Rural communities in Japan have suffered from significant depopulation and economic downturn in post-war years. Low birth rates, aging populations, agricultural decline and youth migration to large cities have been compounded by the triple disaster of 11 March 2011, which destroyed farming and fishing communities and left thousands of people homeless. This book identifies these challenges and acknowledges that an era of post-growth has arrived in Japan. Through exploring new forms of regional employment, community empowerment, and reverse migration, the authors address potential opportunities and benefits that may help to create and ensure the quality of life in depopulating areas and post-disaster scenarios. This book will be of interest not only to students of Japanese society, but also to those outside of Japan who are seeking new approaches for tackling depopulation challenges.

part 1|61 pages

Challenges in rural areas

chapter 1|15 pages

Social sustainability in post-3.11 coastal Japan

The significance of social capital
ByAlyne E. Delaney

chapter 2|16 pages

Schools in remote areas of Japan

Challenges for youth, parents and community
ByJohannes Wilhelm

chapter 3|14 pages

The Heisei Municipal Mergers

Measures of sustainability, equality and identity
ByAnthony S. Rausch

chapter 4|13 pages

Agriculture in Japan

Free trade and the need for reform
ByStephanie Assmann

part 2|29 pages

Case studies

chapter 6|13 pages

Working for others in Kawakami

Contradictive expectations, tensions, and negotiating power relations
ByMeng Liang

part 3|44 pages

Sustainability across generations

chapter 7|13 pages

Young urban migrants in the Japanese countryside between self-realization and slow life?

The quest for subjective well-being and post-materialism
BySusanne Klien

chapter 8|15 pages

Islands for life

Artistic responses to remote social polarization and population decline in Japan
ByAdrian Favell

chapter 9|12 pages

Reforming life as mothers and wives in rural Japan

The post-WWII life reform (seikatsu kaizen) initiative in Hamlet M, Tochigi prefecture
ByNoriko Yamaguchi

part 4|30 pages

Brand management and tourism

chapter 10|12 pages

Tourism as a future for local rail services?

An analysis of debates in Akita prefecture*
ByPeter Ackermann

chapter 11|16 pages

Hokkaido's overlapping protected areas and regional revitalization

The case study of Toya-Usu geopark in Shikotsu-Toya national park
ByThomas E. Jones