Focusing on major works of the painter Hirafuku Hyakusui, this paper attempts to reconsider the historical context and significance of the 1930 Rome Exhibition of Japanese Art (Esposizione d’Arte Giapponese) in which the painter participated with his paintings, the role he played, and his reflections on Japanese and Western paintings after his visits to European countries. Sharing characteristics of the Rin school, such as sophisticated decorative design and a dynamic large scale composition, his three paintings to be examined are Crane and Blue Waves (1926), Rough Coast (1926, with plovers), and Rough Coast (1929, with cormorants). The last was displayed in the 1930 Rome Exhibition and gifted to Mussolini.
Akita Prefecture is experiencing the fastest depopulation and has achieved the highest aging rate in Japan. The community shrinkages are remarkable, especially in rural or mountainous areas, and the Akita Prefectural Government has implemented various types of rural revitalization projects for such communities. This paper focuses on a unique rural revitalization project established by the Akita Prefectural Government in 2011, the GB Business Project. GB is an abbreviation of the two Japanese words for “old man” and “old woman.” As a rural revitalization policy, the GB Business Project aims to generate second income for elderly people in rural communities by cooperative marketing of their sansai mountain vegetables and other natural resources to the supermarkets in metropolitan areas. This paper summarizes the history and features of the GB Business Project and explores its diverse local practices and its importance to local communities.
“Akita City Japanese Language Class” is a Japanese language class for foreign residents of Akita City in Japan, run by the Akita city government. With the increasingly diverse backgrounds and needs of students, the operation of this language class requires further reforms. This paper provides an overview of the development of the Japanese language support system in Akita and an analysis of its development in three periods: 1) from the 1980s, the period of support system by volunteer supporters, 2) from 1995, the period of local government initiative, and 3) from 2016, the period of increase in short-term residents. Empirical data led us to change our teaching practices and revise our understanding of the role of Japanese language classes run by local governments.
Tourism activities shrank due to the COVID-19 pandemic almost everywhere in the world in 2020. Akita Prefecture is no exception. This study attempts to quantify the economic impact of the pandemic based on tourism statistics in the second quarter of 2020. The calculation indicated the reduction of prefectural GDP by 37.5 billion yen, gross value added by 19.4 billion yen, and household income by 9.6 billion yen. Employment is expected to decrease by 3,876 employees.