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Cultural Commodities in Japanese Rural Revitalization

Tsugaru Nuri Lacquerware and Tsugaru Shamisen

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Anthony Rausch

The fate of local places increasingly rests on their capability to capitalize on their highly specific local cultural resources. Cultural Commodities in Japanese Rural Revitalization: Tsugaru Nuri Lacquerware and Tsugaru Shamisen examines the dynamics of this reality for the Tsugaru District of the Aomori Prefecture, Japan, and its two dominant cultural commodities, a lacquerware and a musical performance. Organized on the basis of policy, production and consumption, the research points to historical trajectory and a combinative conceptual-operational space as the means of identifying cultural and economic potential for a cultural commodity. This analytical approach provides both for assessing the local consciousness and identifying informed policy and industry management for the commodity, making it possible to realize its potential in local revitaliszation.