FRI Report:The real conditions of leisure for Japanese people ~ Uses of time and money seen from the FYS~

The Fields Research Institute (FRI) has conducted a survey where it presented 400 questions to 10,000 people, the “Fields Yoka Survey” (from now on FYS *1), regarding topics such as the value to be found in leisure time activities and their actual implications.
We are now going to focus on the uses of time and money vis a vis leisure time which were found in the survey answers, and give an explanation of the results.

■ “Content-type leisure”, which requires the use of time, and “experience-type leisure”, which requires the use of money
From the survey answers, we took the 27 different “conditions of the use of time and money” in regards to leisure which were collected from answers to the question of how do Japanese people approach their use of time and money when it comes to leisure activities. We took all of these and mapped them into.(Graph 1)

On the horizontal axis which shows how much either time or money have been used, the right side points to leisure where mostly time has been used, whereas the left side points to leisure where mostly money has been used.
On the vertical axis which shows how much the use of time and money has either increased or decreased compared to the last year, the top area points to leisure which has increased, whereas the bottom area points to leisure which has decreased.
From this data we realize a few things, one of them being that if we focus on the horizontal axis, leisure can now be classified into 3 different types. (Graph 2)

One group is “leisure where mostly time is used”, shown on the right side of the graph encircled in blue. TV dramas, smartphone games or free video sites fall into this category.
Another group is “leisure where mostly money is used”, shown on the left side of the graph encircled in green. Combined shopping services, pachinko parlors or slot machines fall into this category.
The final group is “leisure where neither time nor money are greatly used”, shown in the middle area of the graph encircled in gray.
Furthermore, if we focus on the vertical axis, leisure can now be classified into another 3 types. (Graph 3)

One group is “leisure for which the use of time and money has increased”, encircled in blue on the upper area. Paid video sites, free video sites, smartphone games, experience events, anime events and more fall into this category. They are comparatively new forms of leisure which have been growing in popularity in recent times.
The next group is “leisure for which the use of time and money has decreased”, encircled in green on the lower area of the graph. Pachinko parlors, slot machines and console game machines fall into this category. These are comparatively old forms of leisure.
Finally, if we look at the graph by broadly dividing it into its left and right partitions (graph 4),

we find that on the left are the forms of leisure which involve the use of money, activities known as experience-type leisure or outdoors leisure; whereas on the right are the forms of leisure which involve the use of time, activities usually known as content-type leisure or media interaction. Some old forms of these involve a so-called “expenditure of things towards and expenditure of experiences”, and we think this is clearly shown in our data.

■ Different uses of time and money depending on one’s stages in life
Next we will explain the uses of time and money in relation to leisure depending on one’s differing stages in life.
Graph 5 shows an aggregate of the amount of money used on leisure (on the vertical axis), as well as an aggregate of the amount of time used on leisure (on the horizontal axis). All this data is derived from our own survey.

We divided the stages in life into primary school, middle-high school, university, bachelorhood, married without kids, with kids who are younger than high-school students, and with kids who are older than high-school students, thus no longer being brought up by their parents. These 7 types were then divided into male and female categories and used for plotting the graph.
Graph 6 points to the life stages in a man’s life by connecting them with a line.

In regards to time, it increases from primary school to high school, and the period where they have more leisure is university. After getting a job this leisure time decreases, and after getting married and having children leisure continues to decrease even more. Once they’ve finished educating their children their leisure starts to increase again.
In regards to money, there isn’t much during primary school or high school, but when they enter university it starts increasing, and after becoming bachelors they use even more money. From this point on it acts in the same way as time did, since money starts decreasing with marriage and child-rearing, but increases again after the children’s education is over.
In our survey we didn’t include traveling, going for drives or eating out as part of our leisure categories, so any money and time spent on those activities does not show in our data. If we were to include this data, we would probably find that the time and money of parents whose children have grown to adulthood would have increased even more substantially.
Now, let’s also look at the case for women (graph 7),

where we see that their situation is fundamentally similar to that of men, but with one differing point, and that is that the period of life when they spend the most time is when their children are in high school. This also shows how the lack of travel data, etc, in our survey affects this analysis.
When women get married their leisure time increases, which is a sign of how many women become housewives after marriage.

■ The relationship between the expenditure of time and money with desire
Next, we will explain the relationship between expenditure of time and money for leisure with desire itself.
We used a dual scale method to analyze leisure, all the forms of desire related to leisure and the increase in time and money used for each type of leisure (*2) (Graph 8).

 

What we can first say is that the fluctuations time and money are generally on the increase towards a greater amount of use (Graph 9).

Regarding this increase of time and money, all the types of desire plotted out in a light shade of blue can generally be divided into 2 tendencies, one on the upper left and another on the upper right of the graph (Graph 10).

On the upper left area we see that “comfort” acts as the peak desire, and on the upper right the peak desire is “health, good for the body”.
If we look at the upper left area in more detail, we can further sub-divide it into 2 categories (graph 11).

Comparatively, the upper area represents “comfort”, and beyond that we see “a sense of bargain”, “I can try it out before purchasing”, “it’s easy to compare to others”, etc. These are related to their location, and makes us think that “right now this desire is not fully satisfied, but if I wait until I get some leisure time in the future then it will”. If we re-phrase it, it could mean “a disclosure of information which clarifies my ability to judge what is good and what is bad”, and we consider this to be a crucial point.
Next, comparatively the lower area represents desires with “a lot of variation” and “any time”, “anywhere”. These are related to their location, and makes us think that this desire is “already obvious”. This is also an important point, but an obvious desire doesn’t receive a plus value, and yet when it’s lacking it definitely represents a minus value.
Furthermore, the upper right tendency can be sub-divided into 4 new categories if we look at it in more detail (graph 12).

[Stimulating the five senses]
Good for the body / good for health / leaves a good sensory impression
[Uniqueness]
A product / service /experience which doesn’t exist anywhere else. We feel sympathy for its enterprise management / creator / service ideal
[Connectedness]
One can interact with other people during this experience, you can grow as an individual / perform for other people. The activity becomes an Internet meme, a meme which is talked about between friends and relatives of yours in real life
[You become acknowledged by others]
It is easy to use thanks to its clear explanation, it is backed by an expert and thus gains the user’s trust, it becomes known by word-of-mouth and this makes it more accessible

This is related to its position, and when taken into consideration shows us that all kinds of things with strengths and weaknesses will be demanded as forms of leisure from now onward.
Especially uniqueness, that is to say “a product / service /experience which doesn’t exist anywhere else”. Beyond this, “feeling sympathy for its enterprise management / creator / service ideal” will also be something the user demands from now on, and the upper left tendency we mentioned earlier, “a disclosure of information which clarifies my ability to judge what is good and what is bad” together with its complementary “how do others value this”, are also forms of information which the user will want to acquire from now on. Recently we are relying more on the judgements of other people on the Internet, such as word-of-mouth reviews and impressions, instead of our own judgement. When people give a “like” on a SNS, the strength of that impression seems to be much stronger now.
This is the end of the present report.
This report was dependant on our available space, and doesn’t represent more than just a small part of the FYS. When we get another change we will inform you about more of these discoveries, but until then please enjoy yourselves.

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(*1) “Fields Yoka Survey 2016”
A web survey conducted by our company during December of 2015. It asked 10,000 participants from all over the country, of ages ranging form primary schoolers to 64-year-olds, about their sense of value attached to certain leisure time activities.
(*2) “A method of dual scaling”
This method consists in calculating the relative distance between each entry and plotting it on a flat surface upon 2 axes.
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(Article: Masanori Oota)

(This report appeared on the issue of “Fields Research Forum” of the 18th of March of 2016)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

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