61 , 2017-03-28 , 金沢大学環日本海域環境研究センター = Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology Kanazawa University
This research investigates the issue of identity in a region of Japan. Its central focus is on examining the regional identity of residents in the very rural Oku-Noto region oflshikawa Prefecture in Japan. The method of examination involved surveying and interviewing local residents. In recent years, Noto, has been attracting attention because it has been officially certified and recognized for its "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems" (GIAHS). However people living in Oku-Noto complain that there is nothing there. They say that life is mundane and 'jimi' (meaning plain and uninteresting). However, as features such as GIAHS suggest, it is wrong to say that there is nothing there. I use "Ryo-kai" as a guiding philosophy in this research. The meaning of "Ryo-kai" is different from the usual meaning of the term i.e. "understanding" that is often used in Japanese. Here it refers to what underlies the acceptance of living a '.jimi' and ordinary life on a daily basis, and how this shapes a sense of regional identity. In particular, it emphasizes not only one's individual awareness but also one's consciousness as being part of a community.