Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.63 No.4 (2011)

Vol.63 No.4 (2011)



Changes in Herring Fishery Management in the Taisho and Early Showa Era: The Case of the Minami Family in Takashima-gun. Hokkaido 1

The Process of Differentiation of Spaces by Labor Movements: The Case of Day Laborers’ Movements in Kamagasaki as ‘yoseba’ between the 1960s and the 1970s 22

Research Note

Influences of Fixed Links on Island Communities: A Case Study of Kouri-jima, Okinawa 42


Health and Place: A Review of Neighbourhood Studies of Geographical Inequalities in Health 58

Meeting Reports

123rd Meeting of Historical Geography 87
39th Meeting of Metropolitan Area Studies 88

Announcement 93


Changes in Herring Fishery Management in the Taisho and Early Showa Era: The Case of the Minami Family in Takashima-gun. Hokkaido

Graduate Student, Nagoya University

In order to scrutinize the fishery management of Hokkaido in the Taisho and early Showa eras when there were poor herring harvests, this paper focuses on the actions of herring fishery people with special reference to the records of the Minami family.
The volume of the herring catch was changing, but the timing of change in the herring harvests differed by region. The herring fishery in Takashima changed dramatically during the Taisho and early Showa eras.
Many of the herring fishery laborers were migrant workers. They did not work in the same fishery every year, but moved to other fisheries which gave them better conditions. The maximum concern in the fishery management, therefore, was whether a sufficient supply of very good migrant workers could be secured.
How did the Minami fishery procure manpower?
Employing workers was generally entrusted to the leader of herring fishermen every year. He called together workers from around his home. However, even as the poor herring catches continued, it was hard to attract workers, and so the managers themselves also came to try to employ fishery workers. The start of this practice corresponded to the year when the entire Minami fishery ran a deficit. From that time on, they went on business trips to Akita Prefecture during the two weeks after the New Year to solicit laborers.
How did fishery managers deal with persistent poor catches?
First, the location of the herring fishery could be shifted. If it were possible, the Minami fishery could have expanded the fishery into a richer region, but this was impossible. Therefore, it bought raw herring in Sakhalin where there was still a big catch and processed them in Takashima. The system of herring fishery changed from fishing in Takashima to purchasing raw herring from Sakhalin. Second, the Minami fishery tried to make up for the loss of the herring fishery by operating various other fisheries. Not all herring fishery losses could be compensated through this approach, however, so the Minami still had to rely on herring fishing in the following year. Third, fishery managers supplemented their fishing income by operating side businesses. In the case of the Minami family, the management of a public bath and the leasing of houses, lots, and fishery places were important and helped mitigate the various challenges of operating the fishery. It was steady income and made up for the deficits in the fishery.

Key words: herring fishery, fishery household management, migrant worker, Hokkaido, the Taisho and early Showa eras

The Process of Differentiation of Spaces by Labor Movements: The Case of Day Laborers’ Movements in Kamagasaki as ‘yoseba’ between the 1960s and the 1970s

Urban Research Center, Osaka City University

In recent years, the field of study called labor geography is growing within European and American geography. However, in Japan there have been very few studies examining urban labor markets from this viewpoint. This paper aims to show how day laborers’ movements in Kamagasaki differentiated their spaces between the 1960s and the 1970s. To achieve this aim, this paper examines the processes of scaling place from two viewpoints: institutional differentiation, and appropriation of space.
Concerning the process of institutional differentiation, riots played the definitive role. The riots of the earlier period, the 1960s, were completely spontaneous collective occurrences, but had the clear objective of protesting against the police. On the other hand, the riots of the later period, the 1970s, were closely related to the labor movements. First of all, the Nishinari branch of the All Japan Harbor Workers’ Union, organized since 1969, actively utilized the riots in their rhetoric for advancing negotiations with the Osaka prefectural administration. Second, the outbreak of the second term riots brought about a situation which gave the union an advantage in the negotiations. The labor movement pressured Kamagasaki into obtaining a social security system specific to the area through such negotiations.
In the appropriation of space, the Kamagasaki Joint Struggle Meeting formed in the early 1970s was main impetus. The meeting appropriated the three following important spaces in the Kamagasaki area by developing direct actions: First, by defeating the S Construction Company, it created a situation which gave laborers predominance over brokers in the labor market. Second, the meeting succeeded in appropriating Triangle Park by holding a summer festival. Third, after labor struggles broke down in 1973, the meeting developed a movement centered on the occupation of public spaces in the winter season. Such processes made safety nets for day laborers customary in Kamagasaki.
This paper demonstrates the differentiation of the space by a labor movement as described above. This paper also suggests the possibility of describing urban geography as a dynamic process accompanied by conflicts.

Key words: labor geography, production of space, scale, labor movement, yoseba, Kamagasaki

Influences of Fixed Links on Island Communities: A Case Study of Kouri-jima, Okinawa

Institute of Okinawan Studies, Hosei University

In Japan, more than one hundred islands have been connected to the mainland by bridges since the period of high economic growth beginning in the late 1950s. This has been aimed at bringing the economic levels of the islands up to that of the mainland. But, although reliable transportation routes to the mainland have been secured, a diversified life space has yet to come into existence on the islands. Indeed, the functioning of the communities on the islands has weakened.
The objective of this paper is to understand the present status of the social and functional decline on these bridged islands. Here our example is Kouri-jima in Okinawa, where a fixed link to the mainland was completed in 2005. We consider the influences of the sea bridge from the perspective of the social experiences of the inhabitants.
Analysis reveals that the fixed link has certainly brought some merits to the island, in terms of saving time, labor, and transportation costs, as well as the reliability of the route. In fact, the new route has brought convenience and flexibility to some of the island’s inhabitants. On the whole, however, these effects have been restricted to a narrow range of the island’s livelihood. In addition, the effects of the fixed link on transportation have brought disadvantages to many aspects of everyday life, causing the inhabitants mental, physical, and economic burdens at the levels of the individual, the family, and the community. As a result, close social connections between the inhabitants, on which the traditional community was based, have weakened considerably, bringing changes to the “island lifestyle” that depended on the sea that surrounded it.
The influences of the fixed link have resulted from essential differences between land transportation and marine transportation. Three factors have compounded the negative influence of the fixed link: first, the loss of the functions of marine transportation, which had complemented and maintained the restrictive and cooperative characteristics of the community; second, the independence and reliability of land transportation; and third, the increase in strong influences from the mainland. The results of this study suggest that characteristics of a “non-island community” have emerged here, with the new land transportation route and its emphasis on convenience causing an imbalance in the transportation system and a disruption of the cooperative and symbiotic nature of the community.

Key words: remoteness, influences of fixed links, island communities, social functions of transportation, Kouri-jima, Okinawa

Health and Place: A Review of Neighbourhood Studies of Geographical Inequalities in Health

Department of Geography, Ritsumeikan University

The aim of this review is to summarize the recent interdisciplinary interest in the relationship between health and place related to issues of geographical inequalities in health since the 1990s, mostly in the context of Anglophone literature, in order to identify meaningful research challenges applied to the context of Japan. There are several background factors which have directed this trend, including: (1) advanced GIS and spatial epidemiology techniques; (2) the emergence of the ‘new’ geography of health; and (3) the exploring of possibilities of environmental health interventions based on the philosophy of the ‘new public health.’ Referencing keywords of papers published in the influential journal in this field, Health & Place, we found that there is a clear accumulation of studies of “neighbourhoods” in contemporary settings of developed countries. Such studies broadly argue (1) that socially deprived people are likely to live in deprived/harmful areas, and (2) the kind of general environmental changes that can alter the ideal concept of ‘healthy places’ in the society. We also contextualized the neighbourhood research interest into categories of compositional effects by selective migration and housing, possible ‘upstream causes’ of social inequality related to relative income and the neo―materialist hypothesis, and historical transitions of ‘healthy towns’ in the relationship between public health and city planning concepts. Although the underlying context of the society and lifestyles in the reviewed Anglophone studies are often largely different from those of Japan, there is a large potential for conducting studies of geographical inequality in health in various research fields of geography and related disciplines in order to identify Japanese contextual effects and to propose effective environmental intervention schemes in the society. Particularly when we consider the fact that Japan is still one of the healthiest and most egalitarian nations in the world, conditions may be associated with geographical aspects of the society, such as less segregated social area formation. However, recent apprehension about rising social inequality and related social/geographical inequality problems has provoked us to learn lessons from other countries’ experiences of (un) healthy neighbourhoods structured by globalization, social policy, and urban design.

Key words: geographical inequality in health, neighbourhood, the geography of health, medical geography, social epidemiology, city planning, public health

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