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Chapter Summary

This chapter asks the importance as well as the meaning of work for the participants and their loyalty to their companies by examining the way in which they locate work in comparison with other important aspects of life such as the family, children and leisure activities. The significance of work is revealed through the lens of 'ikigai'. Each participant identified at least one stage in their lives when work was their total ikigai. Indeed while some participants claimed that their ikigai was family, their participation in childcare and child-rearing, to say nothing of other participants' participation in them, was minimal. This chapter also discusses paternal childcare amongst the participants in this study, exploring the meaning of childcare for them. The Japanese term 'ikigai' connotes several slightly different meanings. Ikigai can refer to life's worth, something to live for, sources of self-fulfilment, one's whole life, a purpose to life.

Keywords: child rearing; Ikigai; Japanese; paternal childcare



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