Where, Who, Why, When and How do wine entrepreneurs come from: A case study in Japan

Authors: Takehiko Fujii*, The University of Tokyo
Topics: Economic Geography, Asia, Wine
Keywords: entrepreneurship, neoliberalism, the global south, knowledge transfer / exchange, wine, Japan, Asia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Small-sized but vertically integrated food processing industries have been the one of destinations among entrepreneurs recently. They have been typically seen in comparatively luxury food and agriculture sectors, at least new comers tend to try to make upscale products, such as boutique wineries, micro-breweries and coffee estates. This presentation examines the profiles of wine entrepreneurs in Japan, especially paying attention to the geographical moves of entrepreneurs.

Japan’s wine industry has been in a unique position in the world-wide neoliberalism age since 1990’. As overall national society, they have been the most matured in terms of economic growth probably, which other civilized nations might drop in the future. At the same time, domestic wine industry is comparatively newer and underdeveloped and has faced fierce competition against foreign imported wines which has been regarded as much better both in quality and price. Therefore it can be said that the industry belongs to the developing nations or the global south in some degree.

The research fields are nation-wide Japan but particularly focus on Hokkaido, the north-most of the main four islands, which accounts for one fourth of Japan’s territory and one twentieth of its population respectively. The most parts of island had been out of Japan’s mainstream governance until 1870’ and rapid emigration of farmers has begun after that, which could be a comparative of new continent or island such as North America, Australia or New Zealand to traditional Europe.

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