Belated Season's Greetings 2012/2013

Hi everyone!

First of all, my sincere apologies for the hiatus. I was pleasantly surprised at the considerable views the blog enjoys 21 months after the last update. Thank you all for your visits.

I had started this blog as a personal project that went alongside my previous employment: a university-run regional revitalization program at the tip of Noto Peninsula. After the programs successful termination in March this year, I left to resume life as ABD and unpaid fellow. I had then thought to abandon this blog imbued with references to my previous work arrangement. (ETA: the program site linked in past articles has been taken over by a successive program launched in Oct 2012 for which I did not apply.)

Nine months on I still have no idea what I will be doing next spring except that I finish my dissertation as soon as possible. I do enjoy life in Noto nonetheless, writing up while observing Notos satoyama-satoumi phenomenon from a slightly different angle. It was my interest, after all, in the political ecology of biodiversity conservation and value-creation at the rural periphery that ran through my doctoral study in anthropology / area studies on Malawi that had brought me to Noto. As I dedicate nearly all my waking hours to dissertation writing, I may stumble upon a few points here and there relevant to the blog theme that I might like to share.

I thank you again for the many visits.  
Have a wonderful New Year & hope to see you more in 2013!

19 件のコメント:

  1. Fantastic if you could keep going with your blog would be great.
    Would be cool also if you could tell us more about the link between governance structure (Political ecology), biodiversity and ecosystem services in Noto.
    Be aware that we created a Google+ community called "Biocultural Landscapes and Seascapes" (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/110834970079444098643) where you can advertise your posts. Many of our members would be very happy to know what you are doing. Also you could share your knowledge on the relation between ecology, sociology, economy and cultural identity in Ishikawa prefecture. I am fascinated by this area.
    Cheers - JB

  2. Hello Jean-Baptiste, thank you for the encouragement. I'm afraid things will rather be slow here for the moment as my mind is set on writing up about Malawi. Meanwhile I could probably post things I've already written about the past project to give you an idea about the governance-academe setting we were in.
    Congratulations for the community you have created and thank you for your invitation! I'll try that out once I figure out how google+ works...
    What fascinates you about Ishikawa? Have you visited the area or do you plan to?

    Best _Sets

  3. Hi Nya_m,
    sorry for the late reply. I just discovered it today.
    Don't worry to much for your blog's regularity. I am a very patient follower. I'm following you since 1-2 years I think (with another nickname + rss feeds). Be sure that you will still have me in the future.
    I really hope you will be able to understand Google+. I discovered it last year (I don't have facebook) and found it is the perfect tool for professional use. I could not imagine that now I have 150 followers on the topic I love, i.e., biocultural landscapes and seascapes (including SEPLS ...). I really hope to see you there. If you come, I will be very happy to put you straight away as a moderator/manager of the community and let you drive topics and conversations on the them you want, e.g., satoyama/satoumi.
    Why I like Ishikawa. I haven't been there but I know it virtually quite well. First we have our best friend-family who is from this place. Most importantly, I really want one day to work in Kanazawa on satoyama/satoumi issues. Koji Nakamura, Anne McDonald were really influencial for me. I love their work since ages. I could not before, because of funding opportunities, but now I am pushing hard my current work to be able to present them in a near future something around the link between biodiversity, ecosystem services, economy, governance and culture for landscapes. What fascinates me about Kanazawa is the articulation of biodiversity conservation, forestry, agriculture, seaculture, urbanisation and traditions along a short spatial gradient (okuyama-Nakayama-satoyama-Chinju no mori-Satoumi- and let say"OkuUmi" for the sake of symmetry). I love this rural region because the relation between nature and culture looks really like the celtic rural region I come from. I would say more than the other regions of Japan. In my region (Bretagne) landscapes are unique and integrated traditional systems that functionally co-exist on an ecological and cultural point of view. People from the sea are said to be from "Armor" and live mostly from sea farming, seaweeds, fishing, sea tourism; whereas inland people are said to be from "ArGoat" and live mostly from forest products and activities. In-between, people live in a semi-forested/agricultural system called "Bocage" that is made of a field matrix (used for cattle, cereals and vegetables) surrounded by a network of woodlots and banked/ditched hedgerows (used for hunting, shelter, energy ...). The "Argoat/Bocage/Armor" gradient can operate on very short distances depending on the topography, influencing therefore the local biodiversity and culture. Pretty much like your region. To understand more why I am interested by your region, see what I wrote and synthesized here (read the text on the right side): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL44890B81668DB62B
    that stimulated me to do that:
    and finally that: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/110834970079444098643?rls=ig&hl=en&sa=N

    I really hope to hear more from you, here and on the community I created.

  4. Hi again nya_m (Setsuko Nakayama),
    I see 3 google+ profiles with this name. Can you tell me if one of these is yours? I will add you in my "cultural ecology" circle and exchange info on satoyama/uni or others relate on cultural ecology/ecological anthropology. You can also use your google+ account for this blog instead of nya_m. It's easier to manage that way. find my profile is here https://plus.google.com/u/0/113715128728162470816/about. feel free to add me if you are interested (don't feel obliged) Cheers - Jean-Baptiste

  5. Hi Jean-Baptiste, thanks again for your patience. I just noticed your comments. Apparently the notification system is not working! I'm still also trying to sort out google+. Nya_m comes from my Malawian name and I do have three inert blogs under this handle. Would that explain the three google+ profiles?
    Fascinating to hear of your background and interests. No wonder your enthusiasm towards the area. Please allow me some more time to take them in, but for the moment I find your distinction between satoumi and "okuumi" interesting. Since such terms have much to do with spatial models organized around human habitation, I wonder about the use of "oku" which carry connotations not only of "beyondness" but also "inwardness" and how that might apply to the seascape. As an anthropologist I prefer to work from actual terms seafarers have used. If that might add to your reason to come to Ishikawa--and find out for yourself!

  6. ...so you're doing a thematic week on seaweed cultivation. I did my master's thesis on seaweed farmers in southern Japan. You have to wait for me before closing the topic!

  7. Perfect I'm waiting for you. I will keep doing it for a week. Really hope to see you next week on our BCLS community

  8. I understand your preference for actual terms, but if don't make any mistake, SatoUmi is also a pure modern invention as a word; but no doubt that local people will use it everywhere across japan.
    Also, I created the word Oku-Umi, especially as you say to refer to both "beyondness" and "inwardness", because as an ecologist by training it emphasizes the sanctuarity, and even sacred aspects of this wild distant marine zone. This word emphasizes the fact that this zone has (or should have) its own 'internal ecological dynamics' (ecology) and 'soul' (ethnology), almost independent from human activities. So "Oku" as inwardness refers to this necessary radical alterity of we have to recognize for this extreme marine zone (i.e., the other of the other distant from the human sphere, from the "Esse" and limit the "Inter"-"Esse", as defined by Emmanuel Levinas), an alterity that set and built the necessary narration and boundaries of human influence in the mind of people.

  9. I see your point about the newly invented terms. Satoumi, Satogawa, Satomizuumi... they're everywhere now, but it's not like everybody embraces these terms without stopping to think where they came from. I sometimes wonder how these new terms articulate to preexisting terms and concepts and affect the lived-in experiences of such places.
    Your reference to Levinas' radical alterity is illuminating, and is far more interesting than the mechanical assignment of "sato" where human influences are to be positively evaluated (in biological terms). I'd still like to see whether the same constructs of self/alterity and spatial cognition apply to Japanese coastal contexts. Have you explored other marital terms, old and new?

  10. A propos, I'm currently writing on spatial cognition and navigation by Lake Malawi fishers, so all this has been stimulating, thank you!

  11. marital terms or marine terms??? if marital can you explain what you mean by that???
    also, I will answer your point:
    "I'd still like to see whether the same constructs of self/alterity and spatial cognition apply to Japanese coastal contexts".
    In Bretagne, celtic/animist region where I come from, "little" gods and spiritual entities are associated in the landscape with elevated stones (e.g., menhir and dolmen like in the village of carnac and many others), but also old trees and animals, and in the coastal seascape with anthropomorphic granite rocks, islands and other marine lives. These little gods were traditionally associated with ecosystem services and mutual relationship, they were respected but not feared. However, the remote ocean was associated with fewer strong gods that were difficult to control. The remote ocean was defined as the other of the other, a radical process of alterity and deep respect. These gods were feared and praying them for the life of fishermen is still a normal practice in some traditional fishermen villages. But in most coastal villages these gods were replaced by catholic saints, but basically the practice remains the same (saints = Gods, little local saints on the catholic calendar = little gods, famous saints who came from overseas = strong gods protectors of fishermen). This is not observed in other french regions as they were traditionally not animist.
    Would it be a good way to start thinking the problem and interviewing fishermen in Japan? What do you think?

  12. Just to tell you that the google+ community I created (BCLS: Biocultural Landscapes and Seascapes) started this week-end to attract IUCN/UN scientists and managers working on resilience of social-ecological systems and chairing IUCN projects. I asked one of them to present the projects he is involved. this coming week would be great if you had time also to join and present in few words your work on the Noto Peninsula in relation with SatoUmi (or other things), with GIAHS and the big challenges around the IUCN world heritage site. It would be a way to connect to these guys too, if you are still interested. I really really hope you will have time to join this week.
    My best regards,

    PS1: I extend the special week on Biocultural-seascapes this communing week, such that you can have time to contribute and interact with these guys. Anyway the past piosts can be seen forever.
    PS2: you can create a google+ page on "Satoyama & SatoUmi" too (in 5 mn), that will be associated to your google+ profile that you created before (5 mn). Your Posts on your page can be shared in one-click to the BCLS community and others. If you create a page, you can advertise it in the community. I will be the first to follow you, but surely not the only one given the people in the BCLS community. G+ is the fastest growing and second largest social network on Earth now, so it will boost the number of comments and potential connections with interesting people, compared to google-Blogger (that is unfortunately dying and replaced by google+). I cannot belive the rate at which people join the BCLS community, as I believed no-one carred about this topic.
    PS3: your blog can be linked to your google profile too (like I did), such that you can cross post very easily to blogger, G+ communities and G+ pages. This will increase number of interesting people coming to your blog too. Trust me. Easy

  13. Oops--my bad or the auto-correction system's. I think I tried to type "maritime".
    Your description of Bretagne fascinates me with parallels to this area regarding animism and their syncreticity with foreign beliefs and the rituals for maritime safety, etc.

    > The remote ocean was defined as the other of the other, a radical process of alterity

    I'm afraid the kind of remoteness as in "remote ocean" does not translate well into "oku", hence my initial discomfort with okuumi. Oku can imply deepness, but as such can also be applied to places like "inner" bay.

    > Would it be a good way to start thinking the problem and interviewing fishermen in Japan? What do you think?

    If you could allow yourself enough time to become familiar with the physical and social setting as well as attain a good command of the fisher's tongue, yes. There should be plenty of literature to take in as well.

    I'm afraid I have to get back to writing for now. Good luck!

  14. Sorry, I just noticed your reply came in before mine!

  15. Good luck too and catch you later. Cheers - Jean-Baptiste

  16. Hi Jean-Baptiste, sorry always for the delay. High dissertation season if you remember what that means--Parvis Koohafkan's in Suzu today and tomorrow but I'm nailed to my desk right now. A French tv director's also shooting the area, so I gave his guide this discussion thread hoping to inspire. Good to see Ankei-san in BCLS. See you there when I get a few more chapters rolling. Cheers, Sets

  17. So you know Ankei-San? did you you work with him already? After he joined BCLS and had the chance to discuss a bit with him, I decided to read some of his work. I really like what he is doing. Free mind.
    For the dissertation season, I understand you very well. Hard time indeed.
    As you probably realized on BCLS and on the youtube channel of BCLS, I am following carefully Mr Koohafkan's work on GIASH. It's too bad you could not see him the other day. I know you posted last time a seminar on GIASH. Are you directly involved with GIASH?
    Funny a french TV channel came to see the area. Was it for the Nato peninsula and the world heritage classification? Which channel was it? was it the public French-German channel Arte?
    Take care and good luck for the other chapters. Jean-Ba

  18. Hello there again, thanks for the comment.
    I've known Ankei-san for 20 yrs now through Eco-Anth circles, since way before satoyama & satoumi entered scientific jargon. (Which also shows how overdue my dissertation is) If you could appreciate his free spirit I'm sure you would understand the value of temporary detachment from "glocal" politics to engage in critical & unrestrained thinking ;-) Too many interesting things happening here right now but for the moment I need to churn down 150 pages/day of literature of another place on earth where scientific intervention over local resource management resulted in utter failure...
    If you're interested in Parviz Koohafkan's seminars in Noto they should be up on the UNU-IAS site now. Would be interested to hear what you think. Anyone who resides on a GIAHS site should be directly involved but let's say I was more active while on the job.
    The French tv that came to Noto was trying to make a 1hr travel program. Not sure though which channel it was. Interesting article btw in BCLS by Singh(2013) though my sentiment echoes Narotzky's on Agrawal(2005). Thanks and take care, you too. __Sets

  19. I understand very well. Good luck Setsuko. Take care.