Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1475–1491 | Cite as

Interpersonal Mattering in Friendship as a Predictor of Happiness in Japan: The Case of Tokyoites

  • Hiromi TaniguchiEmail author
Research Paper


Drawing on data from the Survey of Midlife Development in Japan (MIDJA), this study examines the roles of friendship in happiness among Tokyoites, primarily inspired by a study linking interpersonal mattering and happiness in the US by Demir et al. (J Happiness Stud 12(6):983–1005, 2011). Consistent with their study and related studies by others (e.g., Tiefenbach and Kohlbacher in Happiness from the viewpoint of economics: findings from recent survey data in Japan. Working paper 13/1. Deutsches Institut Für Japan Studien/German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, 2013; Tokuda and Inoguchi in Soc Indic Res 89(2):349–360, 2008), this study finds that interpersonal mattering is a significant and influential predictor of happiness. Furthermore, for residents in Tokyo, the perception of positive relations with others completely mediates the relationship between friendship and happiness. The study also finds that self-acceptance partially mediates the friendship-happiness relationship. It remains to be seen whether the mediated pathway between interpersonal mattering and happiness can be generalized to broader social contexts such as the country as a whole or to societies in the West.


Interpersonal mattering Happiness Mediation analysis Japan MIDJA 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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