The possibility of Web-based media to build a creative community in rural area: Case study in Okhotsk region of Hokkaido, Japan - Presentation at IAMCR 2018
The possibility of Web-based media
to build a creative community in rural area:
Case study in Okhotsk region of Hokkaido, Japan
(Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences)
Kazuya Sano @sanokazuya0306
• Born in 1991 and grown up in Engaru town, Hokkaido, Japan
• Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering), Osaka University
→ Ad agency: Mass-Media Account
→ Master of Media Creation,
Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS)
→ BizDev / Researcher
• Media Sociology
• Internet Culture
• Open Innovation
• Creative Ideas
1. Background and Context, Research Question
2. Practice and Analysis
3. Conclusion and Discussion
Background and Context
•Japanese population peaked at 2008 and started decreasing
•Aging population and decreasing children are serious problem
•Urban overpopulation and rural depopulation
are also serious problem
•(And I want to live in my hometown,
but it’s difficult for several reasons, so now I’m living in Tokyo)
Characteristics of Japanese Rural Attractive Area
• Some Japanese rural towns launch new sustainable activities
by bottom-up approach, it become famous by some media,
that attracts more active people, and launch further new activities.
Florida’s “the Creative Class”
•A common point of them was
an accumulation of “the Creative Class”
• A social class is said “the Creative Class”
• The Creative Class people come together
where the Creative Class people is
(2003 / 2014)
Web-Based Media Utilization,
and Community Building of Modern Young People
•There are several Web-based platform and communities in Japan
(i.e. 2channel, niconico, mainly for nerds) from around 2000.
•These are not related to geographic environment,
but are related to specific symbols
•The people in digital age create and join communities
through web-based media.
•RQ2: Through web-based media,
is it possible to build a community (a local community)
which deals with a speciﬁc area as its symbol,
and have a positive effect to the area?
Can people getting come together in rural area in Japan,
based on the perspective of “the Creative Class”?
Background of Hokkaido
•The most north-eastern position in East Asia
•Famous and popular as beautiful nature sights
and delicious foods in East Asia,
so there are a lot of tourist (50million / year).
Population: 5,370,807 (2017)
Area: 83,423.82 square km
Background of Okhotsk Region
•The most north-eastern position in Hokkaido
•Quite a far from Sapporo City (the capital city of Hokkaido),
so there are few tourist and closed mind to foreigner
•The main industries are primary industries
(agriculture, forestry, stockbreeding and fishing)
•“Okhotsk” is the name of Sea, derive from Russian
Population: 283,701 (2017)
Area: 10,690.62 square km
•Preliminary interviews (March-May 2016)
Semi-structured face-to-face interviews for 15 creative people
who lives in Okhotsk, and 4 creative people who related to
Okhotsk region but lives in Tokyo.
•The media creation (June 2016-)
I made and managed website and social media accounts.
•Post interviews (Jan 2017)
Semi-structured interviews via video chat for 5 people
who related in each different depth of relation to the media.
•Participant observation (ongoing)
Interviewee on web article
(living in Okhotsk)
I hope I can tell the young people who once left here like me
to such a person could come back again,
and let them think about coming back to Okhotsk.
I felt the feeling stronger by your interview on the article.
I thought I will go back to my hometown with no reason.
But I was writing and thinking about that seriously,
I ﬁnd “Oh, is it difﬁcult to go back?”
and much more thought about that.
Writer on web article
(living in Tokyo)
Reader of web article
(living in Sapporo)
I was little embarrassed to answer that my hometown is in Okhotsk
before (because there is too far and rural). But you made such
“Okhotsk Island,” it is removing the embarrassment a little.
•It was difficult to build a community through the web-based media
itself, but local activities and motivations for new actions
increased due to the actions through the media production activity.
•The people who related to the region recognized that
if we can continue this media production activity,
the local situation will be getting better.
designer of the media
(living in Okhotsk)
We want to continue, not to hurry.
local young business-owner
(living in Okhotsk)
I think it is important to become
•Open community through the grapevine
•The continuation of activities in the Okhotsk region,
and the expansion of networks by “weak ties”
•The closed situation is changing;
information continues to be distributed through the grapevine
social media: @sanokazuya0306
• Creative people
Japanese Cultural Anthropologist Jiro Kawakita(1993) says
“ ‘Creativity’ is an ability for problem solving.”
I definite the creative people means
“who has an excellent ability for problem solving.”