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Sense of Place, Community, and Nature Management in Ogasawara, Japan: Investigating the Obeikei Narrative

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Abstract:

Multidisciplinary place studies are reviewed in order to provide a theoretical foundation on which to examine the Obeikei narrative, especially those who lived through the US Navy era (1945–1968) and who are now struggling to find their footing within the local community. The Obeikei sense of place and community are explored in terms of “getting by” within the Japanese hegemonic space, and “let nature be” within the discourse of nature management. The US Navy era was found to have a strong impact on the individual and collective identities of the Obeikei, given the unrestricted ecological encounters it allowed and the sociocultural values that emerged and formed the basis of everyday life and sense of community at this time. An examination of the Obeikei narrative provides insight into their attitudes towards nature, and why they have been reluctant to participate in the ecotourism project under way at this location—currently vying for World Heritage listing.

Keywords: COMMUNITY; ECOTOURISM; JAPAN; NATURE MANAGEMENT; OGASAWARA; PLACE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/109830410X12815527582783

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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