Geographical review of Japan series A
Online ISSN : 2185-1751
Print ISSN : 1883-4388
ISSN-L : 1883-4388
Volume 92, Issue 4
Displaying 1-11 of 11 articles from this issue
Research Notes
  • ISHIKAWA Keiichiro
    2019 Volume 92 Issue 4 Pages 203-223
    Published: 2019
    Released on J-STAGE: September 28, 2022

    This study explored the residents and locational characteristics of shared housing in the wards of Tokyo. Shared housing is defined as a rental residence in which tenants live with others; about 70% of such tenants are single women. There has been a remarkable increase in shared housing in the inner-city area, which is seeing a population recovery. This study analyzed 1,226 shared housing units in the wards of Tokyo, as well as management companies and the residences of single women in Taito ward. Shared housing is located near a train station and has higher-quality facilities, for example, larger kitchens and bathrooms, than other rental housing for single people. Houses located in areas with low demand from families tend to be diverted to shared housing. Moreover, companies manage shared housing by matching the available rental units with the housing needs of single women in terms of location and facilities for new businesses. Shared housing

    makes it possible for single women with low or middle incomes to reside in convenient areas and enjoy highquality housing facilities for relatively low rental fees. As a result of examining both supply and demand, it is clear that single women’s need to live near their workplaces and desire for a better quality of life, coupled with an increase in excess housing stock in the inner-city area, are important factors in the increase in shared housing.

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  • KUSHIMA Momoyo
    2019 Volume 92 Issue 4 Pages 224-240
    Published: 2019
    Released on J-STAGE: September 28, 2022

    Generally, Japanese rural areas are facing a serious population decrease. Under the circumstances, women tend to be expected to play reproductive roles and increase the population. On the other hand, the trend of rural in-migration has recently been increasing in Japan. As a result, there are high expectations for female migrants of childbearing age to reproduce. This study investigated female migrants’ feelings of resistance to this gender role. It also explored their paradoxical feelings suggesting that they want to contribute to their local communities and remain there.

    This study is based on fieldwork conducted in Showa village, Fukushima prefecture, northeast Japan. Every year, the local government recruits several trainees, called orihime (weaving princesses), from throughout Japan to learn firsthand how to cultivate the karamushi (Boehmeria nivea; ramie) plant and weave fabric from its extracted fibers. In order to investigate the orihime’s experiences, the author undertook interviews from 2010 to 2015.

    Drawing from the life stories of four orihime, the results of the fieldwork can be sumarized as follows. First, the orihime find themselves in conflict with traditional expectations of marriage in local communities. Second, because of a decline in the traditional textile industry, many orihime find it difficult to make a living and settle in the village. However, relationships with the village could deepen their specific “ephemeral sense of place.” This sense of place could enhance the feeling of wanting to contribute to the local community as much as possible in a limited time. Third, over the course of their involvement in cultivating karamushi with locals, the orihime gradually realize that cultivating and extracting karamushi fibers are part of the collective memories passed down through generations in the village. They also discover the local farmers’ skilled techniques and recognize that the locals show respect for what has been passed down. These experiences strengthen the orihime’s desire to inherit local culture and stay in Showa village. These ways of life displayed by the orihime could exceed local people’s expectations of traditional gender roles, and what the orihime do during their stays leaves a lasting legacy in Showa village, even after they depart.

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