Resilience, Culture and Human Flourishing: Postcards from Japan

Travel as a salve for the mundaneness of the everyday has been brought into stark relief as the pandemic leaves travellers grounded – restricted borders and fear of contagion are a nagging reminder. Travel is usually lauded for its therapeutic benefits to the traveller, and for the pecuniary endowment it can give to communities reliant on it. The hindrance to travel, highlights the evident void. J.R.R Tolkien’s famous quip, “not all those who wander are lost”, summon thoughts of lockdown and quarantine, ubiquitous in the everyday, evoking reflexive thought about how the ease by which wanderlust was formally stated was taken for granted. In this treatise, Joseph Cheer deftly engages with three colossal concepts at the heart of his work: resilience, culture and human flourishing. He queries how the three disparate notions lie at the heart of travel, and embark on a virtual odyssey through the therapeutic landscapes of Japan. In particular, Cheer draws on onsen or hot springs and bathing culture in Japan and discusses how this coalesces (or not) with resilience, culture and human flourishing.

This lecture was part of Ontario Culture Days symposium, Now, into the Future: Cultural Tourism in Ontario, held June 16-17, 2021.

Speaker bio

Joseph Cheer,
Wakayama University
Joseph Cheer is Professor at Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan. He is also Adjunct Research Fellow, Monash University, Australia, Visiting Professor at UCSI University, Malaysia and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Joseph is Co Editor-in-Chief of Tourism Geographies by Taylor & Francis. His recent books include: Overtourism: Excesses, Discontents and Measures in Travel and Tourism (2019), Modern Day Slavery & Orphanage Tourism (2020), Masculinities in the Field: Tourism and Transdisciplinary Research (2021) , Travel and Tourism in the Age of Overtourism (2021). In 2021 he was elected to the board of PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association).

We acknowledge and thank the Province of Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of this project.