Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.64 No.6(2012)

Vol.64 No.6 (2012)


Special Issue : Progress of Human Geography in Japan since 1980 Part I

YAMANO Masahiko
Preface : Progress of Human Geography in Japan since 1980  1

SHIMAZU Toshiyuki, FUKUDA Tamami and OSHIRO Naoki
Imported Scholarship or Indigenous Development? : Japanese Contributions to the History of Geographical Thought and Social and Cultural Geography since the Late 1970s  2

KAGAWA Takashi, KOGA Shinji and NEDA Katsuhiko
Research Trends in Japanese Urban Geography since 1980  25

TOIDA Katsuki, YOSHIMIZU Hiroya and IWAMOTO Hiromi
Trends in Japan’s Geography Education : Focusing on the 1980s to the Present  49

YAMAZAKI Takashi, TAKAGI Akihiko, KITAGAWA Shinya and KAGAWA Yuichi
Reemerging Political Geography in Japan  72

Meeting Report

128th Research Seminar of Historical Geography Study Group  97

Announcement  99


Preface : Progress of Human Geography in Japan since 1980

YAMANO Masahiko
President of the Human Geographical Society of Japan

The aim of this special issue is to present an overview of the development and research trends in human geography in Japan since 1980, when the 24th IGC was held in Tokyo. This publication has been planned in conjunction with the forthcoming IGU Kyoto Regional Conference in August 2013, in collaboration with the Organizing Committee of the KRC.
The Human Geographical Society of Japan was founded in 1948 at Kyoto as the academic association to which most Japanese human geographers belong. At present this society has 1,329 members and publishes six issues a year of its official journal, Jimbun Chiri, (the Japanese Journal of Human Geography or JJHG). The Society currently has the following five special study groups : (1) the History of Geographical Thought, (2) Historical Geography, (3) Urban Area Studies, (4) Geographic Education, and (5) Political Geography. From 2000 to 2005, an Asian Areal Studies group was also active. Each group holds several research meetings a year.
This special issue consists of four papers on the main branches of human geography : the history of geographical thought, urban geography, geographic education, and political geography. Topics in historical geography and Asian Areal studies will be carried in the next volume. All papers are written by representative researchers belonging to the special study groups.
Japanese human geography has greatly changed during the past 30 years under the influence of Anglo―American academia. This can be partly attributed to the adaptation of GIS across a wide range of the discipline, and the influence of the ‘cultural turn’ or postmodern geographies on methodology. Although no simple explanation can be applied to the changes within the discipline of human geography, it seems that the discipline has been fragmented in substantive concerns and a large gap has occurred between the younger and older generations on research subjects and practices.
One issue in every volume of JJHG features a “Survey of Geographical Studies”, an annual review of human geography in Japan. It is possible to search through the results of studies in the 12 volumes of bibliographies published by the HGSJ since 1953. For more detailed context about the progress of human geography in Japan, see the following three sources : 1. Takeuchi, K., “Japan”, in Johnston, R. J. and P. Claval, eds., Geography since the Second World War, (London & Sydney : Croom Helm. 1984, 235―263) ; 2. Nozawa, H. ed., Indigenous and Foreign Influences in the Development of Japanese Geographical Thought : Japanese Contributions to the History of Geographical Thought (4), (Institute of Geography, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 1989, 84 pp.) ; and 3. Yamada, M., “Human Geography in Japan : its development and current circumstances,” JJHG 59―6, 2007, pp. 23―37.

Imported Scholarship or Indigenous Development? : Japanese Contributions to the History of Geographical Thought and Social and Cultural Geography since the Late 1970s

SHIMAZU Toshiyuki
Wakayama University
Osaka Prefecture University
Kobe University

This paper discusses research trends in the history of geography and social and cultural geography in Japan since the late 1970s with attention to their institutional contexts. The 24th International Geographical Congress held in Tokyo led to the emergence of several informal and formal research groups concerning the history of geography and social and cultural geography. These groups acted as incubators in which the articulation between new trends in the Anglophone world and conventional research agendas shared by Japanese geographers triggered an interconnected renovation of the historiography of geography and social and cultural geography. Japanese historians of geography increasingly paid attention to non―academic as well as academic geographical thought and practices in Japan, in addition to the traditional tendency to deal with the thought of distinguished geographers in the West. New themes such as “critical history of geography” and “historical geography of geography” were also being taken seriously. Japanese geographers’ concern with humanistic geography developed diversely, on the one hand articulating with traditional research topics, and on the other, generating new interests in themes such as “geography and literature” or “sensuous geographies.” Since the late 1980s, younger social and cultural geographers have been more than ever tackling issues around the “cultural turn” in Anglophone human geography, the “spatial turn” in social science and the multiple aspects of modernity. These research trends are not fully based on “imported scholarship,” nor should they be replaced by “indigenous development.” Texts produced by Japanese geographers may retain the same intertextuality and hybridity as those produced by Western geographers do.

Key words: history of geography, intertextuality, humanistic approach, cultural turn, spatial turn, modernity

Research Trends in Japanese Urban Geography since 1980

KAGAWA Takashi
Kyoto University of Education
KOGA Shinji
Ritsumeikan University
NEDA Katsuhiko
Nara University of Education

Already more than 30 years have passed since the IGC was held in Tokyo. In that time, Japan’s cities have gone through major transformations, but that is in large part due to having experienced the appreciation of land values during the bubble economy of the late 1980s. In urban cores during the bubble, land rushes drove prices to appreciate, and that spilled over into the suburbs as well. The supply of residences in suburbs grew, and this facilitated the expansion of business and commercial functions into the suburbs. However, the drop in and stabilisation of land prices following the collapse of the bubble prompted the supply of tower―type condominiums in the surrounding areas of CBDs and also had a tremendous impact on the expansion of business function and retail sites. This paper tackles what urban geography involves and what it explains about environmental changes in urban areas of Japan. After the collapse of the bubble, people were impacted on a global scale by synchronised terrorist attacks, the Lehman Shock and other events. The various activities of people living and working in cities often became the focus of urban geographical studies, and that continues to this day. This paper sheds light on that trend in Japan’s geography circles.

Key words: urban geography, residences, offices, retailing, 1980s and later, Japan

Trends in Japan’s Geography Education : Focusing on the 1980s to the Present

TOIDA Katsuki
Kinki University
Hyogo University of Teacher Education
Nara University of Education

This report aims to inform the current state of geography education in Japan to countries abroad. An organized effort to create such a report is the first since 1980 when the IGU convention was held in Tokyo. This report aims to present the trends in Japan’s geography education since 1980, although trends before 1980 may be discussed depending on the topic. Chapter I provides an overview about the general geography curriculum in Japan. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT) created the Course of Study to serve as a standard for the educational curriculum. Therefore the historic development of the Course of Study is classified. Chapter II presents a discussion of articles and research results concerning geography education during this time period. The subsections are overall review, geography education research, foreign research, geography curriculum/coursework composition theory research, cognitive research, and geography education content theory/methodology theory research. Chapter III describes the promotional activities and training activities promoted by academic groups. The main focus of this chapter will describe the activities that are targeted for school teachers and children/students regarding geography education.

Key words: geography curriculum, the Course of Study, trends in geography education research, social contribution activities by the geographical society

Reemerging Political Geography in Japan

Osaka City University
TAKAGI Akihiko
Kyushu University
Mie University
The University of Shiga Prefecture

The Political Geography Research Group (PGRG) of the Human Geographical Society of Japan was established in 2011 to promote political geographic studies in Japan. The PGRG is the very first research unit on political geography in the Society which was established in 1948. Political geography was once one of the weakest sub―fields in Japanese geography with a very limited number of scholars and published works. This, however, is not at all the case now. Political geography is a reemerging field in Japan. In this review paper, four of the PGRG members contribute chapters on general trends in Japanese political geography, legacies of Japanese wartime geopolitics, the introduction of “new geopolitics” into Japan, and geographical studies on environmental movements. All of them have confirmed with confidence that Japanese political geography has been reemerging and making steady progress in terms of theory, methodology, and case study since the 1980s. Although the current stage of Japanese political geography is still in the regenerative phase, they strongly believe that political geography should be firmly embedded in Japanese geography.

Key words: political geography, Japanese geopolitics, new geopolitics, environmental movements, Japan

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