Revitalization of rural communities has been addressed since the 1970s alongside the rapid economic expansion and changing social structure in mountain villages. This has two dimensions : environmental considerations and regional industrial development. The hollowing out of industry in recent years has affected mountain villages, so restructuring the economy has become an acute issue. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss the revitalization of rural communities from the perspective of regional industries. This paper aims to clarify the potential of revitalization of a mountain community by way of the regional industry.
The study area, M school district, was located in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture. There has been an active movement to revitalize the district since 1996. The characteristics of the revitalization have transformed with the development of the project in the community. The project started utilizing and visualizing local resources in the community, and also sought a way to establish the regional industry. Local resources played a vital role in the regional industry, so discovering more of these is an important challenge for the growth of local industry in the future.
Further, this paper examines the social context in which there appeared leaders for the vitalization between generations and within generations, who were upwardly mobile. The results show the following two points. First, a life course analysis among the participants clarified that the leaders were mostly aged 60, self-employed and had achieved upward mobility in their respective occupations during the period of high economic growth. Second, a hierarchical analysis revealed that revitalization of the community in the study area had developed based on their social strata during the prewar period.
Japanese rural society has rapidly changed in many aspects since World War Ⅱ. Technological change of agriculture is one of the main factors in this social change.
In Japan, agricultural machinery manufacturers have had a significant impact on mechanization in rice cropping. Agricultural machinery salesmen promote the diffusion of agricultural machinery and they are focused on in this study. Intentions and behaviors of salesmen in their sales activities are described and analyzed from the perspective of “promoters of the diffusion of agricultural mechanization technology”, “manufacturer employee”, and “farmers in the local society”. Fieldwork and interviews with farmers and agricultural machinery salesmen about the diffusion process of agricultural machinery took place in Tsuyama city, Okayama Prefecture.
Salesmen provided farmers with a huge variety of skills and knowledge about agricultural machinery and crop cultivation in the diffusion process of agricultural machinery. They promoted and supported changing the processes of rice cropping, especially rice transplanting.
Agricultural machinery manufacturers sell agricultural machinery and go after profits. Salesmen desperately work for a living under the manufacturer’s sales strategies. Sales of agricultural machinery are inextricably linked to technical guidance of agriculture, frequent repair and maintenance. Salesmen make use of their experience as farmers in sales activities. Consequently, with effectiveness of communication in rural society, “logic of capital” serves as great incentive for salesmen and their activities promote the diffusion of agricultural mechanization technology. Salesmen’s activities complement the public agricultural extension service.
This paper focuses on the expansion of Japanese peasant emigration to Manchuria and the responses of town and village offices to that situation. This paper also analyzes the various problems that arose during that process. The area in question, the Village of Aone, was a mountain village that was heavily dependent on the timber industry and the silkworm industry ; farming in the village was run on a small-scale.
Rife with industry, Kanagawa Prefecture initially had little interest in encouraging emigration to Manchuria, but the prefecture began encouraging emigration when emigration to Manchuria became national policy.The prefecture established branch villages in Manchuria with emigrants primarily from mountain villages in the prefecture with little potential for agricultural output. In 1941, the Village of Aone established a branch village in accordance with national and prefectural policies. Villages with emigrants received large subsidies from the state to improve the basis of production.
The Village of Aone sent 34 households with 156 residents to Manchuria. However, villagers were uninterested in the emigration plan and the plan initially failed to meet its quota of emigrants. As a result, participants were recruited from outside the prefecture and from urban areas in the prefecture, like the City of Yokohama. Having received the state’s subsidy, Aone’s village office had to carry out the emigration plan.
The village office was placed in a difficult position, with strong demands for emigration from the state and prefecture on the one hand and villages disinclined to emigrate on the other. Amidst these circumstances, both the village leader and individual responsible for recruiting emigrants themselves had to relocate to Manchuria.