2.Present situation and problems in rural Asia
3.Action Programs
4.Project Members and Institutions
5.Project Sites
6.Research Contents


Asian villages have maintained diversified and individual cultures rooted in the local communities. However, the existing rural development

approaches, which aim economic development and modernization of livelihood, have paid little attention to these diversified and individual cultures until now. Underrating traditional culture and history, which has been passed down from one generation to the next in the community, discourages villagers from feeling fulfilled and pride for life in rural community. Then spiritual bond of the community has weakened and problems of depopulation and aging has emerged. Now, we think many rural communities may face with the treat of disintegration.

This research aims at establishing an alternative rural development approach with appreciating and encouraging the importance of traditional culture and history in the local community in Asian Countries by the means of Practice-oriented Area Studies.
(CSEAS Annual Report 2013-2014, p.12)

Present situation and problems in rural Asia

In Japan, after the World War II the rural infrastructures such as power, water, roads and primary and secondary education have been drastically developed with the rural development projects through economic growth and modernization.

The livelihood in the rural Japan became almost the same level of living standard in the city. However, enlargement of economic gap between rural and urban have accelerated migration from rural to urban. In consequence, the rural communities are on the verge of collapse with the problems of aging and depopulation.

As an alternative approach to tackle these problems and to revitalize the rural community, aiming for saving the traditional culture as well as promoting tourism a village folk museums, in which traditional tools both of farming and of livelihood are collected and exhibited for the visitors, has been established(Kayabukinosato Museum in Miyama cho, Nantan city, Kyoto prefecture).
In many countries in Asia, rural development through economic growth and modernization is just in progress. Looks like chasing experience of the rural Japan, the enlargement of economic gap between urban and rural as well as less opportunities to education in rural areas accelerates exodus of the youth to the cities. Now only elderly people and children can be seen in rural area. Acute problem of depopulation and aging followed by collapsing of the community is just around the corner.

Laos faces the same problem, migration to the city for seeking better income and higher education is accelerating.

Action Programs

We think that reaffirmation of people's joy and pride of living in the village as well as improvement of income and livelihood is the most important for mitigation of the problems. Appreciating the importance of traditional culture and history in the community will be one of the useful ways for tackling or mitigating the problems.
In this project, aiming to seek an alternative approach and paradigm to tackle the problem, we conduct the following action programs applying by the means of Practice Oriented Area Study.

1.    Conservation of traditional tools of livelihood and occupations, rediscovery of locally available knowledge and technologies, documentation of traditional culture and history in the village

2.    Establishing network among local community, university and local administration to promote collaboration and mutual learning for rural development

Project Members and Institutions

1.    Department of Practice-Oriented Area Study, Network Division,

Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Kyoto University

ž   Kichiji YAJIMA, Project Leader

ž   Kazuo Ando

2.    Lao Farmers Traditional Tools Museum, Research Division, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos

ž   Lampheuy KEANSOMBATH, Research Division, Team Leader

ž   Souphaphone RATTANARASY, Department of Agronomy

ž   Bounthone KEOJANDA, Department of Agronomy

ž   Khamchane SINGMIXAY, Research Division

ž   Lamchai SISAMACK, Research Division

ž   Oudom PHONEKHAMPHENG, Dean, Advisor

ž   Pasouvang SOMPHANH, Vice Dean, Advisor

3.    Village Office, Thachampa village, Xaythany district,

Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

ž   Somboun PHOMSOUVANE, Village Chief

ž   Khanthong KOUNSY, Vice Village Chief

ž   Members of Village Office


In addition to the institutions above, we get cooperation from following organizations to implement the project.

ž   Local administrations, such as District Offices and Provincial Offices of Lao PDR

ž   Kameoka Municipal Museum of Culture, Kameoka city, Kyoto Japan

ž   Chii Shinkoukai (promotion office for community development), Miyama cho, Nantan city, Kyoto Japan

Lao Farmers Traditional Tools Museum  Thacampa Village Folk Cultural Museum 

Project Sites

Thachampa village, where we have already worked for several years, is selected for the project site. The village folk museum cum community hall was constructed several years ago and has been utilized quite well by the village office and the villagers.
Thachampa is situated along the north shore of the Ngum River (Nam Ngum) in the north-eastern part of Xaythany district, Vientiane Capital. It is 10 km far from the Faculty of Agriculture and 40 km far from Vientiane Capital city.




Location of the Project


Research Contents

Main components of our project are Practice-Oriented Action Research. Those are;

1.      Lao Farmers Traditional Tools Museum, Faculty of Agriculture

ž   Collection and exhibition of traditional tools of farming and livelihood 

ž   Catalog and database of the museum collection

ž   Utilization for the education

2.      Village Folk Cultural Museum, Thachampa village

ž   documentation of memories of villagers and village history for traditional culture conservation

ž   Community empowerment through the programs encouraging villagers to participate in the activities for traditional culture conservation 

3.      Department of Practice-Oriented Area Study, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Kyoto University

ž   Skill up training and study tour in Japan

ž   Mutual learning through international exchange at the grass roots



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