Under the producers' price limitation policy, sugar cane farming in Okinawa cannot exist without rationalizing its management, mainly through the introduction of mechanical harvesting. This has become a serious problem especially in the isolated islands where sugar cane farming and sugar production are the main industries. In this paper, I focused on Minamidaito Island, which is the only area in Okinawa that has introduced mechanical harvesting on a large scale, and examined the actual management of sugar cane farming, based upon a survey conducted in Kita Village in 1988. The conclusion revealed that the mechanization of harvesting did not necessarily serve for the rationalization of the management. The characteristics of the management of sugar cane farming on Minamidaito Island after mechanization are: remarkably increased investment in capital equipment and in farmland improvement, increased cultivation cost needed for new planting and application of fertilizers and chemicals, and increased labor input. These lead to diminishing the income of farmers because problems like how to take advantage of the capital equipment, how to convert the conventional extensive system of cultivation to a labor-intensive, capital-intensive system have not been discussed enough. The liberation from hard labor by the mechanization of harvesting is considered to be the minimum necessity for the young labor force to participate in sugar cane farming. But at the same time, if the mechanization does not lead to the rationalization of its management, sugar cane farming will gradually lose its future labor force, and its status as the main industry of the isolated islands of Okinawa will be lowered.
The production area forming theory in the selective expansion sector promoted the formation of “peripheral food production areas” in the peripheral regions in Japan. It has been frequently predicted that these peripheral food production areas are pressed for market restructuring by the rapid increase of imported agricultural products. This paper investigates the restructuring mechanism of the broiler meat production area in South Kyushu where marked restructuring appeared quickly due to internationalization. Some of the general trading companies had promoted enlargement of the broiler meat production area in South Kyushu as a cut-up meat products supply region. However, due to the decline of the cut-up meat products price resulting from imported chickens, the broiler meat production area in South Kyushu has been required for rapid restructuring since 1990. In Miyazaki Prefecture, the Koyu area which has a high density of broiler raising farms has exhibited rapid decline, and the three factors that explain this decline were confirmed. They are  productivity decline arising from overcrowded broiler raising;  changes of the broiler collecting strategies by the leading broiler processing factories; and  marked difference of reactions taken by 236 farmers within the Koyu area attributable to low profitability and redemption of investment funds, and these compounded effects expedited restructuring. On the other hand, the general trading companies which took the initiative to form the broiler meat production area did not always play a central role in restructuring. In this way, restructuring of the broiler meat production area in South Kyushu could be understood as a double-layer mechanism in which the decline of the cut-up meat products price elicited the low productivity involved in the regional level. Restructuring of the peripheral food production area is not one-sidedly caused by internationalization, but the problem of overcrowded broiler raising and the changes of broiler collecting strategies by the processing factories played an extremely important role.
With the shortage of agricultural work force in Japan, rural villages today have to cope with the problems of aging work force. This paper aims to clarify the mechanism of agricultural continuance by means of a detailed case study in Takamiya-cho, a village in Hiroshima Prefecture. Two main work force complementing systems have been discussed in the previous studies in addition to part-time farmer. One of them is the “weekend farmer” who lives outside his home village and returns to the village to help with his family's farm in the busy farming seasons or on weekends. The other is the trust system of agricultural lands and works. This surly investigates how these two systems function in a village with an aged population. Three types of farmer can be classified according to the work force complementing situation. The first type is the successor who lives with his aged parents and works in the non-agricultural sector. Where this type of farm household is prevalent, cultivation can be continued because the agricultural work force will be reproduced even with part-time farming. In such a situation only rice will be cultivated, by a small work force using agricultural machinery. In the second type, the agricultural work force is complemented by “weekend farmers.” In this type cultivation is maintained by the work force complementing system in each farm household itself. The work force complementing of “weekend farmers” is available for mechanized agriculture, but serious problems will occur in the near future, because there is little probability of reproducing the agricultural work force. In the third type, the work force is complemented by an agricultural trust. This type is a work force complementing system that works in groups of farm households. This type of work force complementing is available not merely in villages with an aged population but also in villages where part-time farming is predominant.
The present paper takes up all the tulip bulb farmers who engaged in tulip bulb cultivation for 44 years from 1948 to 1991 in the Kurobe alluvial fan in the northeast of Toyama Prefecture. Based on changes of their distribution, the paper clarifies the process of forming the bulb cultivation area and discusses various conditions of its formation. As a result, it becomes clear that the cultivation area expanded from several specific rural communities to the environs in the 1950s and receded again to the rural communities and their vicinities in and after the 1960s. The area where the tulip bulb cultivation became active up to the mid-1950s still now plays a core part. The bulb cultivation distributed area corresponded to the area in which several former municipalities were integrated. The formative conditions of the tulip-bulb producing area, such as roles of the Tulip Bulb Farmers' Cooperative in Toyama Prefecture, other agricultural management sectors, relations with off-farm employment, pioneers and leaders, existence of regional organizations, and subsidy from the administration are important, not to mention the climate, soil, and other natural conditions. In addition to these, age, existence of successors, technical level, and other attributes of the farmers and the individuals are related.
This paper aims to clarify the mechanism of formation of the vegetable producing area in Okabe Town of Saitama Prefecture and the conditions of its sustainable development. The decline of sericulture and the development of vegetable production have close relationship with the change of socioeconomic environment surrounding the local community. And the improvement of agricultural management environment in this area has promoted the formation of vegetable producing area. At the level of farm household, internal farming conditions of each household had the strongest influence over the farmer's decision-making, such as arable-land area; farm labor force, especially male farm workers; and successors of agricultural management. Furthermore, when the successor got married and took part in the agricultural management, or when the head of household was replaced by younger generation, the management policy is changed and the introduction into a new management sector is encouraged. The formation of vegetable producing area in Okabe Town experienced three stages. First, in succeeding the introduction of broccoli production by an enterprising farmer, many farmers introduced broccoli one after another. Second, the individual farm households organized moderately-linked groups of farm households to secure more favorable conditions in the production and sales of agricultural products, to establish cooperative and complementary relationship between the farm households or settlements and to sustain the development. Third, they organized the Council for the Unified Shipment of Fruits and Vegetables within the jurisdiction of the Agricultural Cooperative. Thus, the individual vegetable farms have been organized spatially, and the space for vegetable production has expanded from “point” (individual farm) to “plane” (vegetable producing area).
The mechanism to sustain the recent greenhouse horticulture in Asahi City was examined by focusing on the adoption of technological innovations. Vegetable production in greenhouses increased from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. After the development period, the number of greenhouse farms and the area of greenhouse facilities stabilized. Greenhouse farms at present hold two generations of family farm wokers and 37a greenhouses on average, and carry multiple management of greenhouse vegetables and paddy rice. The success of their greenhouse management has been ensured by adopting new technological innovations one after another. The adoption of floriculture and new cultivars of vegetables represent the innovations. In the early stages of diffusion, a few farms with successors introduced flowers and new cultivars. The vigorous young pioneers gathered information on new technology from extensive areas through the production groups outside the city, nursery companies and wholesale markets. The diversity of greenhouse crops brought by the pioneers saved some farms' management from suffering from crop injuries through continuous cropping.
In this paper, the author attemped to clarify the social characteristics of rural communities in Hokkaido by using the empirical data of ownership and utilization of common lands, which are important as the material basis of rural communities in Japan. The area selected for study was the settlement of Saruba in Biratori Town, Hokkaido, where common land (Saruba-kyodoyama) has been used effectively. As a result of investigation, it has been clarified that Saruba-kyodoyama has the same fundamental characteristics as common lands in Japanese traditional communities, such as formal equality of right in the community. However, there are some important differences. In case of traditional communities in Japan, the ownership of common land has been recognized as a certification of membership in the community. On the other hand, ownership is recognized only economically as money in Saruba-kyodoyama. Frequent movements of ownership shares in Saruba-kyodoyama resulted from those features of common land in Hokkaido. Differences in the ownership and utilization of common land in Hokkaido as compared to traditional communities in Japan illustrate the differences in social characteristics between rural communities in Hokkaido and those in the rest of Japan. Therefore the author considers that analyses of characteristics of rural communities in Hokkaido with the common lands used as indices has achieved a specific effectiveness.