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Idealised Landscapes and Heritage: Past and Future Sustainability in Hida
Mt Fuji World Heritage Research Centre.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. University of Tartu.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5709-0217
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The designation of historical heritage occurs on the basis of modern values and ideologies that are supposedly embodied in the cultural landscapes of the nominated area, without considering the actual historical contexts supporting them. This paper discusses the meaning of historical heritage in the modern socio-cultural contexts by presenting results of the GIS analysis of a historical database in the Hida Province (present Gifu Prefecture), as an example, focusing on the observed historical changes from a landscape perspective.

                      While located in deep mountains, Hida villages are often marketed as secluded places, cut off from the Modern world ("the last unexplored area of Japan" according to the UNESCO world heritage nomination documents), with a high level of auto-sufficiency and harmonious relationship with the environment. However, the analyses show that Hida has never been isolated; rather, the inter-regional trading network was the pre-requisite for the formation of this regional landscape throughout history, since it was dependent on gunpowder and silk industry. Originally nominated for its architectural qualities, the Hida villages are increasingly perceived through the prism of ecologically sustainable traditional rice farming. Contrasting historical data with modern discourse analysis, we question the concept of sustainability in imagined past and protected present landscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nanzan University, Japan, 2014.
Keyword [en]
landscape, world heritage, Shirakawa village, historical GIS
National Category
Social Anthropology History Archaeology Cultural Studies Human Geography
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173842OAI: diva2:855427
Anthropology of Japan in Japan Autumn Meeting Japan’s Cultural, Social, and Natural Landscapes: Challenges and Developments.
Wenner-Gren Foundations

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Lindström, Kati
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History of Science, Technology and Environment
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