2021 年 15 巻 p. 3-15
This paper aims to examine the academic significance of the concept of ibasho (a place or community one feels at home), which emerged from the problem of truancy in Japanese society in the 1980s. Free schools were created as places ibasho for truant children. In the field of youth work, group-work-based youth organizations and youth centers were no longer attracting young people to these organizations. In 1992, the Ministry of Education issued a report on truancy, proposing to make schools ibasho for children. Widely studied in psychology, sociology, and architecture, the concept of ibasho has three elements: a place where one can feel safe, good relationships, and time factor. In order to clarify the concept of ibasho, a comparative study was conducted with the theories of human needs and identity. Ibasho is a refuge for the socially oppressed and a foundation for empowerment that enables them to transform society. Therefore, the theory of ibasho has been applied beyond youth issues to the fields of social welfare, gender, and community development. Finally, ibasho can contribute to social inclusion not only in Japan but also worldwide.