Can Satoyama Offer a Realistic Solution for a Low Carbon Society? Public Perception and Challenges Arising

Yuuki Iwata, Takakazu Yumoto, and Yukihiro Morimoto

Abstract This chapter aims to analyze public perception in Japan of rural landscapes, known as Satoyama, and to investigate the possible future role of Satoyama in relationship to the development of a low carbon society in Japan. The data used were from the survey “The Top 100 Japanese Rural Landscapes” conducted by one of the biggest newspaper companies in Japan in 2008 and an additional questionnaire survey conducted in 2010.

The results indicated people’s detachment from the productive activities asso­ciated with rural landscapes, and their association of it instead with new values particularly related to cultural services such as the beauty of landscapes, and provision of places with a sense of traditional living, where one can be in touch with nature and with a sense of seasons and history.

The main reasons people could not move to rural areas were jobs, money, houses, or lack of human connection to rural areas. For Satoyama to play a realistic role in the development of a low carbon society, these challenges would have to be overcome.

Keywords Cultural service • Ecosystem service • Low carbon society • Public perception • Rural landscapes • Satoyama • Text analysis

Y. Iwata (*)

Agriculture and Food Science Centre, School of Agriculture and Food Science,

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland e-mail: yuuki. research@gmail. com

T. Yumoto

Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, Section of Ecology and Conservation Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Y. Morimoto

Bio-Environmental Design, Faculty of Bio-environmental Science,

Kyoto Gakuen University, Kyoto, Japan

N. Nakagoshi and J. A. Mabuhay (eds.), Designing Low Carbon Societies in Landscapes, Ecological Research Monographs, DOI 10.1007/978-4-431-54819-5_6, © Springer Japan 2014

6.1 Introduction