Urushi Lacquer Sap Collecting and Lifeways at Joboji, Iwate

Urushi Lacquer Sap Collecting and Lifeways at Joboji, Iwate Prefecture: The second key field site of the Small Scale Economies Project is Joboji. Subsistence practices in Joboji share a number of things in common with that of the mountainous part of the Hei River Area. Recently, Joboji began to be known as the only place in Japan where small-scale traditional lacquer-sap-collecting is still alive and commercially viable. Our interviews of lacquer sap collectors, entrepreneurs, and co-owners of a small-scale farmers’ market indicate that, historically, multiple backup plans supported by wide subsistence diversity and TEK are at the core of their strategies for survival.

2019  Habu, J. (ed.).  Landscapes with Urushi Lacquer Trees: Lacquer Sap Collecting and Peoples’ Lifeways at Joboji, Ninohe City, Iwate.  44 pp. Resilient Local Communities, Vol. 2.  National Institutes for the Humanities, and Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto (in Japanese)Link

Farmers’ Market in Joboji