This study, conducted at M River Park in Moriyama city, Shiga prefecture, was undertaken to elucidate aspects of mutual collaboration between residents’ associations and individuals enjoying environmental conservation in their daily lives in a suburban area. The M River, built for irrigation before the eighteenth century, is currently managed by the residents’ association and a few individuals who have managed it for pleasure and fulfillment. Officials of the residents’ association have been predominantly longer-term residents. They are self-employed people from families with generations of community residence. In contrast, the core members of the individuals are retirees who have been residents since the 1970s. Faced with environmental problems, particularly pollution and floods, related to the waterways, the residents’ association members have started waterway cleanup operations as countermeasures. The motivation of the individuals is considerably different. They manage waterways almost every day to maintain the habitat for fireflies or water flowers that make their life more enjoyable. Although no formal discussion or cooperation among them has been observed, their activities are mutually complementary. The residents’ associations can achieve environmental conservation indirectly by forming complementary relations with the individuals conducting environmental conservation activities. However, the individuals are able to continue controlling their activities through complementary relations with the residents’ associations. Through this loose mutual collaboration, residents who understand both longer-term residents’ and retirees’ differing senses of values have played a key role as mediators between them.
In Japanese family farming, farmers often hired“servants”as agricultural hired labor, even after the postwar agrarian reform was introduced. In this paper, I explore indentured service, which was the most popular form of service from the Edo period onward. The purpose of this research is to clarify how servants and farmers renewed their contracts based on micro-negotiation processes. In previous research, some researchers have mentioned that indentured servants were controlled by the patriarchal“Ie”order, while other researchers have argued that they were in the transition to modern wage labor. By focusing on renewing contracts, we can observe the conflicts between these characteristics. To analyze the servants’ experiences, informants were both former servants and farmers. Specifically, I interviewed the former servants about their choice of employers and their experiences in renewing contracts; employers about negotiations held amongst farmers in relation to“recruiting activity.”The former servants were live-in agricultural servants during and after World War II in the Shonai region, which is a typical rice-producing area. The following facts were revealed as a result of this investigation. Servants changed their employers quite frequently, and were very often headhunted. For servants, changing their employers was an opportunity to improve their working conditions. Additionally, a farmer poached servants from another farmer if he felt that another farmer already had sufficient help. This led to a redistribution of the young labor force in the Shonai region.
This paper, “The genealogy and memorandum of practical rural sociology in Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku District, Japan”, is divided into two parts. In the first part, I will trace the genealogy of empirical researches of the postwar era, which were conducted by Kitano Seiichi, Naitô Kanji, Yamamoto Yôzô, Suzuki Hiroshi. Then, I will explain how these traditions of research attitudes are succeeding and influence regional sociologists of our time who are doing research in Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku districts. In the second part, “The memorandum of practical research approach in rural sociology”, I will explain how, and why, my unique research style was born. By describing my research history and “Type-T village inspection,” which is developed from my research, I want to show the reality of a practical research approach, which is explained in connection with the process of re-opening primary schools in ultra-under populated areas, and its original intention.