The Sense of Social Commitment and Well-being among Older Japanese Women: Focusing on the Reinterpretation and Exhibition of Bridal Noren


  • Yoko Taniguchi Senshu University



well-being, social commitment, folk art, reinterpretation, exhibition


This article explores the ways in which elderly Japanese women’s sense of well-being relates to their sense of “social responsibility” and “deep involvement with society.” It is based on fieldwork conducted in Nanao City (Ishikawa Prefecture) in 2010-2011. The local government of Nanao recently emphasized the development of a community welfare network and tourism resources in order to deal with depopulation and an aging community, and to reinvigorate the local economy. I describe various activities in the social and political context of Nanao, meant to revitalize the local community. One of these activities is performed by women in their sixties, who retreated from their roles as housewives and/or shop proprietors. These women’s activity reinterprets the given values of bridal noren (door curtain), a local object known for its beautiful sensuousness. When the women recently initiated activities to display bridal noren as objects of art, they become one of the main tourist attractions in the city. This paper concludes by demonstrating that elderly women expressed subjective well-being through involvement in their social world via social activities.