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TourismGeographiesVol.10,No.3,334–354,August2008Understandingthe‘Heritage’inHeritageTourism:IdeologicalToolorEconomicToolforaJapaneseHotSpringsResort?CHRISMcMORRANDepartmentofGeography,UniversityofColorado,Boulder,CO,USAABSTRACTThisstudyexaminesthecomplexrelationshipbetweentheeconomicandideo-logicalaspectsofheritage,asobservedinKurokawaOnsen,ahotspringsresortlocatedontheislandofKyushu,Japan.Inthe1980s,thisremotevillagereinventeditself,onthewaytobecominganationallyrecognizedtouristdestinationthatcurrentlyattractsaroundonemillionvisitorsayear.Thetown’ssuccessislargelyduetoitsutilizationofanation-widenostalgiaforthecountry’sagriculturalpast.Throughthecarefulincorporationofelementsoftheidealizedruralvillage,knownasfurusato(nativeplace),theresort’sbusinessleadershaveusedthecountry’sruralheritageasathemeinwhichtosituateitsownbusinessplan.Thisstudyarguesthatlocalbusinessleadersuseheritagenotforideologicalreasons,butpurelyeconomicones.Inotherwords,heritageisusedasathemethatisprofitableanddesire...