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Constructing agricultural and industrial heritage in Hida region, Japan
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. University of Tartu. (Environmental Humanities Laboratory)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5709-0217
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The presentation analyses the tension between the construction of agricultural and industrial heritage in Japan. The nostalgic image of historical landscapes is increasingly penetrating into protection policies as a model of sustainability, focusing primarily on rice production landscapes. Yet Japan is an old industrial country. In a prevalent discourse of unique national harmony with nature, industrial heritage sites need to appeal to a different sense of uniqueness and value.

This paper traces two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Tomioka Silk Mill (inscribed in 2014) and Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama (inscribed in 1995), and their reception and representation in relation to changing ideas on value, heritage and Japaneseness. Both of the sites are tightly related to silk industry, but while Tomioka is recognized as the cradle of industrial Japan, Hida region is increasingly interpreted as an isolated rural settlement and linked with traditional agricultural activities, including rice cultivation, which, however, is extremely recent for the area. In addition, both of the areas are tightly interconnected in 20th century Japanese literature and film through stories of serious exploitation of adolescent girls in early Japanese silk industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
world heritage, landscape, historical GIS, industrial heritage
National Category
History Human Geography Social Anthropology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173844OAI: diva2:855432
6th Nordic Geographers Meeting, Geographical Imagination: Interpretations of Nature, Art and Politics, 15 - 19 June 2015, TALLINN & TARTU, ESTONIA
Wenner-Gren Foundations

QC 20150929

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

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