Sports events that take advantage of the culture and environment of rural areas have been actively held in many places in Japan. Sports events can be an effective tourism industry in areas that attempt revitalization, but the industrialization of sports events may lead to the emotional labor of the participating residents “hospitality” [Sudo, 2008].
How were the volunteer residents expected to manage their emotions in the industrialized sports events and how did they respond? This paper discusses the marathon event for community development in Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture, as a case study.
At the event, the organizers saw the event as an opportunity to entertain the runners. On the other hand, the residents reinterpreted it as the opportunity to maintain and reconfigure their relationships. This reinterpretation enabled residents to participate in the event without falling into emotional labor.
Previous research on sports events and regional revitalization has mainly focused on the management methods of the events from the perspective of “impact” and “community development”. In these studies, the behavior of residents has been analyzed from the perspective of project management. The behavior out of the philosophy of the project hasn't been the subject of discussion. This paper clarifies the logic and behavior of local residents who relativize the philosophy of the project by looking at local life, and discusses the significance and limitations of the findings of emotional labor.