Quarterly Journal of Geography
Online ISSN : 1884-1252
Print ISSN : 0916-7889
ISSN-L : 0916-7889
Research Note
Characteristics of Food Procurement from the Perspective of Labor Distribution within Households:A Case Study of Koesawa Village in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture
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2024 Volume 76 Issue 2 Pages 61-78


This research focuses on the current situation of shopping behavior by family type and estimation of shopping support services (home delivery and mobile sales vehicles), with the viewpoint of the distribution of labor within the household including the elderly. This research is the case study of Koesawa village located in the mountainous area of Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture.

The shopping behavior is one of the household chores, and the results of research such as family sociology show that shopping and cooking tend to be carried out by specific people (=wife) due to the efficiency of housework and the necessity of skills. Based on this point, this study investigated various types of households (single elderly household, elderly couple household, two generation household, three generation household) from the perspective of household housework strategies.

As a result, the use of shopping support services was limited in single elderly households, and up to the age of 70, shopping at grocery stores by driving was the main way of food procurement. Even residents in their 80s who don’t drive still use downtown grocery stores, using the bus and by transportation by children lived in outside the village. Furthermore, in households with only elderly couples, the elderly wife was responsible for shopping and cooking in order to increase the efficiency of housework. However, in order to reduce the burden on elderly wives, elderly husbands are now taking part in housework, taking on the responsibility of doing the shopping and driving.

Even multi-generational households, elderly parents are responsible for the household chores, such as shopping and cooking, due to the work of their children, and the use of shopping support services is becoming more prominent as consideration is given to reducing the burden on elderly parents.

In some previous researches on shopping difficulties in the mountainous area, the use of shopping support services has viewed as an essential service for elderly people who do not have transportation (‘Shopping Refugees’). However, as shown in this study, such people are not the only ones who use shopping support services. Shopping ways are determined by the person in charge of cooking, depending on the division of household chores in each household. This study is significant as an example showing that food procurement methods, including shopping support services, can be explained by factors different from those of ‘Shopping Refugees’.

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© 2024 The Tohoku Geographical Association
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