Outdoor studies in Japan

Authored by: Taito Okamura

Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138782884
eBook ISBN: 9781315768465
Adobe ISBN: 9781317666523


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The Wilderness Education Association Japan (WEAJ) was established in 2013 in affiliation with the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) in the USA, which was established in 1977. This sequence may suggest that Japanese outdoor studies and practices are more than thirty years behind those of the USA. That conclusion, however, is not completely true, as I will demonstrate in this chapter. Japan has a long history of outdoor education, with about 550 public outdoor centres throughout the country. On the other hand, the lack of outdoor leadership training systems in higher education and the barrier of language (i.e. most outdoor materials are written in English) has delayed the growth of outdoor studies in Japan.

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