The Satoyama Movement: Envisioning Multi-Species Commons in Postindustrial Japan


In recent years, Japanese citizens have mobilized to restore satoyama, traditional agrarian landscapes, as a strategy to fight the damages modern life was thought to inflict on both humans and the environment. In the satoyama forest revitalization movement, middle-class professionals, retirees, and students intermingle with farmers and use their spare time to plant rice, clear irrigation channels, and, most particularly, reenact the traditional resource use in satoyama forests. This paper discusses one especially vigorous wing of the satoyama revitalization movement: the mobilization to recreate forests that produce highly valued matsutake mushrooms.