The Human Geographical Society of Japan « Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.66 No.6(2014)

Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.66 No.6(2014)

Vol.66 No.6(2014)


Special Issue : Rethinking Geographies of Nature

Introduction : Rethinking Geographies of Nature 1

〈Representation and Visuality of Nature〉
The ‘Capture’ of Exotic Natures : Cross-cultural Knowledge and Japanese Gardening in Early 20th Century Britain 4

‘Nature too Wild’ ? : Picturesque Landscaping and Uvedale Price 19

MORI Masato
The Localness, Materiality, and Visuality of Landscape in Japan 34

〈Politics and Economy of Nature〉
ASANO Toshihisa
International Nature Reserves and Local Inhabitants : The Case of “Wise Use” of Ramsar Wetlands in Japan 48

IGA Masaya
Changing Agri-food Systems in the Global Economy 64

〈New Horizons for the Production of Nature〉
Re-appropriating the Grassland : Toward an Alternative Production of Nature for Changing Militarized Reality 77

Rethinking Capital’s Relations to Nature :
From the Production of Nature Thesis to World-Ecological Synthesis 92

News 112


Introduction : Rethinking Geographies of Nature

Kanazawa University

<Representation and Visuality of Nature>

The ‘Capture’ of Exotic Natures : Cross-cultural Knowledge and Japanese Gardening in Early 20th Century Britain

Kobe Yamate University
This paper explores the influence of cross-cultural knowledge derived from travel and specialist horticultural education on the gardening work of three women in the early 20th century. Ethel Webb and Ella Christie were both wealthy, independent women who travelled to Japan. On their return home they created Japanese gardens on their private estates. The creation of Japanese gardens was particularly fashionable in early 20th century Britain. The third woman is the Japanese horticulturalist Taki Nakanome (nee Handa) who studied at Studley College in Britain and directed the construction of a Japanese garden at Ella Christie’s estate, Cowden Castle. The pioneering Japanese horticulturalist, Taki Nakanome (nee Handa), after returning to Japan taught botany, horticulture and English at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan. Later in her life, Taki ran an orchard at the Nakanome family estate at Mizusawa, Iwate prefecture during the 1920s. Ella Christie’s employment of a female garden designer, Taki Nakanome (nee Handa) in 1908, was obscured by the fact that she was a foreigner. Her exoticness was perhaps more important than her gender to create authenticity.
Key words : travel and life history, gender and female horticultural education, Japanese gardens in Britain, Ethel Webb (1862-1915), Ella Christie (1861-1949), Taki Nakanome (nee Handa) (1871-1956)

‘Nature too wild’ ? : Picturesque Landscaping and Uvedale Price

University of Nottingham
This paper considers the relevance of the work of Uvedale Price (1747-1829) to debates about the relationship between nature, landscape and society. It focusses on the management of gardens and trees and concludes by assessing his influence on nineteenth century ideas of nature, art and landscape. Uvedale Price published his Essay on the Picturesque in 1794. He defined the ‘picturesque’ as an aesthetic category lying somewhere between Edmund Burke’s ‘sublime’ and ‘beautiful’. He saw the Essay as a practical guide to managing estates and in this it was generally well received. It generated a literary controversy as he set his ideas of the picturesque forcefully against the then established and celebrated national style of landscape gardening practiced and popularised by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Price’s work influenced literary figures such as Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth ; artists such as John Constable and David Cox and landscape gardeners such as Humphry Repton ; John Claudius Loudon and William Sawrey Gilpin. By the mid-nineteenth century picturesque ways of seeing the landscape had become so normal and natural that Uvedale Price’s contribution to the debate began to be forgotten, to be revived by architectural historians in the twentieth century.
Key words : nature, picturesque, cultural geography, landscape, gardens, trees, Uvedale Price

The Localness, Materiality, and Visuality of Landscape in Japan

MORI Masato
Mie University
This paper aims to track the interlinked trajectories of the production of aesthetic landscape experience and the creation of senses of belonging to Japan during the formation of the modern nation-state of Japan. Particular emphasis was placed on an examination of the monthly tourist magazine Tabi 旅 (official English title is Travel), as tourism is a visual practice that frames vision, and mobilizes and assembles people and nature. The paper elaborates on how the culture of Japaneseness was embodied in the form of national parks and the selection of the New Eight Landscapes of Japan in the late 1920s and the early 1930s, as well as in the quest for the localness witnessed in the 1970s practice of traveling to and around various Sho-Kyoto sites recognized as pretty historic towns. In particular, the article focuses on the intersection of scale, materiality, visuality, and tourism using two periods of time to illustrate how the landscape of nature shaped the racialized homogeneity of Japan. The article clarifies that the national and local geographical scales of are not opposed, but mutual and supplementary. It also addresses how landscapes of nature materiality were used to instill moral and physical discipline, and how photos as a visual assemblage played a significant role in conveying a particular preference for localities featuring nature.
Key words : landscape of nature, tourism, national landscape, localness, materiality, visuality

<Politics and Economy of Nature>

International Nature Reserves and Local Inhabitants : The Case of “Wise Use” of Ramsar Wetlands in Japan

ASANO Toshihisa
Hiroshima University
This paper discusses the relationship between international nature reserves and local inhabitants through an examination of the wise use debate pertaining to Ramsar wetlands in Japan. Definitions of wise use are abstract, and only concretized through examples of best practice, which wetland stakeholders identify based on their own perceptions of wise use. Practices that existed before registration can be recognized as wise use after registration, thus affirming current practice, resulting in little change following registration, and leading to indifference. However, tourism is recognized as wise use and ecotourism is increasing, as is the tendency to connect registration to regional improvement. Yet when local residents pursue such strategies, there is the potential to deviate from the convention’s original intentions. Although this may render the extra-local logic of the convention meaningless, it may also help residents come to a consensus without contentious debate, thus affirming the relationship between residents and wetlands. The abstract ideals of the convention also inform local environmental education and thereby shape how residents understand their relationship to the wetlands.
Key words : Ramsar Convention, wetlands, nature reserves, inhabitants, Japan

Changing Agri-food Systems in the Global Economy

IGA Masaya
Nagoya University
Current agri-food systems are increasingly becoming globalized. Among the major drivers of this trend under the current “corporate food regime” are the large agribusiness firms. This article discusses the globalization of food and its social and spatial consequences, with a focus on agribusinesses’ disembedding of food supplies from nature. Agribusinesses have come to control food production and distribution, through the industrial appropriation of production and the substitution of natural produce with industrially-produced food, and thus have overcome the inherent constraints imposed by natural components (e. g., biological time, seasonality, and putrescence). This process disembeds food supply systems from the natural production process, through which large agribusiness firms have created a stable and global food supply. At the same time, globalized food systems have caused several problems associated with industrialization, such as a lack of food safety, unfair trade, and the mislabeling of food, which has sparked growing interest in local food systems (LFSs). Newly emerging food provisioning practices, which are linked to food production environments, are being evaluated as alternatives to industrialized and globalized food systems. Meanwhile, the boundaries between “alternative” LFSs embedded in local contexts and conventional agri-food systems that are disembedded from those contexts have become blurred or even undistinguishable in recent years. As such, the dualistic perspectives adopted by current agri-food studies are problematic, in that they risk inaccurately representing food systems with hybrid features that combine the global and the local, or the social and the natural. To understand food’s complicated geographies, further research is needed that transcends binaries such as global-local, conventional-alternative, and social-natural.
Key words :globalization, industrialization, disembedding, local food system, re-embedding, Chisan-Chisyo movement

Re-appropriating the Grassland : Toward an Alternative Production of Nature for Changing Militarized Reality

<New Horizons for the Production of Nature>

Kanazawa University
This article examines local peoples’ struggle against the U. S. and Japanese troops over the use of the Hijudai maneuver field by the Ground Self-Defense Force in Japan from the viewpoint of an “alternative production of nature,” which focuses on the potential of socially and materially produced nature to change the militarized reality of national security.
The rising imperative of national security has promoted the militarization of people’s lifeworlds world and paradoxically threatened their security. Such a militarization has caused various conflicts all over the world. For example, the recent transformation of the U. S. military has caused fierce struggles by local people against U. S. troops and bases in East Asia. In the maneuver field of Hijudai, the U. S. Marine Corps’ artillery live-fire exercises have been conducted since 1999 and local farmers and citizens’ group have been developing opposition movements.
First, the unique features of Hijudai are illustrated, that is, the coexistence of a pastureland and a maneuver field in the same place and a nature produced through interactive processes of grassland use by humans, grasses, and cattle. Second, the history of people’s struggle is described as processes of contestation between local people, governments, and NGOs over the significance of nature in the Hijudai area, where military use and local farmers’ livestock farming have collided. Lastly, it is disclosed that an alternative nature produced through the recent grassroots movement by local people has the potential to change militarized realities.
Key words : production of nature, security, maneuver field, livestock farming, Hijudai

Rethinking Capital’s Relations to Nature : From the Production of Nature Thesis to World-Ecological Synthesis

University of Tokyo
The geographies of nature literature has revolutionized conceptions of nature in geography. Yet all is not well on the socionatural front. Geographers have focused on the downstream consequences of capital for ecology but neglected modernity’s upstream sources, its foundational eco-relations and eco-logic. The production of nature thesis, a foundational statement for geographies of nature, pointed toward historical-theoretical reconstruction of capital-nature relations but stagnated at the stage of thesis. This article argues for moving from the production of nature thesis to world-ecological synthesis through an overview and critique of the world-ecological perspective, an approach pioneered by geographer Jason W. Moore. This perspective represents a great leap forward for rethinking capital’s eco-relations and eco-logic, but remains overlooked by many human geographers for at least two reasons, both of which this article aims to remedy. First, a comprehensive overview remains missing. Accordingly, this article first reviews Moore’s work, from its historical-geographical foundations, to its theoretical elaborations and its account of present crises and political struggles. Second, the world-ecology perspective has been advanced through a historical materialism somewhat at odds with contemporary human geographer’s focus on culture, power and knowledge. My critique suggests that bringing Gramsci’s ethico-politically infused historical materialism into world-ecology marks a pathway forward for geographies of nature.
Key words : world-ecology, commodity frontiers, value-relations, abstract social nature, ethico-political