표지이미지
  • ISSN 2508-8297 (Print)
  • ISSN 2671-7123 (Online)
Symbolic Politics of Regional Revitalization: A Case Study of Yusuhara-cho, Japan
Jin Myong-suk

Vol.4, pp.71 – 105, 2020


Abstract
This article explores the various changes that the residents of Matsubara District in Japan enacted after the town was granted permission to implement forest therapy and the ways in which they embraced this public policy. However, it must be noted that the government did not unilaterally impose this policy on the residents while they passively accepted it. Although the incorporation of forest therapy could have been seen as the national government’s expansion of recreational facilities for its citizens, some community members saw it as a buried treasure trove waiting to be discovered by the revitalization of their region. In this article, I will focus on the means through which a policy that was conceived and implemented by the local government won the acceptance and understanding of community members. To do so, I will investigate this case through the framework of regional revitalization. This paper is an analysis of the discourse on regional revitalization by way of forest therapy in the context of symbolic politics. Regional revitalization provided a strong motivation for residents of declining farming and mountain communities to unite. I will examine how this phenomenon functioned as a mechanism for political symbolic value.
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