Accepted paper:

Transforming geographic disadvantage: how Ojika islanders turn their hardships around

Authors:

Chikako Yamada (University of Nagasaki)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I examine islanders’ sense of comfort by focusing on how they are managing such challenges as population graying, depopulation, and governmental reforms in island communities in Nagasaki, Japan.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I examine islanders' sense of comfort by focusing on how they are managing such challenges as population graying, depopulation, and governmental reforms in island communities in Nagasaki, Japan. The residents of Ojika Township in Nagasaki have been working on island community-making (shimazukuri) even as the islands have been facing multiple social challenges. Ojika is located at the north end of Nagasaki's Goto Archipelago and consists of 17 islands. The total population as of November 2013 is approximately 2800, 44% of whom are elderly. In 2007 and 2008, the People to People American high school student ambassadors consecutively chose Ojika as the best place out of 48 places they visited around the world. How did Ojika achieve this? For centuries, Ojika was called the islands of hospitality, and the islanders positively transformed their geographic disadvantage. How do they continue to do this? By analyzing their strategy, I examine Ojika islanders' sense of comfort.

panel P027
Considering ideas and practices to create "age-friendly communities" (NME/Commission on Aging and the Aged panel)