New Collaborative Research Publication: “Hybridising counterurbanisation: Lessons from Japan’s kankeijinkō” – Dr. Luke Dilley and Dr. Shogo Kudo

Dr. Luke Dilley and Dr. Shogo Kudo, both of AIU’s Global Studies Program, along with Dr. Menelaos Gkartzias of Newcastle University, one of AIU’s partners in the UK, and Dr. Tokumi Odagiri of Meiji University have published an article in Habitat International.

Abstract and Article Link

This paper examines the discourse and material manifestation of kankeijinkō, a phrase used in Japan to describe, primarily, highly mobile groups of urbanities who make regular visits to the countryside. Drawing on Japanese grey literature, secondary data analysis, national-level policy reports and exploratory fieldwork in the northwest of Japan, we argue that the concept of kankeijinkō offers a view of rural mobility quite different from more established views of counterurbanisation, at least in the way that it has been captured in the global north. As a concept, kankeijinkō invites us to move beyond simple and binary taxonomies of migration and settlement, and destabilizes the notion of rural vitality as being linked to rural populations that are spatially fixed and bounded. Further, the promotion of kankeijinkō in policy discourses in Japan has the potential to support new hybrid, fluid and place-based rural lifestyles that contribute to an interconnected global countryside. On the other hand, the discourse of kankeijinkō might privilege certain modes of rural mobility and being, circumscribing the potentialities of these mobile groups.

Read the full article here.


Newcastle University provided funding to make the article open access.