Inheritance of Local Culture and Disaster: Identity-formation-model Approach

Hitomu Kotani, Kyoto University, Muneta Yokomatsu


Local culture such as rituals and landscape has been inherited throughout the history of communities. However, current young generations who are expected to succeed their culture tend to move to urban areas. In addition, relocation as a recovery plan may cause an outflow of residents from the community. This study is concerned about factors that result in such emigration other than countermeasures that aim at motivating residents to actively get involved in the reactivation process, and focuses on how residents’ identities are inextricably associated with their behavioral choices: to live as successors, to move to an urban area, or something else. In the identity-formation model, it is assumed that each resident has two types of characteristics: the specialized skill for working in an urban area and the environmental factors that form the foundation of her/his life and
self, which this study calls â€the degree of rootedness in home town.†Based on these characteristics, residents are categorized into the following groups: those who emigrate to an urban area for work with their high skills, those who vitalize their culture in their community with strong rootedness, and those who are apathetic to any activities in their community and are without much skill and rootedness. The study analyzes the conceptual structure of the choice of identity and then observes that relocation with a large loss of environmental factors could make individuals with stronger identity preferences leave the community. Finally, methods for sustainable inheritance in the recovery process are investigated.


Local culture, inheritance, identity, rootedness, identity-formation model

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