1. Organization of JAFCOF (as of May 2011)

JAFCOF's members
JAFCOF's members

Lead Researcher
Hideo NAKAZAWA (Prof. of Political Sociology, Faculty of Law, Chuo Univ.)

Advisory board
Nisaburo MURAKUSHI (Honorary Prof., Hosei Univ.) is a famous economic historian for the study of "Tomoko system" and representative of Japan Mine Research Society
Kanji MASAOKA (Honorary Prof., Waseda Univ.) /Junko FUJIMI (Prof., Taisho Univ.) are family sociologists who have been studying Joban colliery and its retired employees for 30 years.
The late Akiko FUSE (Former President, Sapporo Gakuin Univ.) is also a family sociologist, who conducted the general study on Yubari in 1970s with the late Tetsuji FUSE (Prof., Hokkaido Univ.)

Research members
Kazushi TAMANO (Prof. of Sociology of Local Community, Faculty of Urban Liberal Arts, Tokyo Metropolitan Univ.)
Atsuhiko OHKUNI (Prof. of Sociology of Local Community, Faculty of Social Informatics, Sapporo Gakuin Univ.)
Naoko SHIMAZAKI (Prof. of Family Sociology, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda Univ.)
Keiichi SAWAGUCHI (Associate Prof. of Family Sociology, Faculty of Humanities, Taisho Univ.)
Makoto NISHIKIDO (Associate Prof. of Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Environment, Hosei Univ.)
Kei SHINDO (Associate Prof. of Sociology of Education, Faculty of Education, Gunma Univ.)
Kahoruko YAMAMOTO (Associate Prof. of Urban Sociology, Faculty of Urban Environmental Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Univ.)
Tomoki SHIMANISHI (Associate Prof. of Economic History, Faculty of Economics, Kagawa Univ.)
Shisei KIMURA (Lecturer of Cultural Sociology, Faculty of Human Science, Konan Women's Univ.)
Hiroto INOUE (Lecturer of Anthropology, Faculty of Tourism, Sapporo International Univ.)

Graduate Students /PD
Takahiro TOMINAGA (PD, Toyo Univ.)
Maki NISHIMUTA (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.)
Satoshi MORIHISA (Hosei Univ.)

2. History of JAFCOF

2.1 Establishment of JAFCOF

the site of Ponbetsu Coal Mine

Hideo Nakazawa was interested in former coalfields in Sorachi, Hokkaido since he had an opportunity to reinvestigate "Yubari research" related materials done by the late Tetsuji Fuse when he had worked for Sapporo Gakuin University (2000-2003). He was hoping to conduct a long term research in Hokkaido on local regeneration issue, because he had witnessed a halfway through community development in Maki, Niigata, about where he published a book in 2005. While he was working on Fuse's research materials, Yubari City went bankrupt in 2006, and as reactions to this predicament, civic activities emerged in Sorachi including the NPO 'Hokkaido Coalmine Heritage Association.' As the relationship with local practitioners deepens, he decided to take up this theme with fellow scholars in Sapporo. Fortunately, Waseda University team which have been in touch with Joban colliery for more than 30 years joined soon. Thus seven scholars formed 'JAFCOF' (July, 2008) on which we will pursue 3 missions in the long run.

  1. To research and practice local regeneration through (in a broad sense) heritages in former coalfields
  2. To compare historical progresses of former coalfields internationally and domestically through social researches on coalmining societies and later communities
  3. To discover life history in former coalfields and to hand down collective memory as 'witnesses of the capitalism in the 20th century.'

Further, that we could build relationship with scholars and curators of coalfields in South Wales, the U.K., too, made us organize our group (we held a workshop at Sapporo Gakuin University, inviting them).

After JAFCOF added investigators including advisors, we applied for Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (research project: 'Rescue and Archives of Materials for Networking-Typed Regeneration of Former Coalfields' by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan in October, 2008 and were fortunately informed that we would receive the grants for 5 fiscal years from April, 2009 (The total amount for 5 years is about 34million yen as direct expense).

Also, we received grants from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, British Academy, Daiwa Anglo-Japan Foundation, Swansea University, Sapporo Gakuin University and Waseda University for bilateral communication between Wales and Japan.

2.2 Past Achievement

As quoted in "3." of each application, JAFCOF set the following 4 missions as our activities for 5 years;

  1. To rally younger scholars and curators interested in this field for international and domestic and overseas network
  2. To hold symposiums, write and issue theses to appeal significance of integrating and archiving materials
  3. To sort and integrate materials scattering and lost in former coalfields in such as Sorachi. To construct any archives as the result
  4. To activate studies of former coalfields. Specifically speaking, to conduct hearing survey of life history in former coalfields and study local regeneration by international comparison and archives.
I would like to explain about each mission we must accomplish, achievement we made in the previous 1 year and works in progress.

I. Domestic and Overseas Networking

Our work of networking scholars, practitioners and curators involved in domestic major coalfields is favorably in progress and we have relationships with each coalfield in Ishikari (Nakazawa/ Tamano/ Nishikido/ Shindo/ Ohkuni/ Inoue/ Kimura/ Nishimuta), Jouban (Shimazaki/ Sawaguchi), Kushiro (Murakushi/ Inoue), Ube (Yamamoto), Miike (Tominaga/ Nishimuta) and Takashima (Kimura/ Inoue). As a synthetic team with scholars of economic history and social pedagogy, we have been smoothly building relationships with local curators and groups of former miners. The left task we have to work on is to build relationship with Chikuho colliery and Kyushu University. On the other hand, regarding foreign countries, we succeeded in building relationship with mutual trust with people in South Wales through symposiums and so on for 2 years. With them, we are preparing for writing thesis on the comparison between the U.K. and Japan.

Also, we are at the stage of asking them for advice to concrete internship program in which we send a curator(s) from Japan for about a half year.

II. Publicity of our Activities through Symposiums and Events and their Significance

flier of Waseda Symposium in 2009

We held symposiums 5 times including the one under contemplation.

  1. Sapporo Gakuin University Symposium in March, 2008
    Held with 3 scholars and curators from Wales we invited. The results are written in "Social Information" 18(2) issued by Sapporo Gakuin University.
  2. Bibai /Iwamizawa Symposium on August 6-7, 2009
    Held with NPO, 'Hokkaido Coalmine Heritage Association.' The results are written in "Social Information" 19(2) issued by Sapporo Gakuin University.
  3. Swansea Symposium on September 11, 2009
    Held at Swansea University. Nakazawa, Yoshioka, Shimazaki, Sawaguchi, Inoue, Kimura and Nishimuta made report.
  4. Waseda Symposium on July 10-11, 2010
    In which Wales and Japan reported the results of comparisons about local regeneration and social education.
  5. North Wales Symposium in March, 2011

III. Sorting and Integrating Related Materials

The materials on coal and mining are scattered in wide range of areas. So JAFCOF is uniquely working on making "overall catalog of documentary records" and "glossary of coalmining" by integrating information on whereabouts and bibliography. We properly digitalize (distilling documents to PDF) and preserve valuable documents which we and our partnership, Management Center in Iwamizawa of NPO 'Hokkaido Coalmine Heritage Association,' obtained, too. Also, we are arranging cooperation systems as necessary with Keio University, The Ohara Institute for Social Research of Hosei University and Kushiro City Museum, which own materials related to coal mines in Hokkaido. Regarding Joban, Fukushima University and Waseda University have already started creating necessary archives. On the other hand, local people in Ube, Yamaguchi, who came up against a brick wall to sort materials, are expecting our activities.

JAFCOF井上 新聞記事(2010.9.16北海道新聞)
a newspaper article on Inoue,

Although there were left documents unsorted relating to Hokutan public trial which Akira Kuzuoka living in Yubari deposited in The Ohara Institute for Social Research, JAFCOF made a contract with Ohara and undertook making catalogs and completed it in May, 2010. Besides, one of our members, Hiroto Inoue, graduate student of Waseda University, made an effort to digitally scan unsorted documents which municipal government owned and index documents of Sumitomo Akabira under former miners' direction during his long official tour from August to September, 2010 (Refer to the attached article).

IV. Research on Former Coalfields

Revitalization of research itself on former coalfields is one of our responsibilities, too, which are closely connected to I~III. Although the research results are already issued as you see in the page of "as the project by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research," we would like to continue producing results through domestic and overseas comparison of coalfields, hearing survey about life history and so on. We started continuously interviewing 9 former miners in Akabira about life history last year and are supposed to summarize results of these hearings in a booklet within this fiscal year.

Moreover, we are going on with projects such as description of local transitions with use of census data, representation of coal mine related facilities on Google Map and produce of maps of coal mine residences' transitions to visually express the transition of coalfields, partly outsourcing. We began translating representative documents on coal mine study written in Japanese into English for the international comparison.

JAFCOF believes we will widely acknowledge our activities and studies and produce great results of rescue, preservation and archives of materials in 4 fiscal years from now by continuing I~IV. Although our grants will be expired at the end of the fiscal year of 2014, we will apply again in 2013 for further 5 years to continue our activities. Besides, we will secure funds as a society for the study, properly applying for foundation sponsored grants and so on.

3. Principle of JAFCOF: What will be Change by Archives (Physical Location where Documents and others are Stored)?

What JAFCOF is working on is, in a nutshell, "the movements of archives." It is not simply "significance for scholars", but also what archives do for regions. As we describe as follows, archives have 3 significances above all;

3.1 We Can Describe Regional Portraits with Archived Materials

Regions need to watch themselves carefully again to display their abilities. Those who do not look on the past history are blind to the future. Describing local portraits as they are including both good and bad aspects is a thing Japan in the period of rapid growth has forgot. But recently it is has been taking root in each region as 'local study.' Archives are of course necessary to develop 'local study.' Archives enable local residents to deepen their understanding of various organizations and places in their regions, their families and coal and energy in Japan. Describing undistorted portraits is a necessary condition for local regeneration, though it is not a sufficient condition.

3.2 Archives Activities themselves Rearrange Relationships and are Bases to Gather Related People

Archives are the first places to visit for those who are interested in certain subjects. And the broader their existence are acknowledged, the more they could be the bases to gather various visitors. It is the evidence that only Yubari Coal Mine Museum out of the sightseeing spots in bankrupted Yubari is constantly popular. Besides, since networking activity (outreach) is one of fundamental functions in present archives, domestic and overseas former coalfields can deepen relationship each other through archives. Its significance is proved by our activities for the previous 2 years. We are worried the significance like this is not understood fully and the occupation of "archivist" is not established in Japan. As long as these problems are solved, we think local regeneration in a different way from development principle could not be longitudinally completed.

3.3 Archives Make Contributions to Local Regeneration in the Long Run as Bases of Social Education.

In relation to the above, the local regeneration in the 21st century is not a model of development principle which Yubari fell into, but the one that creates cycle of regional economy through resources within regions by investing in talent and education (the so-called intrinsic development/ Yufuin Model). Personnel training in this case should be based on local context, not existing school education which is packaged and standardized. Archives play an important role as the bases for it. The structure of social education like this was very important function in South Wales region in order to adjust to post-industrialization, which Japan need to study.