Non-market Food Provisioning Services on Hachijo Island, Japan, and Its Implications for Building a Resilient Island

  • Osamu SaitoEmail author
  • Kana Tatebayashi
  • Chiho Kamiyama
  • Takanori Matsui
Part of the Science for Sustainable Societies book series (SFSS)


The resource consumption pattern of remote islands is assumed to differ from that of the mainland because of the constraints of both material distribution and human interaction. This study investigates food production and consumption patterns of remote islands with a focus on the food supply flow, a food-sharing network, and food stock for emergencies. The study uses a household questionnaire survey and interviews with the residents of Hachijo Island, Tokyo. We find that sharing food provisioning services plays an important role by sustaining roughly half of the total food consumption during the high cropping and harvesting season of agricultural and marine products. A large proportion of the islanders’ annual consumption of potatoes, vegetables, seafood, and fruits are obtained through the food-sharing network. Non-market food largely saves the household budget and provides calories and a wide variety of nutrients. The results also indicate that many households own additional deep freezers to store food product, which are then shared and exchanged with neighbors and relatives on Hachijo Island. Based on the findings from Hachijo Island, we discuss the potential role, opportunities, and challenges of this food-sharing culture to build an island resilient to natural disasters and socioeconomic changes.


Remote island Non-market food provision Sharing Resilience Food storage Social network Local production for local consumption 



This research has been funded by the Sumitomo Foundation’s Environmental Research Fund (2012), “Towards building more service-orientated societies with smaller resource consumption and environmental footprints, using remote islands as case studies” (PI: Prof. Keisuke Hanaki), the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (1–1303&S-15-1, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment), and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 15KT0027&16K13348). We are grateful for assistance from various community groups, particularly the Hachijo Island Women’s Association. The original publication of Saito et al. (2015) was translated from Japanese to English by Dr. Yuki Fukuda.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osamu Saito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kana Tatebayashi
    • 2
  • Chiho Kamiyama
    • 1
  • Takanori Matsui
    • 2
  1. 1.United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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