Comparison of Horticultural Therapy in Korea and Japan: History, Inspiration, and Education

  • Zhang, Won Tae (Department of Horticulture, Daegu Catholic University) ;
  • Yun, Suk Young (Department of Horticulture, Daegu Catholic University) ;
  • Choi, Byung Jin (Department of Horticulture, Daegu Catholic University)
  • Received : 2018.11.05
  • Accepted : 2018.12.14
  • Published : 2018.12.31


This study aimed to examine how the horticultural therapy that was originated in the US has influenced South Korea and Japan and developed in the two countries as an interim check to promote qualitative growth of horticultural therapy with the growing social attention. It also aimed to look into the background of how horticultural therapy was introduced in Japan (which introduced horticultural therapy around the same time as Korea), and the process of the introduction, and compare them with those of Korea in order to set the direction for horticultural therapy. Data was collected to prepare the chronological table of horticultural therapy in Korea and Japan and investigate the flow. Interviews were conducted with the professors who first opened a horticultural therapy course in university so as to determine the introduction background. The analysis results are summarized as follows: Horticultural therapy was created to give mental comfort and emotional purification to those concerned with horticulture that had concerns over social phenomena. In Korea, there had been a process of finding a way of getting mental comfort and emotional purification in the economic slowdown in the late 1990s. Since 2001, there have been more attention and demand for horticultural therapy. As a result, there has been a tendency of studying general horticultural welfare activities and professional horticultural therapy separately. In Japan, the environmental pollution that has arisen since 1970s led to a concern over social orientation in the relation between plants and humans. The academic conference of global researchers to establish the horticultural therapy studies influenced the introduction of horticultural therapy in Korea and Japan. Both countries had no operations and system, and developed them independently. They had similar directions to seek, such as the department of horticultural therapy, need for professional education, active introduction of hospital practice (internship), and security of operating budget. Horticultural therapy has many competencies and thus requires constant research and expansion.


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