Cultural analysis of the Karakuwa fishing community in Japan and Fishermen's reforestation movement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fn1071211

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  • Based on the author's ethnographic research at the Karakuwa fishing community in Japan, this thesis explains a cultural process of the local people's synthesis of the values they place on nature and their everyday behavior in a modern industrial world. Explicated by ethnographic narrative, this study focuses on a revitalization movement similar to others attempted by fishermen in other parts of Japan. These revitalization movements embody values, held by fishermen for centuries, that nature should be respected. These movements also serve as symbolic activities to resurrect natural resource users' visions of nature, that emphasize the connectedness of all parts of nature including humans. In the specific revitalization movement studied here, the activists insist on the fishermen's knowledge of the connection between reforestation upstream on a coastal river and the coastal fishing ground. This study also demonstrates how significant it is to know the insiders' points of view and their cultural values when we try to understand the relationship between humans and nature. By studying what kind of traditional knowledge the Karakuwa fishermen have utilized to support the fishermen's reforestation activities and what has been dismissed, we can gain insight into the process of value transformation that takes place side by side with the actual environmental degradation and economic changes experienced by the local fishermen. In this study, the conclusion is that local people manage with those contradictions by categorizing events along a continuum between "reality" and "ideal." This study contributes to the local people in the Karakuwa fishing community as a source of cultural information extending their knowledge about their indigenous identity and furthering their understanding of how they revitalize their local traditions yet modernize in this era of globalization.
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