Social Contribution through Student's Participation in Village Festival

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 9:45 AM
Room: 423
Oral Presentation
Hiroo KAMIYA , Kanazawa University, Japan
Mio HORIUCHI , Kanazawa University, Japan

Kanazawa University embarked on the new project on social contribution in 2010 through promoting students to participate in traditional festivals held in severely depopulated rural villages. This project aims to provide opportunities for students to lean the everyday lives of rural Japan, and also to take a leadership role of university in revitalizing the rural communities. This paper explores the reason why Kanazawa University set up this project, and show to what extent this project goal has achieved its initial goal.

In 2004, central government enacted the low to reform the national universities to quasi-autonomous bodies. Thereafter, many national universities including Kanazawa University set up the charters. In Kanazawa University Charter, social contribution is declared as one of the principal missions of the university. Kanazawa University has established Center for Regional Collaboration in 2002. “Matsuri Project” started in 2010 as one of the University’s social contribution activities. Over one hundred of oversea and Japanese students joined the project every year. During the summer, almost every village in Noto region held traditional summer festival, called “Kiriko festival”. Within the last decade, due to aging and depopulation, many villages are now faced with manpower shortage to maintain the village Kiriko festivals. Young students are pleased to join the festival and walk around with shouldering heavy Kiriko with village people. Before the festival began, gorgeous dinner are sometimes served to students.

For the students, joining Kiriko tour is a good chance to go inside the village and to talk with local people. Planned and arranged by university staff, oversee students can experience the actual lives of rural villagers. So far “Matsuri Project” has weak relationship with student education and academic research by faculty members, local people well acknowledges the leadership of the university for revitalizing the rural communities.