Donnerstag, 09. Dezember 2021, 12:30 - 14:00 iCal

u:japan lectures s03e09 - Junko Fukumoto

Community-based Renewable Energy Structures: A Case of Small Hydropower in a Japanese Rural Community

09.12.2021 12:30 - 14:00

A virtual u:japan lunch lecture by Junko Fukumoto (Fukuoka Prefectural University)


Online Event

| Abstract |

Since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Japan has started to turn its attention towards renewable energy. Before the accident, renewable energy attracted little attention in Japan, and the rate of expanding energy production in that direction was very low. Unlike Austria or Germany, Japan has been slow to implement new institutional or political measures to stimulate the expansion of renewable energy, which is why it is still not among the popular ways of energy production. Further, the public’s interest regarding renewable energy is rather low and the popularization due to social movements cannot be anticipated anytime soon. Due to Japan’s rather steep topography, one might expect small hydropower generation to be an obvious choice of energy production. However, just like other forms of renewable energy, the introduction of small hydropower generation is still scarce.

However, while their numbers remain low, it is indisputable, that small hydropower plants are looking back on a long history within Japan. How are they being sustained, even though they receive neither favorable treatment by official the government, nor support by citizen’s high environmental consciousness?

In this presentation I will use an ethnographic case-study to disclose, how the preservation of small hydropower plants hinges on the traditional ways in rural communities throughout Japan. In order to find a realistic way to expand the usage of renewable energy in Japan it is essential to first understand the current state of rural communities. While considering the aspects mentioned above, I will introduce the structures and equality of rice cultivation in rural hamlets in Japan.


| Bio |

Junko Fukumoto is a lecturer at Fukuoka Prefectural University. After graduating from Waseda University, she continued her studies at Kumamoto University, specializing in Community Sociology, Environmental Sociology and Rural Sociology. Using ethnographic fieldwork, she focusses mainly on research regarding depopulated rural hamlets, the application of renewable energy and topics regarding life in rural areas, such as the problems surrounding agricultural leaders and damages due to wildlife.


| Date & Time |

u:japan lecture | s03e09

Thursday 2021-12-09, 12:30~14:00

max. 300 participants


| Further Questions? |

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Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/Japanologie und AAJ (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan)


Florian Purkarthofer
Department of East Asian Studies