Cultural Landscapes Link to Nature: Learning from Satoyama and Satoumi

Maya Ishizawa

World Heritage Studies, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
Email: ishizawa.maya@gmail.com


ABSTRACT  The nature–culture divide is an artificial separation consolidated by Western modern science. It is a social construction that disseminated globally, but does not exist in some non-Western societies. Abandoning this framework to embrace an integrated system for sustainability is challenging. The concept of the historic urban landscape (HUL) already attempts to integrate natural and cultural heritage into urban planning by focusing on a landscape approach. However, this approach consumes rural and nature into the urban. To uncover nature and return it to the forefront of urban conservation, this paper explores cultural landscapes as examples where natural and cultural values are inextricably related. Four case studies are presented of satoyama and satoumi, cultural landscapes of Japan where Shinto beliefs and traditional agricultural practices knit together nature and culture, rendering the divide unseen. This paper suggests connecting the HUL approach, with this inclusive understanding, by turning the focus to mapping seasonal relationships following a transdisciplinary approach in which indigenous and local knowledge are integrated, as well as a temporal dimension. In this way, one can find satoyama and satoumi in the urban environment: by looking beyond the attributes, the interrelationships with the natural substratum needed to support the development of quality and resilient environments can be revealed.

KEYWORDS  cultural landscapes, satoyama, satoumi, historic urban landscape, sustainability, reconnecting nature– culture, natureculture, nature–culture divide, intangible cultural heritage

Received September 13, 2018; accepted November 26, 2018.

updated on December 28, 2018

Co-sponsored by

Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute Co., Ltd.
Arcplus Group PLC
World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the Auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP)
Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group) Co., Ltd.

Administered by

Ministry of Education of PRC

Sponsored by

Tongji University

Published by

Tongji University Press

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