"The commons" play an important role in the "endogenous development" of a mountain village-a local production for local consumption and a beautiful townscape in Kaneyama-town, Yamagata Prefecture

Hironori Okuda, Makoto Inoue, Takaaki Komaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Western-style monophyletically extrinsic economic development, that has been a model for Japan and South Korea, is leading to a deterioration of the global environment and depletion of resources. Nations and communities are being forced into a situation where they will have to pursue "independent, polyphyletic endogenous economic development". In Kaneyama-town, local production for local consumption of "Kaneyama-type houses" which are built with local resources (Kaneyama cedar) using local techniques (Kaneyama carpentry) is bringing about "endogenous development". The purpose of this report is to examine what is spurring this development. In order to understand residents' thoughts about "Kaneyama-type houses", we sent questionnaires to them. As a result, we learned that local residents who share the "common idea" of preserving and nurturing their beautiful townscape (the local commons), order "Kaneyama-type houses" from Kaneyama carpenters and "endogenous development" is achieved by Kaneyama carpenters linking home construction with local use of Kaneyama cedar materials produced at local sawmills. The key to sustainable "endogenous development", that is, whether or not this pursuit of "endogenous development" will continue, depends on whether or not the local residents will continue to share the "common idea" of preserving and nurturing their beautiful townscape (the local commons).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalJapan Agricultural Research Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Externally publishedYes



  • Local commons
  • Local residents
  • Local resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Biotechnology

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