Mayumi Hayashi is a specialist in social studies, specifically care of the elderly in Japan and the UK. She is a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London.
I am originally from Gifu Prefecture in central Japan and now live in London, employed as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London. My research focuses on the care of older people in Britain and Japan, from a variety of perspectives. I am currently working on a Leverhulme-funded research project on the role and contribution of the voluntary sector in providing social care for older people in Britain and Japan. I am also an Associate Research Fellow in the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia. My interest in the care of older people comes from the experience of looking after my late grandfather, with my family, at various care locations in Japan. In addition to this personal experience, I have long held an academic interest in the foundations of Britain’s Welfare State and comparative welfare policy. So I came to England to embark on a PhD in the history of long-term care of older people in England and Japan, completed in 2010. Developing my thesis I have recently published a book The Care of Older People: England and Japan, A Comparative Study (Pickering & Chatto).
Acknowledging that the subject—the care of older people—is of significant importance and relevance to all sections of society, I have expanded my research activity beyond the academic domain. I have been involved in outreach projects and in public engagement, promoting an enhanced understanding of the subject among a wider audience in both Britain and Japan and facilitating exchanges of information, knowledge and experiences between the two countries. In the process of disseminating the many challenges facing Japan, I have published articles on the care of older people there, in the Guardian and in History & Policy. I have also given a presentation to the Cabinet Office regarding Japan’s ‘time-banking’ scheme—a tradition of local mutual help networks based on exchanges of non-monetary units termed ‘time credits’.
For a general public audience, I have discussed aspects of Japan’s retirement and ageing in BBC World Service programmes on retirement and ageing. Meanwhile, I am explaining Britain’s policy and practice to a wide Japanese audience by, for instance, advising the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, on the production of a TV programme examining dementia care in Britain.
For more information about Dr Mayumi Hayashi (King’s College London) please see www.mayumihayashi.net.