We completed a series of field works in Sado Island, 30km offshore of Niigata, in the Sea of Japan. This was part of our joint research project with Ama Lab of Showa Women’s University, long-awaited since we had started exploring Route 17 more than two years ago.

Route 17 is unique. It begins in Tokyo, one of the busiest cities in the world, passes through far-reaching suburb, industrial areas, high mountains, and reaches Niigata on the coast of Sea of Japan. Along the way, it showcases a variety of regional societies which as a whole represents what Japan is right now. The only missing piece had been Sado, which is connected by Route 350, an extension of Route 17, via the scheduled ferries. Sado represents a unique ecosystem of islands, yet another intriguing part of our society.

We visited Noh (a traditional musical drama) players, carpenter trainees specialized in traditional wooden architecture, and a fisherman, all in their late teens or early twenties. Join us at the closing event of this project later in November where we will share our findings and insights from their lives.

Special thanks to Hitachi Appliance, Inc. who generously supported students’ travel and accommodation expenses to the island.