The Human Geographical Society of Japan « Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.61 No.1 (2009)

Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.61 No.1 (2009)

Vol.61 No.1 (2009)



Tracing the Discussions towards the Traces of Matters and the More-Than-Human World in Anglophone Human Geography
MORI Masato (1)
Towards Multiscalar Spaces of the Territorial Logic of Power:
A Critical Reflection on Harvey’s‘Accumulation by Dispossession’
Bongman SEO (23)

Research Note

Economic Aspects of Production Areas in the Local Brands Promotion Scheme:
The Case of Mango Production Areas in Saito City, Miyazaki
NAKAKUBO Keisuke (39)

Book Review (60)

Meeting Report

Special Presentations in the Annual Meeting 2008 (64)
112nd Meeting of Historical Geography (86)
113rd Meeting of Historical Geography (89)
95th Meeting of Geographical Thought (92)
28nd Meeting of Metropolitan Area Studies (96)
13rd Meeting of Geographical Education (98)
Announcement (101)
Notes for Contributors of the English Papers (107)
Subscription (109)


Tracing the Discussions towards the Traces of Matters and the More-Than-Human World in Anglophone Human Geography

MORI Masato
(Mie University)

This article traces some trajectories of social and cultural geography since the end of the 1980s to the early 2000s and attempts to explain how the geography of materiality has become a matter in current Anglophone geography, especially in the United Kingdom. Although the new cultural geography of Japan redefines social and cultural geography and focuses on discursive practices and representations, in Japan there is low awareness of discussions on post-humanism, which is a topic in Anglophone geography. Anglophone geography consists of topics such as materiality, performativity, complexity theory, and actor-network theory. There is no paper in the Japanese or English literature in Japan that discusses such topics. Hence, this article attempts to establish a framework to facilitate the discussion of topics such as those mentioned above.
To begin with, the process of development of the new cultural geography is detailed in order to review the questions raised towards the end of the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic. The new social and cultural geography has progressed beyond the conventional understanding of culture, which is sustained by traditional cultural geography, stressing the complex relation between culture, economy and politics, and has also served to underline the crisis in geographical representations associated with anthropological discussions. In this consideration, moral geography, which forms webs of ideologies through space, place, and landscape, is examined. There have been criticisms of the new cultural geography, of which a problem of reification of the idea of culture is noted here. However, the controversy around this criticism seemingly still retains a problem of metaphysics, and rigidly assumes the existence of ‘subject’ and ‘object’. Phil Crang’s paper that intends to combine the cultural aspect with economic geography implies the idea of culture and economy as something performed. It states that there is no linearity or predetermined harmony among cultural, economic and political practices. This point of view was amplified in some lines of discussions in the late 1990s.
Second, theoretical frameworks for performativity, hybridity, ethics, non-representational theory, complexity theory, and actor-network theory are outlined in this essay. The power of things, women, nature, etc. that have been objectified is included as these discussions revolve around the issue of western metaphysics which continually attempts to establish a rigid division between the subject and the object. The distinction has been always/already mediated by the corporeal. The traces left by the corporeal or things reveals the impossibility of the execution of the project of western metaphysics. Ethics are centered, instead of moral geography, to grasp the entanglement of humans and non-humans.
Third, criticism of the material turn that occurred at the end of the 1990s is studied. The discussion on materiality became a critical vehicle to overcome the weakness of verbal analysis. Mike Crang’s papers on heritage show that materiality emerges in various practices and affects people’s memories. Materiality is not only an issue of matter. Subsequently, there is reference to a controversy between Daniel Miller, who influenced the material turn in geography, and Michel Callon, who proposed the actor-network theory. It demonstrates how Miller is captured by the classic Hegelian/Marxist concept: Miller assumes the linearity of ideology in a market and the predominance of the subject over the object. It is, therefore, understandable that some geographers were accused of continuing to retain Hegelian beliefs, i. e., the belief that there is a binary relation between subject/object, spirit/thing, and human/nature.
Finally, the concept of post-humanism that summarizes the bundle of discussions mentioned before, and an ontological understanding of existence (e. g., in geography, space, place, landscape, etc.) are explained. An understanding these topics leads to a grasp of current topics such as affect, complexity, a ‘more-than-human world’, liquidity, and care.

Key words: cultural turn, metaphysics, ontological turn, materiality, post-hummanism, ethics

Towards Multiscalar Spaces of the Territorial Logic of Power:
A Critical Reflection on Harvey’s ‘Accumulation by Dispossession’

Bongman SEO
(Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University)

This paper aims to critically examine Harvey’s approach to the role of the state in capital accumulation through his conceptualization of ‘accumulation by dispossession’ and ‘territorial logics of power’ in The New Imperialism, comparing it to his former arguments in The Limits to Capital, and suggests recent multiscalar approaches as a possible way to complement Harvey’s state-centric approach in these works.
In The New Imperialism, Harvey argues that ‘accumulation by dispossession’ is a new accumulation regime that has been imposed by states by way of privatization and financialization in order to overcome the tendencies toward over-accumulation crises since the 1970s. In doing so, Harvey stresses the central role of the state in coordinating new forms of ‘accumulation by dispossession,’ forming alliances with finance capital and international institutions.
In comparison to his conceptualization of the state in The Limits to Capital, Harvey tends to overstress the centrality of the hegemonic states, especially the US, as orchestrator of emergent forms of dispossessive accumulation in peripheries as well as core countries. Meanwhile, accumulation dynamics at sub-national scales and the roles of non-hegemonic states in capitalist accumulation have been under-theorized. The paper suggests that recent multiscalar approaches may present one way to correct this omission.

Key words: accumulation by dispossession, territorial logic of power, multiscalar spaces, capital accumulation, crisis, state

Economic Aspects of Production Areas in the Local Brands Promotion Scheme:
The Case of Mango Production Areas in Saito City, Miyazaki

(Graduate Student, Faculty of Literature, Kwansei Gakuin University)

Since the 1990’s, while the actors of neoliberalism including the WTO are rising on the global scale, Japanese agriculture has been restructured and the number of crops which can support the farmers’ agricultural business has been decreasing. In this recent restructuring of Japanese agriculture, the “local brands” which are the labeled regional specialty food products (SFPs) are expected to contribute to the development of the rural districts. These brands, therefore, are drawing more and more attention from academics and also other fields. However, these products do not necessarily bring profits to the rural districts, and they have rather the potential to cause some conflicts. To understand how they affect the development of the production areas, it is important to consider how the actors in the food chains are linked and how the product qualities are constructed between the actors.
Based on the above described facts, in order to verify the “local brands” scheme, I would like to discuss the mango production areas in Saito City, Miyazaki, as an example. Mangos, because they are tropical fruits, are produced in only a few areas in Japan with a great amount of investment. Domestic mangos are mainly used as luxury gifts in the domestic market. They used to have the characteristic of niche crops, but recently their market has been expanded and their prices have been increasing.
What has been made clear, through this research, is that the development factors of the production areas are: (1) the adoption of mangos as new crops by the farmers who were struggling with financial difficulties; (2) the promotion of the production areas by the prefectural governments and JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), and the construction of a brand promotion system by cooperation between production and distribution divisions and (3) the winning of media attention. However, on the other hand, for the farmers’ agricultural business, there were problems such as: (1) development of the production areas was accompanied by the stratification of farmers; and (2) destabilization of the business of the farmers excluded from the “local brands.”
The production areas of the niche crops are under a changeable economic system and their success is accidental and unsure. However, it is valuable to discuss how alternatives in the food network, such as the example case above, will contribute to the development of the production areas.

Key words: promotion of the production areas, construction of quality, local brands, regional specialty food products, mangos, Saito City (Miyazaki)