Organized Panel Session
Home is where the heart is. However, the significance of one’s home extends beyond intimate, sentimental associations to social identity and membership. It also has a concrete materiality in form of housing, related to politics and economy. As Hirayama Yosuke has demonstrated, government programs to encourage home ownership led to widespread middle-classness as a socioeconomic and political identity in mid-20th century Japan (2007). Drawing inspiration from this equation of home ownership with stability and membership in the sociocultural, economic, and political mainstream, the panelists from varying disciplinary and regional backgrounds consider contemporary strategies of home-making, including government-sponsored urban-to-rural migration and shared housing. This panel addresses social, political and economic dimensions of housing, home-making and belonging in contemporary Japan. The individual papers will address social relations in a shared house, housing support for urban newcomers to rural Japan, home-making practices in temporary and public housing facilities.