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A field of tea plants with Mt. Fuji in the background.
  1. Land Reform in Postwar Japan
  2. Why Japan's Land Reform Succeeded
  3. Wet Rice Agriculture
  4. Transplanting Rice Seedlings
  5. Early Mechanization of Agriculture
  6. Reorganization of Farm Land
  7. Innovations in Fruit and Vegetable Farming
  8. Rice Rationing and Subsidies
  9. Japan’s Shrinking Farm Population
  10. Farm Household Size and the Problem of Succession
  11. Who Farms in Japanese Farm Households?
  12. San-Chan Nōgyō
  13. The Changing Japanese Diet
  14. Dairy Farming in Japan
  15. What Dairy Products Do Japanese Eat?
  16. Beef Cattle in Japan
  17. The Changing Income of Farm Households
  18. Raising Silkworms in Japan
  19. Food Self-Sufficiency in Japan
  20. Food Self-Sufficiency in Rice
  21. Organic Farming in Japan
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A traditional farm house and a small modern tractor are reflected in a flooded rice paddy.
A small farm in Iwate prefecture uses modern machinery, but may not have a successor.
Photo Courtesy of Sebastian Blanco.
Farm Household Size and the Problem of Succession
Traditionally, a farmer in Japan usually passed on his land rights and livelihood to his eldest son. Over time, the mechanization of agriculture made the smallest of these farms unsustainable, but farmers were not allowed to acquire more land than the 1946 limits. Most Japanese farm households cultivate less than two hectares, or five acres, of land. They usually derive only part of their income from farming, and many do not have a family successor to take over the farm when the current older generation retires or dies. Two-thirds of Japan’s farmers are now over 60 years old, and half of all farmers are 65 or older. There are also a substantial number of non-commercial farm households in Japan who grow crops for their own use but do not market them. Click on CHARTS, below, to learn more about Japan's farm population.
Special Terms: commercial  |  farm household

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