I told her,
then why didn't you leave him when you were young. She did not say anything
about it, though.

Aki's father was different from those described by the other women. She described

her parents:

My father, I think, lacked vitality for living, but he bought me a set of paints even
though we were on welfare, because I liked painting. My mother was very realistic
and a hard-worker. I think my personality is similar to hers. I act like her.

Although her mother died when she was ten years old, Aki was strongly influenced by

her mother. Izumi, in her mid-50s and married, explained that her mother served her

husband obediently until he retired. However, Izumi closely looked at her mother and

noticed that her mother began to get very domineering after her father retired. Chisato

spoke about her parents. She explained that her father had great influence on the family,

but he also contemplated much before doing anything. Her mother was a woman who

walked behind him, but after he died, she became a much more active woman. Naomi, a

70-year-old poet, depicted her father as a reticent man who made his presence felt, yet

her mother was a very social and out-going person.

Though their mothers lived according to typical traditional Japanese norms, some

of them differed from societal expectations. Junko, 54-years-old and married, portrayed

her mother as a woman who got her own way. Tomo, mid-60's and married, said her

mother has been complaining to Tomo's father that only she is always busy working.









She wanted to be a man if she could be reborn because men could do whatever they

wanted to do. Sumire remembered her father was very gentle, while her mother was a

strong-minded woman. Thus, the women in this study had been influenced by their

parents and their mothers' influences in particular appeared to be reflected in their

daughters' lives. Some mothers were typical traditional mothers, while the others were

not. Women in this study assimilated their mothers' influence either by adopting or

rebelling against their mothers' way of life.

Education

Women in this study were not explicitly asked about education, even so, ten

women among those interviewed were college or university educated. Until the

Fundamental Law of Education was proclaimed in 1947, the idea that "learning is

unnecessary for women" and "an over-educated daughter would fare poorly in the

marriage market of the times" (Smith, 1987, p. 7) were widely recognized. Some women

talked about their education in terms of endearment, some in terms of anger, and some a

little of both. Their mothers were always happy with the fact that their daughters

received an education, but their fathers primarily believed that an education was

unnecessary. Fumi, a 66-year-old married retiree, said quietly but firmly:

My father liked to look down on my mother because she had only an elementary
school education. He had a bachelor's degree in business. She encouraged me to
go to a college, though he insisted that higher education was not necessary for me.

Despite this, she graduated from a university in Tokyo with her mother's blessing, for

which she was very grateful. About 40 years later, she completed a master's degree in art

in a graduate school at a national university in Japan.

Kaori remembered:









My father was a very gentle and enjoyable person. But as for education, my
mother was an "education mom"(kyoiku mama). They could not afford to let me
have higher education, but she persuaded him that women would certainly need
education in the future. I attended a mission school, which was her great
contribution to me. At that time, it was conventional wisdom that women did not
have to get a higher education. However, my mother insisted that the time for
higher education had come, and convinced him not to miss the chance.

Iwao (1993) defined herself as an "education mom", one "who pursues vicarious

fulfillment through the accomplishments of her children". Whether their mothers were

"education moms" or not, there were some women who pursued educational attainment

by resisting social norms with the help of their mothers who had not been able to fulfill

their own educational ambitions.

Aki reminisced about her younger days and said, "I really wanted to go to a

college." However, she finished her high school education attending evening classes

while she worked during the day. She has been learning English conversation twice a

week. Her dream vacation is staying at homes in English speaking countries. Though

Kaori had a college education, she still wants to study English in a university.

Historical events and social structure prevented some women from pursuing higher

education. Some women attended community education programs, while others were

involved in volunteer activities.

Volunteering

In their home lives, twelve women were involved in volunteering activities. Eight

women participated in volunteering regularly, while four women did so occasionally.

Chisato, Tomo and Etsuko belong to the same volunteer group where they read books for

people who have visual impairment once a week. Tomo described volunteering as a

facilitator of mind growth. She believed travel was along the same lines. Chisato

explained her thoughts about volunteering:









When we are volunteering, we interact with people at a daycare center. They teach
us how to make pickles. When they say they anticipate seeing us next month, we
feel all the more pleased. I think volunteer experiences help my personal growth.

Her engagement in volunteer activities gave her an opportunity to interact with others and

participate fully in society. As a result, she could find a place outside her home within

her ordinary life, similar to escaping the mundane through travel.

Haruyo supports homeless people in Osaka mainly by sending goods twice a year.

Once she stayed at the shelter with them. She described her experience:

I was shocked to see people lying on the street such a cold night in February. At
night between buildings, cardboards, just a size of coffin, were placed one after
another. Next morning, I saw a long, long line and found they lined up to get rice
balls. I found myself asking that this happened in Japan?

She added that most important thing for her was a moment that is just a moment and

cannot be repeated. She cherished the chance of once-in-a-lifetime (Ichigo ichie), which

is the idea that every single encounter never recurs in a lifetime introduced by Sen-no-

Rikyti in the sixteenth century. She always thinks of this concept in everyday life as well

as in traveling and volunteering.

Bradley (1999-2000) said, "Individuals use volunteering to construct an enhanced

sense of purpose by doing things for others, to build a fuller sense of identity by pursuing

personal interests, or to create a reasonable structure for their daily lives"(p. 45). In

addition, as Henderson et al. (1989) pointed out, volunteerism has generally been

considered as work rather than leisure, women in this study think volunteering is a

socially acceptable activity, in other words, they do not have to feel guilty for not being at

home or not taking care of their husbands while they are volunteering. The women have

found a space where they can maintain their personal growth away from home which is

socially acceptable.









On the one hand the women participate in volunteering without feeling guilty

because it is not for their own sake but for other people's sake, but on the other some

women feel guilty when they travel because it is not sanctioned in the same way as

volunteering. However, they may negotiate such feelings by persuading themselves that

they should have a right to travel, as they dedicate themselves not only to their families

but also to others. Moreover, their motivations to engage in volunteering are very similar

to their travel motivations. By involving themselves in the lives of others this provides

them with a sense of self-worth. Likewise, by interacting with local people and cultures

the women know the differences between their own cultures and other countries.

Consequently, they became conscious of themselves.

Feelings of Freedom

The women in this study shared or experienced common historical contexts in

regards to their social and cultural background. From their travel patterns, all women in

this study had travel experiences when they were children, even though some times these

were tragic. However, most women in their 50s went on family trips as well, other

women did not mention family trips, instead they brought up the excursions from their

school days. A school excursion refers to a systematized school trip where elementary,

junior and senior students travel around to see historical and cultural interests as a part of

their school program. These trips originated in the 1880s as a means of physical and

spiritual education for Japanese youth (March, 2000). Kaori remarked, "When I was in

the sixth grade, I went to Kochi and in high school, we went to Osaka as a school

excursion. Until I began to work, I did not specifically travel anywhere." The only

enjoyable memory about travel for Aki was the school excursion to Tokyo. Sumire also

experienced a school excursion in sixth grade. Although she only traveled 40 miles, she









remembered it took a long time. She noted, "I was sitting in the school yard in the faint

morning light. I only remember that charcoal soot got into my eye."

Thus, most travel undertaken in their childhood tended not to be motivated by

intrinsic reasons. Therefore, when did such desires as getting away from the demands of

home or escaping from the ordinary emerge for these women? It obviously began after

they married or got a job. Twelve women remarked that the meanings of travel for them

were to feel free, including relaxation (rirakkusu), escape (tohi), and enjoying non-

ordinary life (hi-nichjio). An additional sub-theme, relative freedom, is also related to the

main theme. This sub-theme may negatively influence aspirations for travel, but the

women were somehow able to negotiate any constraints they felt might impede their

travel.

Feeling Free

Six women explained relaxation was the meaning of travel. Kumiko, a 58-year-old

retiree said, "Relaxation is the most important. Travel takes me to a more dynamic

world, because I'm free from ordinary life." Izumi said that travel energized her. Sumire

emphasized the importance of relaxation by traveling. She felt that when she traveled she

could be free from busy days. Although she is 83 years old, she still works as a full-time

pharmacist in a hospital six days a week. She continued:

I prefer traveling by myself to a group tour. When I am surrounded by nature in a
different place, I feel I can be selfless. Only travel can enable me to get away from
busy days and rest my body and soul in Mother Nature.

Being a full-time pharmacist, Sumire traveled less frequently than the others, but

she remembered her past travel with her husband and family. Although she was

concerned about her age and health, she always cherished a hope of visiting places of

natural beauty, which, she thought, encouraged her to stay healthy.









When asked the meaning of travel, two women in their 50s, mentioned that it was

escape. Rie said, "For me travel is just escape, escape from work, and escape from

various pressures. That is the most important." Yuri a 50-year-old pharmacist with three

children said, "Travel means escape from the real world. Travel enables me to feel I live

in a different world." Yuri is in the middle of motherhood, has a job, and is concerned

about her children's education, and about her husband who is approaching retirement age.

She wants to travel whenever she feels like it, but does not want to worry about her

family.

As Rie is single, she has different social pressures than Yuri. Sooner or later nearly

90% of Japanese women marry (Statistics Bureau, 2000). She did not talk about her

feelings of remaining single, but she did say that her father puts great pressure on her to

marry. Since he is a very traditional man, it is assumed that he may worry about the

surrounding world (seken). As Benedict (1967) pointed out, Japanese culture is a shame

culture, for Japanese behavior is not ruled by an inner belief but an external feeling of

shame (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993). Lebra (1984) emphasized the importance of seken

(surrounding world) and sekentei (the honorable appearance as viewed by the

surrounding world), "The seken (surrounding world) in whose eyes the ie reputation is to

be preserved consists of shinseki, nakodo, neighbors, employers, employees, bosses,

subordinates, colleagues, customers, or a more vaguely defined "community" (p. 154).

Because of this, it is likely that Rie is under pressure from not only her parents but also

her surrounding world. Indeed, she said, "One thing I am looking forward to is being 60

years old is because I will travel without any obligations." As noted in Chapter 2, the age









of 60 symbolizes the entrance to the last life stage beginning with the middle age. Lebra

explained this life stage that:

(W)hen a woman, freed from the burden of childrearing, can enjoy autonomy,
obtain power and leadership in and out of the household, begin to have her past
hardship and energy investment repaid, taste a sense of accomplishment and, ikigai,
[life's worth] and develop a retrospective insight and wisdom on life. (p. 253)

Therefore, she thought she could be free from social obligations when she reached 60

years old.

For Fumi, the meaning of travel was escape from everyday life. She added,

"Travel lets me feel free from the ordinary life, traveling abroad especially allows me to

escape from the burdensome relationship with family or relatives." Five more women

also said travel was something they used to escape from everyday life or obligations.

Four women said leisure-travel took them to non-ordinary life. Ryoko, a 52-year

old substitute teacher, explained traveling with her friend is the most enjoyable because

she could feel liberated and was fully satisfied with non-ordinary life without family.

She added travel plays a role of adding punctuation marks on life. Aki said, "Regardless

of domestic or international, travel brings me to a non-ordinary world. That's fun." Aki

truly enjoys her non-ordinary life, but interestingly she is attracted by an everyday life in

different cultures. Mai, a 65-year-old novelist, pointed out the reason she liked travel is,

"I don't have to wash the dishes or clear the table. That's really nice. I can be anybody.

I feel I am coming back to life as a new person. Travel recreates my soul." Tomo

depicted her feeling when she went on a trip to northern Japan. She said:

First, I read a book; next, I visit the places where I am inspired by the book. Then I
can feel the spirit of the places. I can't tell what I feel, but the most important thing
is the fact I experience myself with my body and spirit standing in the places
surrounded by nature. I love nature. I feel liberated, no, not such a saccharine
sentimentality, something sinking deep into my mind, a great peace in mind. As a









result, I can attain a spiritual state of selflessness. I think I look for those senses in
my travel.

When she had argued with her husband about values of freedom, or other values, she

found a great gap existed between the two of them, so she started traveling alone, which

she found to be much more pleasant because it allows her to communicate with her inner

self.

Thus, some women just enjoyed the free atmosphere apart from home, others

recreated their body and mind. Though their feelings of freedom may come from

different psychological situations, Wearing (1998) explains women construct many

subjectivities, many 'I's. This seems to describe the women's experiences of travel in

this study.

Relative Freedom

The second sub-theme is relative freedom. Four women mentioned somewhat

negative feelings accompanied by leisure-travel. Women's lives are influenced by

various social roles and values, particularly family responsibilities. While most of the

women in this study spoke of the freedom that leisure-travel afforded them, they also

identified two constraints: husbands tagging along and feeling guilty.

The majority of women agreed that tourism enabled them to feel free from various

situations. Nonetheless, this freedom sometimes depended on whom they traveled with.

Fumi was disappointed that she did not get a chance to revisit England by herself, where

she had lived for two years, before her husband retired. She explained:

After he retired, he was always tagging along with me (wahi-mo-zoku). I feel I lost
my freedom. It was difficult to deal with because caring for him made it hard to
enjoy my feeling of freedom at times. When I was in my 50's, I had a lot of
dreams. I will feel relieved becoming 70 when everything will be settled. I will be
happy with being a good grandmother.









Although generally the onset of 60 years old means the beginning of feeling rewarded for

the long years of hardship and energy investment (Lebra, 1984), Fumi did not feel that

she had achieved this state as her husband's retirement had constrained her somewhat.

Instead she looked to the age of 70 where she could either give up her dreams or find a

new dream in grandmotherhood.

Etsuko also felt constrained by her husband. She had traveled abroad several times

with her friends before. However, she began to feel sorry for her husband, so she asked

him to go abroad with her, and since then he plays a leading role in her travel. They

travel twice a year regularly. However, she complained:

Whenever I travel with him, I feel like I am dragging my home. He asks me where
his underwear are, where his pajamas are. When we get on a train or bus, I can't sit
by the window, because he insists on taking pictures. He always sits by the
window. So I feel half-free from everyday life when I travel with him. Traveling
with friends is much more pleasant than with my husband because we have a
different sense of values.

She went on to explain that her dream vacation was anywhere without her husband.

Chisato agreed that traveling with her husband was a limited freedom, however, she

always went abroad with her husband. She said:

I enjoyed traveling with my friends twice as much as traveling with my husband,
because I totally feel free and relaxed. I can visit whenever and wherever I want to
see. I can view things from the new situation. Since I've hurt my back, however, I
knew going with him is very convenient, because he is my exclusive porter.

Aki also expressed complaints about her husband:

Every time we boarded a plane, he got airsick. He needs a lot of looking after.
Nevertheless, he will not go anywhere without me, there is no way to travel and
leave him behind. I think in general, husbands are jealous of wives for enjoying
themselves without husbands.

She traveled abroad several times, and all her international travels were with her husband.

Their views that traveling with husbands might reduce their feelings of freedom from









home or everyday chores are in common with Shaw's (1992) findings. She explained

that the caring aspects of family leisure frequently brought negative effects for women,

because family leisure experiences often resulted in work for women, and furthermore:

If women consistently put the leisure needs of other family members before their
own needs, they may tend to lose a sense of their own right to leisure and right to
leisure and right to time and enjoyment for themselves. (p. 284)

These four women knew traveling with friends or alone was much more enjoyable than

with their husbands, on the other hand, they recognized that the husband and wife were

the last companion as they were left alone (Lebra). By maintaining the marriage the

women feel a sense of accomplishment in perseverance.

Mai was a little different from these women. She had lived in the United States for

one year, and explained:

American men, they take care of their wives when traveling together such as
driving and buying ice cream. On the contrary, Japanese men expect to be taken
care of by their wives even in their travels as a matter of course. It is not surprising
that Japanese wives don't want to travel with their husbands. I travel within my
own budget, with my own money. I don't financially depend on him. Our
daughters have already grown up. Japanese women have served their family
enough to deserve to be free. I keep house well. It's my choice to travel or not, or
with whom to travel.

She often travels abroad not with her husband but with her friends.

Three women mentioned they felt guilty about their travel. Etsuko and Chisato felt

guilty about their husbands. Their guilty feelings can be explained in terms of the ethic

of care and a lack of entitlement to leisure (Henderson et al., 1989), Chisato explained

how she got over her guilty feelings. She pulled her husband into her world, in other

words; they share the enjoyment of travel. However, Izumi felt differently. Izumi felt

guilty about people in developing countries; guilt accruing from her social conscience.

She teaches Japanese to Asian people as a volunteer. She explained, "For me traveling









means spoiling myself with extravagance. Since I see many foreign people from poor

countries, I feel guilty." She convinced herself when she traveled she could alleviate this

feeling by saying that she only did this once a year.

When asked about other people's views of leisure-travel for women aged 50 and

over, all of the women except Rie said their leisure travel behaviors have been socially

accepted, and most of their family more or less support them. Rie lamented "Some

people made sarcastic remarks, while others reluctantly accept my travel." When she

was interviewed, she was very busy with personnel changes at her office. She seemed to

be very tired. It is not surprising that she says she is looking forward to being 60 years

old.

Three women agreed that women aged 50 and over already enjoyed domestic

autonomy to some extent. Mai and Yuri stated, "Whether accepted or not, I will travel

when I want to go." Thus, it seems that Japanese women aged 50 and above may be

establishing their own place as their contributions in all aspects of life are getting valued

and appreciated (Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991), though it may not be at the societal

level, but at least in their immediate environment. Since traditional Japanese cultures and

norms are so strongly embedded in their everyday life, it is still very difficult to resist

them. Instead these women seem to have adapted themselves to the cultures and norms

on the one hand, and they are able to experience feelings of freedom and establish their

own identities in another world through travel, on the other.

Longing for Knowledge

The second theme found in the data was a longing for knowledge. Many women

said they traveled because they wanted to see, to feel, to touch, and to make choices with

their own senses. Some women wanted to have a new experience. The others wanted to









fulfill their curiosity. There are three sub-themes in the second theme: experience by

oneself; knowing one's own country; and challenge.

Own Experience

The women in this study understand the importance of establishing their own sense

of self. Seven women mentioned the importance of their own experiences in leisure-

travel. Aki explained how she felt when she traveled abroad, "Traveling abroad gives me

a lot of opportunities to see different cultures, to feel different atmospheres, and to soak

myself in often unseen nature." Kaori's first international trip was not by a packaged tour

but as an independent traveler. She reminisced about when she arrived in Washington

D.C. for the first time in 1990. The airport officer greeted her saying, "Welcome to

Washington, President Bush also welcomes you." She replied to his joke with humor,

"Thank you. I am planning to visit the White House tomorrow. I will say 'hi' to the

President." She felt happy that she could speak English during her trip to the United

States. Further she continued, "Travel gives me opportunities and joys to learn by

myself, challenge new things, and to meet local people." Similarly, Rie commented

about her travel to Europe when she was 19 years old:

I traveled Europe alone without booking hotels, enjoying a carefree itinerary. I met
a lot of people. I did what I would not do at my present age. People whom I met in
my travels were very kind to me. Though I was told that I should be very careful
regarding strangers, especially people in a certain country, they were very nice.
They were opposite to what I was told. Mostly I believe what others say, but I
knew I couldn't accept whatever others say without question. I ought to make sure
of the truth with my own eyes and senses.

Haruyo, late 50s and married, also felt that she wanted to experience things for herself.

She explained:

I want to see through my own eyes what is true. Even though I can see a picture of
the Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, I don't know the real size or color. It is hard to
get a good perspective from a photo. At times I am quite selfish, in other words, I









like to experience things on my own. I can then make my own conclusions about
what I have seen.

Junko agreed:

I don't know what the wind smells like, or what the wind feels like, unless I go to
the place. Each country has its own culture. I may think it is right, but in a
different country they may think it is wrong.

These, sentiments of experiencing something for themselves and seeking the true essence

of a destination were very important to these women and add to the meaning of leisure-

travel for them.

Over the years their travel patterns changed from family-based or family-oriented

to self-centered, from curiosity to more knowledge. Takako answered, "Travel satisfies

my curiosity. I am very curious about everything. I want to learn and see what I don't

know." Rie expects to experience new things and see a different world. She described

travel compared to volunteer activities, "Travel is for the sake of myself. I am the subject

who is looking for my own pleasure." Naomi said as well, "Travel is just for me, for my

own sake. When I feel suffocated, I want to go with no definite destination in mind."

Further she depicted her travel to Chile:

I went down to Punta Arenas, which is the closest town to Antarctica, and although
it was summer, it was very cold. I rode on the bus for many hours without seeing
anything except great open spaces of green pastures, and where there were homes
people raised sheep for a living. At some of the stops only one person would
depart the bus and I would imagine what a lonely and isolated life they lived out in
the middle of nowhere raising sheep. This travel was very inspiring because
nothing was there, nobody was there, except a wonderful sense of isolation,
desolation and loneliness. Even though the media keep us very well informed,
there are so many places we still know very little about. It was wonderful and a
very exhilarating travel experience.

She concluded her impression of the trip by saying that the meaning of travel was

somewhat to see and feel such feelings of isolation and loneliness. She believed such

experiences could create self-confidence in a traveler.









Thus the women emphasized "I" not "We". Most women in this study had

experienced the inequality of power distribution in the domestic domain. The women's

experiences in travel enable them to construct their own spaces as being a subject of the

action not a subordinate (Wearing, 1998).

Knowing One's Own Country

In addition to acquiring knowledge and satisfying their curiosity, seven women

who traveled abroad said they learned more about their own country than before they

traveled. They compared the Japanese ways of life or ideas with those of foreign

countries. Aki explained the importance of travel:

I believe travel was necessary for me, because I learned more about Japan when I
was in foreign countries. For example, I thought people in the US lived in so much
luxury like Hollywood movies, but they didn't. They lived in a modest way. On
the contrary, Japanese people waste things."

Naomi expressed her disappointment when she lived in Panama:

We often say Japanese value wa, a sense of harmony and togetherness, but it only
applies to domestic matters. I don't think that value is used fully outside Japan.
We are not all open to other nations. I think it was a pity. Seeing other countries
means to stare into Japan itself. Then we can know what and who we are.

She emphasized more Japanese people needed to experience overseas travel. She went

on to explain:

I will continue to travel. Travel enriches my life. I could not speak Spanish, but I
could communicate with local people. I am not afraid of being humiliated. I knew
we are all incomplete until we die. I've learnt there are various different people in
the world. I am very thankful what I gained from my trip.

Thus, as Wearing and Wearing (1996) suggested, women's subjective experiences

may enhance the self, offer opportunities for self-awareness, and help to construct

identity by interacting with people and environments from different cultural backgrounds.









Challenge

The last sub-theme was challenging attitudes through their travel modes and

patterns. Most women in this study preferred an individual tour to a package tour. Their

preference for individual tours may support further their desire for freedom than arranged

tours. Aki explained the advantages and disadvantages of a group tour:

A group tour is convenient and economical, if we don't have time, money,
experience, or knowledge. I have no interest in brand shopping. I prefer visiting
museums and markets. I like seeing everyday life in travel destinations. I want to
interact with local people. If I am in a group tour, I can't have free time. Riding
public transportation by myself and reading maps are not easy, but such difficulties
are good for me. I can learn much more on my own.

Aki has traveled abroad five times. She traveled as part of a package tour four times, but

her latest trip was an individual tour. Most of her domestic travel was independent. This

is very similar to the other women. They planned by themselves and used public

transportation or their own cars when they traveled in Japan. As for their international

travel, five women who spoke English well traveled by themselves, but others used a

package tour. Even so, they chose package tours, which allowed them to have more free

time.

Three women thought travel was a test of their physical limitations. Tomo

sometimes traveled just to prove her physical and spiritual limitations. She explained,

When I travel, I make a reckless plan beyond my physical strength. Then arriving
in the destination, I just walk, walk, and walk. While walking I can be pure
without worrying about anything. I feel so refreshed. Through that kind of travel I
can contemplate.

After she finishes her trip she feels she has confirmed her physical strength and

rejuvenated herself. Then she begins to look for a new trip.

Fumi explained her most enjoyable trip was visiting England alone:









When I traveled abroad with my husband, as he can speak English, I felt left out.
But when I traveled alone, I did or managed to do everything by myself. Meeting
people and preparing plans for everything I did, was really fun and an adventure.

As several women mentioned, it was sometimes difficult to travel abroad by themselves

because of the language problems. Even so, after finishing their travel, they felt a sense

of fulfillment because they had accomplished something using their own knowledge and

skills. Through these challenging experiences they acquired a renewed sense of self-

confidence and self-esteem.

The positive views toward their life were a common theme throughout the

interviews about both their travel experiences and their life in general. Fortunately, all of

the women were relatively active and healthy, though every woman was concerned about

her future health. Nevertheless, the women were hopeful of their future life because the

burdensome relationships and influences of their parents and husbands were fading and

they felt they had opportunities to make some good memories and widen their

knowledge. They were also proud of their accomplishments in their home and family

lives. Thus, they are able to maintain a sense of freedom by negotiating the demands

from their parents and families and keeping a balance between the traditional social

structures and cultural values and their inner selves through leisure-travel. Through

leisure-travel they could increase their knowledge and find their true identities.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

This study set out to examine the meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women

aged 50 and over, and to explore the contribution of leisure-travel to the quality of their

later lives. A poststructural feminist perspective was adopted as it was proposed that

leisure-travel might provide these older Japanese women who had grown up with very

traditional values with opportunities for resistance and empowerment. The interview data

provides us with several key ideas to understand what roles leisure-travel plays in the

lives of these women.

Resistance

All women agreed that one of the most important meanings of leisure-travel was to

feel freedom, however, their definitions of freedom varied somewhat. Six women

pointed out the importance of relaxation. Three women highlighted escape. Eight

women valued enjoying non-ordinary time and space. These definitions were taken from

the words of the interview participants themselves, as Glaser and Strauss (1967) called

them "in vivo codes". Multiple situations and various aspects of their lives differentiated

how they captured leisure-travel into their lives. For example, Sumire mentioned the

necessity of relaxation, because her adolescence and young adulthood was spent in very

turbulent social conditions due to the war years. After all her schooling was completed

she joined the workforce and has been working to the present day. She thought travel

could provide her with a place to relax and enhance herself by resting her spirit. For her,

leisure-travel is an opportunity to seek self-fulfillment and at the same time to prepare for









the final phase of life. She did not use "resistance", but her desire to improve her inner-

self suggests that she may challenge physical and mental abilities through tourism

(Wearing, 1995), and resist traditional age-appropriate norms.

Travel patterns that challenged Tomo's physical and mental abilities showed two

types of resistance. One was to challenge the negative stereotype of the aged as being

fragile and sedentary. The other was a challenge to traditional gender roles. Her remarks

that she wanted to be a man implied she was aware that women had limited opportunities.

She still believes that men have received better treatment from society. Therefore, after

her children grew up, she traveled alone or with friends and let her spirit be free as much

as she could. She situated her body and mind in the place where she felt most free from

gendered constraints. The space that afforded her this freedom was leisure-travel.

Three women who said escape was the most important seemed to show evidence of

resistance as well. Rie seemed very stressed from both herjob and family pressure. She

tried to pursue a career path, but the male dominated career structure (Lebra, 1984)

disappointed her. More recently as young Japanese women delay their marriage,

remaining single is one form of resistance to the Japanese ie system and traditional

gender roles. Consequently, Rie at times escaped from such societal constraints and

found a space where she could express her true self outside Japan, another example of

'heterotopia'.

Yuri is a typical Japanese middle-age wife and mother of three children, which

means she has primary responsibility for most household chores and child care, even

though she is working outside the home (Tsuya et al., 1995). Moreover, she will be a

care provider of her husband's parents in the near future as well, since she married the









eldest son, and society expects his wife to take care of his parents. Her remark that she

will travel whenever she wants to go shows a subtle form of resistance against these

expectations (Rosenberger, 1996).

In the case of Fumi, she was upset by the fact that she was losing her autonomous

time and space with her husband's retirement. Mason (1988) explained one effect caused

by a husband's retirement is that women feel constrained. During the day, while their

husbands were at work they had a certain amount of freedom. With retirement, this

means that their husbands were more likely to infringe on their space. Fumi was in the

middle of negotiating this new situation. She knew her husband would come with her if

she wanted to travel. Although she seemed to compromise and tried to find new ways to

enjoy her time and space with him, she often visited her daughter who lived near Tokyo

by herself. This "strategy" (Mason, p. 84) or her resistance to conflicting feelings

between her true desires was compromised as a result. Other women including Aki,

Chisato, and Etsuko, also felt constraints on their personal time and space because of

their husbands' "being there" (Mason, p. 82), yet they all were able to successfully

persevere and have a sense of harmony in their family life.

This dilemma between their personal time and space and their husbands was

attributed to the traditional gendered division of labor in Japan. Though the Japanese

economy has been weak in recent years, and in spite of the Japanese government's efforts

to reduce annual work time by spreading five-day workweeks and improving the

frequency of paid holidays (Sugiura & Gillespie, 1993), still Japanese men are business

warriors, who devote themselves to their work. Indeed, only half of paid holidays were

used in 2002 (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2003). Once they reach









retirement, they are perplexed by the free time suddenly entering their lives (Sugiura &

Gillespie). However, when husbands retire, wives have already established their own

way of life, such as volunteering and going out with their friends and the sudden

infringement on their freedom by their husbands can be problematic.

The other problem is found in gender roles. According to a survey conducted by

the Statistics Bureau in Japan (2002), married women spend an average of five hours per

day on housework and related work such as caring and nursing, childcare, and shopping,

while married men spend 36 minutes. The Statistics Bureau noted that there was still a

significant difference between men and women in household responsibilities (The

Statistics Bureau, 2002). As such, these patterns reflect very traditional gender roles and

might be expected to be more prevalent among older couples.

Therefore, it is necessary, though extremely difficult, to change Japanese traditional

cultures and systems into more equal relationships between women and men, especially,

a wife and a husband. It is hoped that husbands will help their wives not just after their

retirement but also from the start of marriage.

Although Japanese society has traditionally respected elders based on the

Confucianism and its doctrines of filial piety (Palmore & Maeda, 1985), the fear of the

fast-pace of aging impacting the social security system in Japan has created negative

feelings toward elders. However, resistance to conventional discourses on aging in that

to be old is to be regarded as inferior (Wearing, 1995), could be seen in the women's

preferred mode of travel as well. They preferred an individual tour to a package tour,

which suggests challenging attitudes toward a passive type of travel and their craving for

a positive experience so that they might come to know their own mental and physical









strength. Leisure-travel enabled them to resist the dominant discourse on aging and to

challenge physical and mental abilities in old age (Wearing, 1995).

Women in this study used leisure-travel to challenge their dissatisfaction with

societal expectations about women's roles and behaviors by placing or situating

themselves in a different world, a 'heterotopia' (Foucault, 1984), in which to find or

liberate themselves (Shaw, 2001).

Empowerment

Through their travel experiences, women in this study felt empowered because they

could liberate themselves somewhat from traditional gender roles, which in turn gave

them a sense of self-confidence in who they are (Wearing, 1998). Nonetheless, it is more

appropriate to say that most women in this study have already acquired the power of self-

expression, self-control and a relative autonomy, and they still seek self-enhancement and

self-actualization, which can be described as self-identity. It should be noted that there is

no proper Japanese translation of the concept of "identity". Despite the fact that the

National Institute for Japanese Language (2003) has been making every effort to find a

right Japanese translation of 'identity' for years, they announced that there is no plain or

understandable translation because the concept of "identity" is not so popular or prevalent

among the Japanese society or people. They suggest explaining it in an easy to

understand as possible when the need arises. If Japanese women are asked what your

identity is, the answer will most likely be wife, mother or what kind of work they do. For

that reason, in their interviews no one used the word, "identity", instead, for example,

Naomi she said, "we can know what and who we are."

It is perceived that some women in this study who are empowered and autonomous

in their personal lives, may be ambivalent as they may face oppression at the societal









level. They tend to evaluate their life experiences negatively first, but then convert these

negativities into positives. The positive attitudes, or optimism in their lives accrued from

paying off or feeling rewarded for their "earlier endurance and role investment" (Lebra,

p. 298); their pride in their past time in which they had dedicated themselves to their

family and society, resulted in a sense of entitlement to make their own choices

(Henderson & Bialeschki, 1991). Indeed, except health matters most women in this study

were quite contented with their lives. Several women testified that once they reached 50

they had more opportunities. For instance, Izumi said, "After I turned 50, I was willing

to be involved in various activities." Furthermore, Mai stated, "Life was not interesting

until I reached 50 years old." Naomi added, "I'm not jealous of young women, because

women aged 50's and 60's are more attractive." They would not confront the traditional

Japanese social culture at the macro-level, because they knew they could not change it.

Instead they might choose to cope with the Japanese social structure by micro-level

resistance, one of their strategies being escape and expression in leisure-travel.

This dual functioning partly resulted in mirroring their mother's life or rebelling

against her way of life. For example, Takako might be fearful of motherhood because

her mother died from childbearing. Likewise, Rie saw her mother obey her father and

later her mother regretted her life. Rie might not want to replicate her mother's regret.

Remaining single is the clearest expression of choosing their freedom by refusing the

conventional gender-specific role (Lebra). Even though Takako and Rie could continue

to remain single, it is very harsh for them to live by themselves in Japanese society

because when Japanese women get old they accumulate a sense of lineal bonding both

with their ancestors and with the succeeding generations (Lebra) so that they do not feel









isolated. However, Takako may feel self-fulfillment by engaging in frequent

international travel, and Rie may completely release herself from various pressures by

choosing individual travel. Leisure-travel was not the only way as a means of acquiring

empowerment, but helped to liberate them from restrictive gender roles, or social scripts

(Wearing) and establish a sense of self-awareness.

Despite the fact that they witnessed Japan's rapid economic development

accompanied by new opportunities in educational and economic participation, they knew

that the traditional social system would not be easily changed (Tsuya et al., 1995).

Accordingly, Japanese women might choose one tactic of getting along with the

traditional social structure like their mothers did, but the difference between their mothers

and the younger generations is that the latter ones were more aware of their identities

with the help of education, economic independence and their mothers' encouragement or

example.

Women in this study certainly exhibited resistance to the traditional Japanese

culture and family system, and they seemed empowered as a result. Yet, they seemed to

obtain a more self-centered fulfillment than resistance to the society. As Creighton

(1995) pointed out, Japanese women do not try to take over men's position, but they

attempt to find and perceive themselves as free as possible. Travel by means of their own

senses, physical strength, and knowledge gives them the sense of independence and

fulfillment, which enables a higher quality of life. However, its resistance and

empowerment are still at the individual level (Foucault, 1984) and Japanese women have

not yet stored up enough power to change traditional culture and social norms through

political practice (Shaw, 2001). Therefore, these women find and enjoy their time and









space through leisure-travel. Nonetheless, it is likely that the younger generation will

show stronger resistance and empowerment not only through tourism but also in

everyday life than these women from an older generation. This individual level

resistance has been critiqued by various feminist scholars as it tends to weaken collective

resistance and change (Shaw, 2001). However, as Wearing (1998) and Shaw suggest

individual level resistance may ultimately lead to macro level change as more women

develop a sense of their true abilities.

Resultant Model

By employing a grounded theory method which attempts to derive theories from

constant comparative analysis of the patterns, themes and common categories in the

interview data, a model of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over is

suggested (see Figure 2). The lives of the women in this study have been shaped by a

particular time in social history. For the older women in this study memories of the

Second World War were very prominent in their recollections of their early lives. As in

most countries affected by this war, rapid social and economic change occurred in the

post war period. Thus, even though most of their parents were very traditional, social

values were beginning to change and mothers in particular appeared to be very influential

in shaping opportunities for their daughters, especially in their access to education.

Growing up in post war Japan, with its technological innovation and resultant

economic boom afforded these women different opportunities from their mothers. Some

women pursued careers outside of the home and remained single. Others spent time

volunteering which provided them with a socially acceptable space outside o the

domestic realm which had been the domain of their mothers. Thus, within this very
















Socio-Historical Influences


Feelings of Freedom
-Feeling free
-Relative freedom


Japanese social
structures and culture


Japanese social
structures and
culture


* Resistance
* Empowerment
* Identity
Construction
Confirmation


Longing for Knowledge
-Own experience
-Knowing one's own
country
-Challenge


Figure 5-1. Meanings of leisure-travel for Japanese women aged 50 and over









unique socio-historical context, we can understand the leisure-travel patterns of

these mid to late Japanese women.

These women comprised the first generations to travel abroad extensively. In

leisure-travel they experienced freedom from the constraints of their own society and

their social responsibilities. They also looked upon travel as a source of self

development; a source of knowledge that helped them better understand themselves as

well as their own society. Through leisure-travel, the women in this study enjoyed

feelings of freedom and acquired knowledge, which helped them feel empowered and

find their own identity. In the context of the social cultural nexus of tourism relations

(Aitchison, 2000), in other words within the context of the social forces of the wider

society, they seemed to reconcile themselves to traditional Japanese cultures and social

structures, but privately they recreated their identities in the cultures of others when they

traveled.

Conclusions

The lives of the seventeen women were so complex that they could not be entirely

grasped in the short interviews. Nonetheless, their words, expressions and reactions

indisputably conveyed some insights into their lives and a various number of ideas.

Overall, women in this study seemed to be relatively economically and educationally

advantaged and enjoyed moderate levels of autonomy. The women, however, in

particular, as a 'housewife' seem to "carry a sense of obligation to guard the fixed home

base" (Lebra, p. 296). Even though they have relative autonomy at home, they need to be

free from home in order to seek, establish and confirm their identity and a sense of self.

Graburn (1983b) suggested:









Styles of tourism may be leading indicators of fundamental changes which are
taking place in a class or national culture, changes which may be latent in the more
restricting institutions of the everyday world, because tourism is that short section
of life in which people believe they are free to exercise their fantasies, to challenge
their physical and cultural selves, and to expand their horizons. (p. 29)

Leisure-travel is one option for them to express their true feelings and construct

their identities, because leisure-travel takes them away from the mundane world, which

enables them to feel free by geographical and psychological separation from traditional

constraints. Leisure-travel also offers the possibility of self-reflection and self-

enhancement (Wearing & Wearing, 1996). Though women in this study were frustrated

by their domestic responsibilities and societal expectations, they incorporated them into

their lives in a positive manner.

It is debateable whether enhancing individual empowerment through leisure and

tourism will lead to positive societal level change (Shaw, 2001). Even so, if the long-

lasting Japanese fertility decline is one outcome of young women's reluctance to engage

in the traditional family structure (ie), certain policy changes can be expected, such as

creating friendly childrearing environments. Yet, as Tsuya et al (1995) pointed out:

Real change, however, must come from drastic alteration of conjugal relationships.
Unless Japanese men are able and willing to shoulder much more of the domestic
work that a household and children require, and to treat their wives with greater
respect as co-equal partners in the family enterprise, other policy interventions
affecting work and non-familial child care are unlikely to bring about real change.
(p. 164)

Neither blaming women for the fertility decline because more Japanese young women

remain single and delay marriage, even though it accelerates Japan's aging society, nor

putting the pressure of traditional gender roles on women is the answer, but encouraging

them to be aware of their individual identities may be one route to change. Perhaps as

Japanese women of the younger generations are more educated and economically









independent, they will have more options and are likely to show more resistance to

traditional gender roles than women from the older generations.

Limitations and Delimiations

Potentially, the most influential weakness of this study was that the interviews were

to be conducted in Japanese and translated into English. The data were translated with

great care. However, it was inevitable that nuances of the original language were not

exactly the same, as Strauss and Corbin (1998) suggested. The other limitation was the

extent to which interview participants answer honestly, because the Japanese usually

keep private feelings out of the public eye. The interviewer spent time making sure that

the interviewees felt comfortable with the research process before the first question was

asked in an attempt to gain the trust of the female participants. The interviewer explained

how the data would be confidential and if the interviewee felt uncomfortable answering a

question she could refuse to do so without penalty. In the future, perhaps closed-ended

questionnaires should be prepared for the sensitive nature of several questions including

age, education, income, and health condition. Some Japanese hesitate to unveil this kind

of information. If an interview participant is asked to select an answer from among a list

provided by the researcher, she is more likely to respond than to verbalize the response.

Due to the sample size and the use of non-probability sampling the results of this

study might be limited in their generalizability. However, the use of theoretical sampling

ensured diversity among the participants in the sample related to variables deemed to be

relevant to understanding the role of leisure-travel in the lives of Japanese women aged

50 and over. It is possible however, that various regions and different social backgrounds

may yield different results, for example, rural versus big cities, or farmers versus white-

collar workers.









The findings from this study suggest further needs for research. Because the

sample was small, specific differences such as married with successor sons or not, or

married to farmers or urban white-collar workers, were not examined. A woman who

marries a successor of family (ie) or a farmer is more likely to take family burdens. In

addition, the need to investigate younger women including those from ages 18 to 49 is

recommended. The meanings of leisure-travel may differ among women in these age

groups because they are less likely to have experienced the traditional Japanese social

systems than women aged 50 and over. For example, single women in their 30s and

married women in their 30s with children may differ in terms of the gender specific

expectations. Moreover, the reactions of Japanese men about women's identity

construction may also be useful in understanding Japanese society. Exploring differences

of travel motivations between domestic and international destinations may also be useful

to further crystallize the roles of leisure-travel for Japanese women.

Leisure-travel is in essence based on one's own choice and it gives the women

opportunities to express themselves, construct and confirm their own identities, and gain

self-esteem (Show, 2001). For example, the travel patterns that the women chose in

terms of independent not group travel may lead to greater sense of empowerment.

Moreover, leisure-travel makes them aware of different cultures, lives and people. These

senses contribute to what they are and who they are. The women's positive attitudes

clearly showed empowerment in their later lives. As a result more women of all ages are

encouraged to travel as far as both financial and heath enable them to do so.














APPENDIX A
INTERVIEW GUIDE

We are going to talk about your travel patterns both now and in the past, some of

your life memories and how leisure and other activities fit with travel in your life now.

Travel history

1. Please tell me about your most recent vacation or trip.
Probe: Where did you go?
With whom?
How long did you travel?
How did you decide your travel destination?

2. Looking back over your life talk to me about some of your travel experiences
Probe: Did you take vacations as a child
What sort of trips did you take as a young adult
What sort of trips did you take when you married/ had a family
For each
When did you go?
Where did you go?
With whom?
What did you remember most about the trip?

3. What meanings does travel have for you?
Probe: learn, try, develop, relax, feel confidence, etc.)
How these meanings changed over time?
If so, how?

4. Do you have any activities you regularly take part in?
Probe: If yes, what is it? (volunteer work, religious, creative, physical...)
With whom do you participate?
How long have you participated?
What meanings do these activities hold for you?

5. In comparison to these activities, how important is travel to you?
Probe: What is important about travel?
Has the importance of travel changed for you over the years?
What makes travel meaningful for you?
Has your style of travel changed over years?
How have you become to like travel?









What role does travel play in your life?

6. Do you have a dream vacation?
Probe: or have you achieved your dream vacation?

Now, I am going to talk about your life in general.

Life event
1. When and where were you born?
2. What did your parents do?
3. Tell me about memory of your parents?
4. Tell me about your first job, marriage and your children?
5. Who have been the most influential people at various stages in your life?

Life review
1. What kinds of things gave you the most pleasure in your 20s, 30s, 40, and 50?
What about now?
2. If you could live your whole life over, what would you do differently?
3. What do you think is the most important thing in living a good life?
4. Is there anything in your life that you would have liked to do but didn't?

Aging
1. How do you feel about growing old?
2. What is the hardest thing about growing older? The best thing?
3. Do you think about the future? What are your concerns for the future?

Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with me about your life, your


leisure or your travels?













APPENDIX B




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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Michiko Yonemaru grew up in Kagawa Prefecture Japan blessed with her parents'

love. She attended Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, majoring in English literature.

After she married, she volunteered as a tour guide. This experience prompted her to

study tourism and obtain a master's degree at the University of Florida. In the process of

her study, she also realized the importance of the study of aging. She studied

gerontology as a minor as well. She will continue to strive for providing older people

with quality of life.