Organic Sources for the Revitalization of Rural Japan: The Craft Potters of Sado
University of Sheffield - School of East Asian Studies; Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
Japanstudien, Vol. 18, pp. 149-180, 2008
The population and society of Sado Island are declining at an alarming rate. Much of this decline has been due to endemic outward migration of the island’s younger people to Japan’s large urban areas in search of opportunities for tertiary education and salaried employment. Even though opportunities to find work in Sado do exist, these are in occupations that younger people currently find unattractive. Moreover, education in Sado currently does not serve local circumstances and needs well, being organised primarily by and for the urban centre. This research starts by presenting an overview of the issues surrounding population, education, and employment on Sado, and then moves to presenting a case study of the life and work Sado Island’s craft-potters. The article uses statistical data from official bodies and unstructured interviews with the island’s residents as empirical support for its theoretical discussions. The article concludes by hinting at a possible stabilization of the population through a combination of educational reform, craft-based employment re-generation, and taking advantage of emerging trends in world tourism.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Sado Island, rural revitalization, craft industries, employment, secondary education, sustainability
JEL Classification: Z10, R1, R5, Q2, P1, O18Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 23, 2011 ; Last revised: January 6, 2012
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