(English) Dynamics of Japanese Sei-katsu-sha Ken: Toward New Social Capital
In the months since the Great East Japan Earthquake,interpersonal relationships, kizuna, altruism and giving encouragement to others have been in the spotlight. When we at Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living (HILL) studied sei-katsu-sha’s associations and relationships, we discovered that new groups and networks that differ from traditional ties of family, network and community are starting to take root. In this year’s “Dynamics of Japanese Sei-katsu-sha,” a future outlook on emerging lifestyles published by HILL every year during the New Year period, we have dubbed these new purpose-specific, open and fluid groups and networks ken (literally meaning spheres or realms), and named the act of forming these relationships ken-creation. We believe that the reorganizing of relationships into self-selected new lifestyle ken that exceed existing norms will continue. This paper reports on the number of sei-katsu-sha that have ken and how ken differ from traditional associations and relationships.