Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.59 No.6 (2007)

Vol.59 No.6 (2007)


Special Issue

Recent Developments in Asian Human Geography:
Editor’s Note
MIZUUCHI Toshio (1)
Recent Progress of Human Geography in China
Yanwei CHAI, Shangyi ZHOU, Yunlong CAI, Yan ZHANG, Liping WU and Guilan WENG (2)
Human Geography in Japan:
Its Development and Current Circumstances
YAMADA Makoto (36)


Rethinking the Humanistic Approach in Geography:
Misunderstood Essences andJapanese Challenges
IMAZATO Satoshi (38)

Meeting Report

108th Meeting of Historical Geography (63)
News (65)
Announcement (95)


Recent Progress of Human Geography in China:
Retrospect and Prospect

Yanwei CHAI
(College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Pekin University)
Shangyi ZHOU
(School of Remote Sensing and Geography, Beijing Normal Universtity)
Yunlong CAI
(College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Pekin University)
(College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Pekin University)
Liping WU
(School of Remote Sensing and Geography, Beijing Normal Universtity)
Guilan WENG
(Department of Geography, University of Washington)

The great socio―economic transition and the process of globalization have profoundly influenced human geography studies in China. During the transitional period, a large volume of research in Chinese human geography was launched and great progress has been achieved. In this paper, the authors provide a review of recent progress achieved in Chinese human geography mainly in the following fields: urban and regional development, cultural globalization and the ‘cultural turn’, improvement of quality of life and tourism development. As for urban and regional development, urbanization studies during the process of globalization and socio―economic transitional period are of great importance, with the main features of urbanization, urban spatial restructuring and urban social problems. At the same time, this paper summarizes progress in cultural geography against the background of cultural globalization and the trend towards a cultural turn, concerning the expansion of cultural landscape studies, deeper analysis of cultural realms or regions and study of cultural space influenced by the ‘new cultural geography’. In addition, recent progress in tourism geography in China is closely related to its application from a spatial perspective. Finally, several future research directions are highlighted and some suggestions are advanced for the future development of Chinese human geography. To sum up, although considerable progress has been achieved in applied research in recent years, human geography studies in China are still relatively inadequate in theoretical and methodological exploration.

Key words: recent progress, human geography, prospect, China

Human Geography in Japan:
Its Development and Current Circumstances

(Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University)

This essay introduces the development of human geography in Japan and conditions affecting it at the present time. At the present time Japanese human geography, which gradually accumulated findings by absorbing and reworking methods from Europe and America beginning in the 1910s, is seeing new standpoints, subjects, and methods of research emerge from a younger generation and opportunities for transmitting findings abroad are also increasing. However, there is cause for concern in the sometimes too drastic rupture with traditional human geography.

Key words: Japanese human geography, History of geography, Sociology of geography

Rethinking the Humanistic Approach in Geography:
Misunderstood Essences and Japanese Challenges

(Department of Arts and Sciences, Osaka University of Education)

This paper critically reevaluated the history of humanistic geography in Japan and English-speaking countries. Japanese applications to case studies have been mainly developed in rural and historical geography, maintaining its own humanistic perspectives nurtured in traditional Japanese academics. The essences of humanistic geography as positive science, however, haveoften been misunderstood, both inside and outside of Japan.
The author accordingly reexamined the basic concepts and perspectives in the original approaches of Tuan, Relph, and Ley, as well as in the phenomenology of Husserl and Schutz, to more rigidly redefine humanistic geography: focusing on intersubjective order in human existential space or its representations; seeking universality of human reason and the senses; utilization of humanities or fieldwork materials considering inside humans’ views; and philosophical reflections on the methodology of human sciences.
From the viewpoint of this redefinition, we recognize that methodological challenges haveaccumulated within Japanese geography: semiotics of folk classifications of settlement spaces, quantitative textual analysis, epistemological reconsideration of space and landscape, and radical rethinking of the Western dualism between ‘human’ and ‘nature.’

Key words: humanistic geography, subjective space, phenomenology, structuralism, epistemology of space, Western dualism

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