Matanle, P. and Sato, Y. (2011) Coming Soon to a City Near You! Learning to Live 'Beyond Growth' in Japan's Shrinking Regions, Social Science Japan Journal, 13 (2): 187-210. This article analyses rural depopulation in Japan and its implications by means of a case study of Niigata Prefecture and Sado Island. In the first part of the article we present population maps to show that rural demographic shrinkage is both deepening as well as broadening to include urban centres. We focus initially on Niigata Prefecture in the national context and then discuss migratory patterns in Sado. The data show that Sado, and now Niigata Prefecture as a whole, have entered what we call a 'double negative population disequilibrium', whereby both the migratory and natural reproduction population contributions have turned negative. Recent evidence also indicates that Niigata City itself may also have begun to shrink. In the second part we discuss the implications of depopulation for Sado Island via extracts from qualitative interviews gathered from local residents. We found that many residents now accept the inevitability of continued shrinkage and, rather than seeking to re-establish growth, many institutional and social and environmental entrepreneurs are instead working towards achieving community stability and sustainability. We conclude by suggesting that the example of Japan's rural communities presents Japan's regional cities with the occasion to consider life 'beyond growth', as their populations also begin to shrink in the years to come. Due to various publication constraints (space, printing costs etc.) it was not possible to add the most detailed colour maps to the original article. So, on this page please find the abstract and two sets of population maps for Japan and Niigata Prefecture for the period 1950-2030. I have also provided a set of photographs from Sado Island depicting some of the impacts of shrinkage. All data through to and including 2005 was derived from the Japanese national census. Municipal level maps for Niigata Prefecture backdate from 2005 to 1950 to include municipal boundary changes. Data from 2010 to 2030 was taken from the National Institute for Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR) 2002 prefectural and 2003 municipal data projections, which are based on the 2000 census. Although projections based on the more recent 2005 census are available on the NIPSSR website we use the earlier data because it is approximately 5 per cent less pessimistic. Please refer to the article itself for more detail on methodology. Maps were created using ArcGIS, Corel Photopaint, MSPowerpoint 2007, and Arclab Watermark Studio software. All maps are copyright protected. The large versions are watermarked. If you wish to display any of these maps then you should get in touch and ask permission, and then I can send you a clean set. Use for teaching and research is usually fine, but please just get in touch to make sure. Unfortunately, I cannot provide the published text of the article on this website. However, please click on the Wordle word cloud image above to be taken to a post-review/pre-layout version. I have also provided links through to the published version and the home page of the journal. The published version may be inaccessible to some readers due to pay walls, but please get in contact if you would like me to send you an e-print. Maps 6-13: Colour maps describing Japan's postwar population change (actual and projected): from expansion (1950-70), through consolidation (1970-90) and stagnation (1990-2010), to shrinkage (2010-2030). Source.