Rural communities in Japan have suffered from significant depopulation and economic downturn in post-war years. Low birth rates, aging populations, agricultural decline and youth migration to large cities have been compounded by the triple disaster of 11 March 2011, which destroyed farming and fishing communities and left thousands of people homeless. This book identifies these challenges and acknowledges that an era of post-growth has arrived in Japan. Through exploring new forms of regional employment, community empowerment, and reverse migration, the authors address potential opportunities and benefits that may help to create and ensure the quality of life in depopulating areas and post-disaster scenarios. This book will be of interest not only to students of Japanese society, but also to those outside of Japan who are seeking new approaches for tackling depopulation challenges.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I Challenges in Rural Areas 1. Social Sustainability in Post-3.11 Coastal Japan: The Significance of Social Capital Alyne E. Delaney 2. Local Schools in Remote Areas: Challenges for Youth, Parents and Community Johannes Wilhelm 3. The Heisei Municipal Mergers: Measures of Sustainability, Equality and Identity Anthony S. Rausch 4. Agriculture in Japan: Free Trade and the Need for Reform Stephanie Assmann Part II Case Studies Employment in Rural Areas 5. Social Enterprise Businesses in Rural Community Development in Hokkaido Rosario Laratta 6. Working for Others in Kawakami: Contradictive Expectations, Tensions, and Negotiating Power Relations Meng Liang Sustainability Across Generations: Life Reform, Lifestyle Migration and U-Turn Movements 7. Young Urban Migrants in the Japanese Countryside Between Self-realization and Slow Life? The Quest for Subjective Well-being and Post-materialism Susanne Klien 8. Islands for Life: Artistic Responses to Remote Social Polarisation and Population Decline in Japan Adrian Favell 9. Reforming Life as Mothers and Wives in Rural Japan: The Post-WWII Life Reform (Seikatsu Kaizen) Initiative in Hamlet M, Tochigi Prefecture Noriko Yamaguchi Brand Management and Tourism 10. Tourism as a Future for Local Rail Services? An Analysis of Debates in Akita Prefecture Peter Ackermann 11. Hokkaido’s Overlapping Protected Areas and Regional Revitalization: The Case Study of Toya-Usu Geopark in Shikotsu-Toya National Park Thomas E. Jones
Stephanie Assmann is a professor in the Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University, Japan.