The Volunteer Labour Bank, Osaka, is the world’s first known time bank. It became the hub of a national network of time banks, which was later named the Volunteer Labour Network. The network also expanded across to the USA in the early 1980s, making it the world’s first international timebanking organisation. It developed and operated a ‘purist’ model of timebanking, combining horizontal and vertical exchange of services (i.e. exchanges within the same period and, via longer-term ‘banking’ of time credits, exchanges across different periods, so providing, in principle, for intergenerational security). It also organised a component of voluntary work alongside time exchange. All exchanges were valued only in time currency on the basis of all services having equal value, reflected only in the time spent delivering/receiving service. The organisation attracted mainly middle-aged women, often people caring for elderly kinfolk. It enabled them to organise mutual-aid and respite, while offering security that they would also receive care in their old age. The network expanded quickly. But as the challenge of caring for the elderly became more critical in Japan, owing to the aging of the population (especially acute from the late 1970s), new timebanking organisations emerged, such as JCSA and NALC. Some of these operated mixed-currency models of timebanking and appealed to and served different sections of society. These gradually overtook the VLB/VLN in terms of presence and importance. The VLB/VLN survives today, but at very low levels of activity. Other timebanks now dominate the Japanese timebanking scene, which is complex and differentiated.
This CTP concerns the invention of TimeBanking in Japan and the founding, in Osaka, of the first known TimeBank by Teruko Mizushima. The first TimeBank was founded in 1973. This led to the creation in Japan of a nationwide network of TimeBanks, established first under the name Voluntary Labour Banks (VLB).
This CTP is about the emergence of the second nation-wide TimeBanking organisation in Japan, its similarities and differences compared with VLB/VLN, the innovations it introduced to TimeBanking, their transformative impacts and impact on the VLB/VLN.
This CTP concerns the emergence of the Nippon Active Life Club, which is a specific kind of TimeBank addressed to the challenges of an aging society. The idea of its founder, Keiichi Takahata, was to enable retirees to form mutual support groups for an active retirement. These were formed as TimeBanks.
This CTP concerns the death of Mizushima, the originator of time banking and the founder of the Volunteer Labour Bank (VLB), which later became incorporated as the Volunteer Labour Network (VLN).
This CTP concerns the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) Law (1998). The NPO Law was one of a set of new laws in Japan, representing and contributing to a shift in government policies concerning the framework within which the demographic and other challenges facing Japan might be better addressed.
This CTP concerns the introduction the Long-Term Care Insurance Law, which was passed in 1997. The LTCI Law was one of a set of new laws in Japan, representing and contributing to a shift in government policies concerning community organisations and who should assume responsibility for care of the aged.
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