Designing the communication of traditional ecological knowledge

A Noto case study

Authored by: Yuki Masami

Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138053137
eBook ISBN: 9781315167343
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the communication of cultural and ecological knowledge in Japanese rural agrarian environments called satoyama. As a variation of the modern pastoral, satoyama also contains what Heather I. Sullivan calls the “Dark Pastoral,” which signifies romantic idealization of rural life on the one hand and the darkness of industrial consumer societies on the other. Such dark satoyama, however, has attracted those who pursue a more sustainable way of life. Focusing on one such case in a remote village on Japan’s Noto Peninsula, this chapter examines how one family of new residents design their position and communication to learn the place-rooted knowledge, or “traditional ecological knowledge” (TEK), which has been practiced by native villagers. The following three points are delineated as major characteristics of the communication of TEK in a modern context: blending scientific knowledge of ecology into traditional knowledge, learning through the senses, and communication through food.

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