Threat of Bio-Cultural Diversity Loss Evaluated by International Students; Case of Traditional Japanese Paper (Washi) Making in Futamata Community


Kanazawa City was designated as UNESCO Creative City in the field of crafts and folk, and the demand to the locally made traditional crafts still remains high in the city. However, after the rapid economical growth, the utilization of the local natural resource for traditional crafts making was reduced due to the introduction of the cheap materials from China. Traditional Japanese paper or Washi, remained one of the important bio-cultural elements that still use the local natural resources for its production and its production is managed in the sustainable manner with less negative impact to the environment. We have conducted the educational field trips into the local Japanese community named Futamata in Mount Iozen region of Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The region is famous for making washi during the centuries, however due to the depopulation and aging problems now only three craftsmen have remained in the community. The culture faces the threat to be lost with no followers. 20 international students visited the fields and made their evaluations about the bio-cultural linkage, and gave some recommendations for the sustainable traditional crafts making. The outcomes of the field trips showed, that biological and cultural diversity were rich in the region, but, the sustainable practice of washi making can not survive unless the bottom-up approach of the local authorities for its preservations.

Author Information
Aida Mammadova, Kanazawa University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2017
Stream: Social Sustainability & Sustainable Living

This paper is part of the ACSEE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon