Rethinking Locality in Japan  book cover
1st Edition

Rethinking Locality in Japan

ISBN 9780367469481
Published July 20, 2021 by Routledge
306 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book inquires what is meant when we say "local" and what "local" means in the Japanese context.

Through the window of locality, it enhances an understanding of broader political and socio-economic shifts in Japan. This includes demographic change, electoral and administrative reform, rural decline and revitalization, welfare reform, as well as the growing metabolic rift in energy and food production. Chapters throughout this edited volume discuss the different and often contested ways in which locality in Japan has been reconstituted, from historical and contemporary instances of administrative restructuring, to more subtle social processes of making – and unmaking – local places. Contributions from multiple disciplinary perspectives are included to investigate the tensions between overlapping and often incongruent dimensions of locality. Framed by a theoretical discussion of socio-spatial thinking, such issues surrounding the construction and renegotiation of local places are not only relevant for Japan specialists, but also connected with topical scholarly debates further afield.

Accordingly, Rethinking Locality in Japan will appeal to students and scholars from Japanese studies and human geography to anthropology, history, sociology and political science.

Table of Contents

Part 1: (Re)lating Localities as Lived Spaces in Japan

1. Locality in Shōnai: Scale, Containers, Fields, and Horizons
William W. Kelly

2. Localized yet Deterritorialized Lives in Rural Japan: Fragmented Localities, Mobility, and Neoliberalism
Susanne Klien

3. Rur-bane Relations: Assemblage and Cosmopolitics in Central Hokkaido
Paul Hansen

4. The Meaning of Place for Selfhood and Well-being in Rural Japan
Wolfram Manzenreiter & Barbara Holthus

Part 2: Local Social Worlds at Risk

5. Localizing the Nuclear: Risk Normalization and Sense of Place after Fukushima
Tarek Katramiz

6. Mapping the Local Economy of Care: Social Welfare and Volunteerism in Local Communities
Isaac Gagné

7. San’ya – The Making and Unmaking of a Welfare Quarter
Hanno Jentzsch

Part 3: Localities under Contestation

8. Defending the Local: Resident Activism against Municipal Mergers in Postwar Rural Japan
Sven Kramer

9. Local Governance of Public Transport Services: Maintaining Identity and Independence after the Heisei Mergers
Timo Thelen & Hitoshi Oguma

10. Territorialized yet Fluid Locality: Reform, Consolidation, and the More-than-Human in Japanese Fishery Cooperatives
Sonja Ganseforth

11. The Reinterpretation of Locality and Place in the Wine Industry of Yamanashi Prefecture
Aaron Kingsbury

Part 4: Local–National Dynamics

12. Furusato Nōzei Tax: Local Place in National Tax Policy and the Dynamics of Locality
Anthony Rausch & Junichiro Koji

13. Uprooting the Political Landscape: How Municipal Mergers Untethered the Local from National Politics
Kyohei Yamada

14. Competing Conceptions of Local Democracy in Japan
Ken Victor Leonard Hijino

Part 5: Coda

15. Earth is our Locale: Decentering and Decelerating the Human in the Anthropocene
Peter Matanle

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Sonja Ganseforth is Principal Researcher at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo. Her research interests include development and sustainability discourses, globalized agri-food systems, small-scale fisheries, and the political ecology of food. Her first monograph analyzed Japanese development cooperation in Palestine (2016).

Hanno Jentzsch is Assistant Professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies, Vienna University. He works on agricultural politics, central-local relations, and social welfare in Japan. His first monograph Harvesting State Support (2021) analyzed institutional change in Japanese agriculture.