ゲンカイ シュウラク ニ イキル ヒトビト ノ カタリ ノ キョウユウカ ノ ココロミ : シマネケン ウンナンシ カケアイチョウ ノ イチシュウラク ヲ ジレイ トシテ
An experimental study for sharing "the stories" among the people in a marginal village : A case study in the community of Kakeya-cho, Unnan-shi, Shimane
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Eguchi, Takayasu Faculty of Law and Literature, Shimane University
Kataoka, Yoshimi Faculty of Law and Literature, Shimane University
Fukino, Takashi Faculty of Law and Literature, Shimane University
Rural communities have played various roles that go beyond agricultural production. Recently, because of the rising age of the rural population, in addition to conventional roles (e.g., funeral rites and traditional events), the community is expected to play the roles that families have traditionally played (e.g., caring for elderly and doing household chores). As a result many rural communities in the hilly and mountainous areas are in a state of crisis because the number of people and households continues to decrease.
Those communities in which the people can no longer play many of their roles are referred to as "marginal villages" and seen as a serious problem for the residents' well-being. Especially, keeping residents from losing their purpose in life may become a matter of vital importance in such marginal villages.
Although everyone has his/her own meaning or joy in life, our previous study suggests that people in marginal villages tend to want to get a feeling of really living through experiences that demonstrate that the significance of their existence is accepted and understood by other people. This tendency may be related to the fact that residents of marginal villages are at a disadvantage in terms of doing activities and work.
Based on this idea, we developed an anthological study that records what the researchers heard. This project aimed to collect the live voices of the people in a marginal village and then give them those voices in the anthological form. It was an experiment to give the people the opportunity to rediscover their neighborhood.
This study was carried out in a marginal village in Kakeya-cho, Unnan-shi, Shimane prefecture. In 2007, we conducted interviews with 17 residents (total population 39), organized the stories they told the researchers, and published them in an anthology. After publication, we interviewed the same people again in order to assess the influence of the anthology.
As a result, we found the following:1) the anthology might cause mutual understanding among the people;2) telling their own things to other people to make the anthology might bring them the real feeling of their own lives. From these findings, we suggest that the anthology project as an approach from outside could contribute to the well-being of the residents in marginal villages.
It is certain that such an approach is nothing but a first step. Verifying whether the mutual understanding brought about through the anthology causes the revitalization of the community should be investigated further in the future.
San'in Research Center, Faculty of Law and Literature, Shimane University
Departmental Bulletin Paper
San'in Research Center, Faculty of Law and Literature
1+ / 2008-