Twelve students took this course (nine Japanese students and three international students)
The students divided into three groups, and each of the groups conducted a survey of the sixth industrialization of Makomodake production in the Kayagasawa region.
1. Preparation for the survey
On the basis of the class report of FY2013, the students developed a problem map of the Arawa region to use it for developing survey items in the Kayagasawa region. Looking into the book "A Local History of Kayagasawa," the Internet, etc., each of the student groups developed a fact sheet.
2. 1st fieldwork: A walk in the Kayagasawa region
The students visited the Kayagasawa region for the first time on October 10, 2014. They visited Makomodake fields, a community center, Hie Shrine, Jusenji Temple, etc., and the local residents gave lectures to them about each place. After that, each of the student groups defined their research topics separately.
3. Study of theories and cases
The students gave presentations and discussed the assigned literatures, which primarily consisted of fundamental theories and cases on a society in a farming village in Japan and Akita Prefecture.
4. 2nd fieldwork: Harvesting, bagging, and sales of Makomodake
The students conducted observations and an interview survey while helping activities of local residents on October 18 and 19, 2014.
(1) Harvesting and bagging of Makomodake
The students helped prepare for the market festival to be held on the following day. They helped harvesting Makomodake in the morning and bagging it in the afternoon. Under the guidance of the local residents, the students kept working without losing their concentration and finished bagging everything by the evening. The residents said that they normally would have to work all night for the preparation.
(2) Data sorting
The students stayed at the nearby cottage Yuasis and each of the student groups discussed what they learned or acknowledged on the first day. They cooked dinner with Makomodake given by the residents and experienced a hot spring after dinner.
(1) Sales of Makomodake and an interview survey at the market festival
The students helped the sales and sample tasting of Makomodake at the market festival. They helped peeling the Makomodake skin for sample tasting, invited shoppers to taste the samples, and promoted it as a safe and delicious organic vegetable. In addition, the students conducted an interview survey of shoppers or salespersons at the market festival.
5. Mid-term presentation session
Each of the student groups analyzed information obtained through the fieldwork and gave a presentation about the progress of their learning. The students and the teaching staff raised questions about presentations given by other groups, and they discussed issues found in the contents of the survey along with solutions to them. One of the groups started to review their research topics on the basis of the results of the fieldwork. Based on the discussion in the mid-term presentation session, the survey items and the questionnaire were specified for the 3rd fieldwork.
6. 3rd fieldwork: Participation in the Kayagasawa Cultural Festival
Interchange in class with the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in Daishoji Elementary School was held on November 7, 2014. The elementary school students provided explanations on the history and culture of the community and on the fact that the elementary school would be closed due to an integration in FY2016. The university students heard how the elementary school students thought of their own future and the community.
The university students participated in the Kayagasawa Cultural Festival on November 9. The students and the local residents hosted the Makomo-pizza contest. In addition, the residents gave traditional performances, such as Kayagasawa Bangaku by the children and Teodori, and all the participants enjoyed conversations sitting around the Makomodake dishes to close the festival. It was a precious opportunity for the students to hear the viewpoints of the local residents.
7. Data analysis and preparation for presentations
Each of the student groups analyzed data and prepared presentations while confirming the field notes submitted after the fieldwork.
8. Briefing session on results
The briefing session on results was held on campus on December 7, 2014. Each of the student groups presented their research topics and results of analysis and then made proposals to solve the issues.