Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shimane by numbers. Part 3

Continuing my look at some interesting statistics concerning the prefecture I live in,... Shimane.

This time just one statistic.

Shimane has the oldest population in Japan.

What that means is that 27% of Shimane's people are over 65 years old. And that figure seems set to continue to grow. I know up in the mountains near here is a village where the youngest person is 73!

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Like Mrs. M, the lady we bought our house from.

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Or Ebiya-san who lives over the river in Kawado, who at 83 years old is a damn site more spritely than many much younger than him. He designed and makes Hero Flutes, kagura flutes that can be played more easily than traditional kagura flutes.

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Of course the one place you will see these old people is in the gardens and fields. I read that the average age of farmers in japan is 70!

The young people continue to leave the countryside for the cities, and I find it hard to imagine what it will be like in another 20 years as many of these elders pass on.

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For now I enjoy learning from the grandparent generation. They are often sharper and smarter than those who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's, and still know how to make things and live in the environment they are in.

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