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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Research Overview

Japan’s “Blue Economies”? Coastal Fisheries between Growth and Demise:

English, PDF (4,4 MB)

Fishing communities between growth and demise

 March 2017 - September 2022

Since the late 1970s, Japanese fisheries have been grappling with global, national and regional transformations, and these have gained increasing momentum and intensity since the turn of the millennium. This project aims to analyze how different actors in Japanese fisheries are coping with these challenges, which new risks are emerging, and who is able to seize new opportunities within these changing conditions. These questions are especially relevant for the development of marginalized coastal regions in Japan, which are already confronting grave socio-economic problems and dramatic demographic changes. Building on previous field research in Kyūshū, the project will focus on different fishery cooperatives and communities, ranging from highly peripheral and marginalized villages to rather successful and well-connected cases. Taking into account specific local environments and internal differentiations, the project aims to identify the conditions for success and promising coping strategies as well as risk factors and vulnerabilities.

Recent Publications

Ganseforth, Sonja (2022). "MWS Lieblingsorte: Ein Fischerdorf auf der Insel Hirado im Westen Japans". Weltweit vor Ort. Magazin der Max Weber Stiftung., 1/2022 (pp. 50-51). LINK
Ganseforth, Sonja (2022). "Shifting Matter and Meanings in Japanese Seafood Assemblages: Fish as Functional Food Cyborgs and Emblematic Cultural Commodities". Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 26:1 (pp. 56-71). LINK
Ganseforth, Sonja (2021). "Blue revitalization or dispossession? Reform of common resource management in Japanese small-scale fisheries". The Geographical Journal, online first (pp. 1-13). LINK
Ganseforth, Sonja (2020). Reclaiming the global countryside? Decline and diversification in Saga Genkai coastal fisheries. LINK
Ganseforth, Sonja & König, Anne-Sophie (2018). "Der Umzug des Tsukiji-Großmarktes. / (Re)Locating the Tsukij Central Wholesale Market". DIJ Newsletter, 57. LINK


March 7, 2023
Symposia and Conferences
Local Self-organization and Civic Engagement in Regional Japan

January 15, 2020
DIJ Social Science Study Group
The new Japanese Fishery Policies between Revitalization and Capitalization


Sonja Ganseforth Sonja Ganseforth (until September 2022)
Social Sciences, Human Geography
Head of research group 'Future of Local Communities'