FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2016, no. 28

 

“NEW FARMERS” IN JAPAN

Ksenia Kurochkina

Waseda University, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies
Nishi-Waseda Bldg. 7F, 1-21-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
ksenia-kurochkina()yandex.ru
ksenia()fuji.waseda.jp

Abstract: Since the 1990s many young Japanese people have started to repopulate rural areas to work as farmers. The number of new farmers increased threefold for the last twenty years. Popular images as well as recent scholarship on the subject portray young farmers as striving for rural revitalisation, resisting the conventional workplace, nostalgic, and essentially non-materialistic. This paper argues that there are various motivations behind recent ruralisation of young people in Japan. Longstanding fieldwork in the Japanese countryside (2011–2015) reveals that many young people aim to escape from the system of collective capitalism by choosing the work and life style of a rural farmer. They strive for a meaningful job, slow life, and worklife balance. At the same time, some people utilise new opportunities in the countryside, develop their agribusinesses, and do not attempt to resist the status quo. Countryside in contemporary Japan creates a new social arena for people to rethink their values of work and life.

Keywords: new farmers, Japan, work culture, motivation of ruralisation.

To cite: Kurochkina K., 'Novye fermery v sovremennoy Yaponii' [“New Farmers” in Japan], Antropologicheskij forum, 2016, no. 28, pp. 260–275.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/028/kurochkina.pdf