Interactions of knowledge systems in shiitake mushroom production: a case study on the Noto Peninsula, Japan

Ryo Kohsaka, Mitsuyuki Tomiyoshi, Osamu Saito, Shizuka Hashimoto, Leah Mohammend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationships between traditional and modern scientific knowledge regarding shiitake mushroom production in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan. In the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, the success of a new variety of shiitake, the Noto-Temari brand, has boosted the number of farmers, the majority of whom are new to mushroom production. Looking at the production of raw and dried mushrooms of the Noto-Temari brand, the paper compares the knowledge systems of conventional farmers and the newcomers to mushroom production. In the case of the premium-quality Noto-Temari brand, the newcomers achieve a higher rate of production than the conventional mushroom producers do. We apply the knowledge conversion framework of Polanyi (1966) to understand the dynamics of the knowledge system, and find that, in our case, traditional knowledge and techniques can be productive but can also represent obstacles to the adoption of new technology. In other words, it is possible that a knowledge of conventional technology interferes with the utilization of modern knowledge to grow the premium-quality Noto-Temari brand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-463
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Forest Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 13
Externally publishedYes


  • Log cultivation
  • Mushroom farming
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Traditional knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


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