Faith Action Message for January 22-23 - Archived

Faith Action Long-Term Care Task Force invites you to learn more about IBASHO.

Presentation Abstract: “IBASHO”

The concept of Ibasho—a Japanese term meaning a place where one feels a sense of belonging and purpose, and is accepted as oneself—challenges common ideas about aging. The Ibasho approach recognizes elders as valuable resources to their community, empowering them to be active participants and changing the harmful outcomes created by society’s negative perceptions and expectations.  These include social isolation, a loss of dignity and respect, and a sense of uselessness and irrelevance. This approach improves the community’s ability to withstand shocks caused by natural disasters by creating a strong informal support system in which elders are the catalyst to strengthen social assets/resource among community members of all ages.

Key concepts

The theory of change behind this project draws on multiple constructs, including elder empowerment, Ibasho, community bonding, social capital, and community resilience. The project is based on four assumptions:

  1. Empowering elders changes the way they feel about their role in their community
  2. Creating the Ibasho Café (both physical and social infrastructures) with elders in a leadership role increases the community bonding among the members of all ages
  3. A strong sense of community bonding increases the level of social network and community participation, enhancing the sense of belonging and trust, and developing mutual give and take relationship between neighbors
  4. An enhanced sense of social assets/resources strengthens the community’s resilience (ability to change/adjust easily to change or misfortune) so it is better prepared to withstand future natural disasters and the impacts of global aging


Dr. Emi Kiyota is the founder and director of Ibasho, an organization that facilitates the co-creation with elders of socially integrated, sustainable communities that value their elders. Dr. Kiyota holds a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is an environmental gerontologist and a consultant with over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing person-centered care in long-term care facilities and hospitals globally. Her current focus is on creating socially integrated and resilient cities where elders are engaged and able to actively participate in their communities. She has published journal articles and book chapters and serves on the board of directors of the Global Ageing Network. Dr. Kiyota has been awarded fellowships to investigate this topic, including the Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, the Rockefeller Bellagio Residency Fellowship, and the Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute at University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Kiyota will be speaking about Ibasho via zoom from these locations:

Sunday, Jan. 23 from 12—12:30 pm at Harris United Methodist Church

Sunday, Jan 30 (time TBA) at Pearl City Community Church

To inquire about other possible zoom sessions with Dr. Kiyota, please contact Mia Tockey (

Additional information with the zoom links for Dr. Kiyota’s presentations on January 23 and 30:

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