|Budget Amount *help
¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,500,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥700,000 (Direct Cost: ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥800,000)
The rural areas of Japan have recently attracted much more attention from not only the academics, the popular media, the policy and planning, but also ordinary people, in relation to environmental issues, food security, healthy and sound livings, and so on. Indeed, much more people have visited to the countryside in order to live, to enjoy recreation and/or tourism, to start their businesses, and especially to engage in farming. What localities attract so many people to the countryside? The author argue that the changing ruralities are interrelated to these trends. In many developed countries, for example, especially after World War II, the productivism which had dominated in the rural policy are now collapsing, and instead the post-productivist discourses are increasingly defining the rural. Under these situations, nevertheless, the dominant definition of the rural converges with a kind of rural idyll, which is in turn increasingly distinct. Such an idyll is produced, reproduced and diffused by such actors as popular media and policy-makers. At the same time, the constructed rurality is interrelated to the place identity of the local people, and then their practices of production and consumption. As for the country-life, it is in particular interesting in the Japanese context, that remoter rural areas, that is the hilly and mountainous areas, are discovered by being increasingly associated with such a notion as "nature-rich residential areas", which wipes out their image of physical and social backwardness.