The Human Geographical Society of Japan « Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.61 No.6 (2009)

Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.61 No.6 (2009)

Vol.61 No.6 (2009)


Special Issue

FUJITA Hirotsugu
Historical Geography of Japan : Editorial Note  1

Data Analysis System for Population and Family Studies on Japan in the 17th-19th Centuries  2

YAMANE Hiroshi
The Spatial Recognitions of Toshimichi Okubo and the Formation of Regions in Modern Japan  23

Inheritance and Characteristics of Bullfighting in Japan  42

Changes in Residential Structure in 20th-Century Kyoto City  56

Meeting Report

9th Open Seminor  78
94th Meeting of Geographical Thought  81
News  83
Announcement  104


Data Analysis System for Population and Family Studies on Japan in the 17th―19th Centuries

Faculty of Business Administratron, Tezukayama University

Most studies on population and family patterns in early modern Japan have been carried out with three kinds of historical documents : the religious investigation registers, the Buddhist temple death registers, and the household registers. In cases where these handwritten documents have been well preserved, we can obtain a considerable amount of information about the real life of peasants including not only population statistics, but also indices concerning family status. We have been developing a database system to calculate demographic statistics from these documents. With this system, we can improve the following four technical aspects : reduction of data processing to output demographic statistics, reliability of the data processing, preservation of historical documents in digital form, and sharing of data and analysis methods with researchers around the world. We named this system DANJURO. We have also started to develop the Alliance system for kinship and genealogy studies, and the historical GIS for geographic mobility with the database in DANJURO. DANJURO allowed us to find regional differences in the mean age of women at first marriage and the structure of households between Aizu / Ohnuma counties and Muko / Yatabe counties. We were also able to verify long―distance marriages in both regions from the end of the 18th century. It is clear that the reproductive behavior in each village was not limited to nearby villages where peasants could make a round trip in one day. Therefore, it is necessary to collect, store, analyze, and share additional series of historical registers with DANJURO and to find the regional patterns of reproductive behavior as well as the reasons for these regional difference in a nationwide perspective before preparing the national demographic statistics.

Key words: religious investigation register, Buddhist temple death register, household register, genealogy, database, historical GIS

The Spatial Recognitions of Toshimichi Okubo and the Formation of Regions in Modern Japan

YAMANE Hiroshi
Faculty of Human Development, University of Toyama

This paper explores the spatial career of Toshimichi Okubo as the most powerful statesman in modern Japan and investigates the relationship between his spatial recognition based on his spatial experiences and his spatial practices in planning Japan’s national land development policy. His spatial experiences increased upon his promotion within the Satsuma clan after the 1860s. Although he left traces of his visits overseas, it was Central and Western Japan that he traveled to very often. His travels introduced him to places that were very different from where he later put spatial ideas into practice in Northeast Japan. Okubo also visited Britain after joining the Iwakura Embassy in 1872, and he acquired many ideas there regarding industrialization and infrastructure. His experiences in Britain were later applied to plans for the regional development project in the Tohoku Region in Northeast Japan. Tohoku was an unfamiliar place to Okubo, but it was similar to the countryside in Britain, especially in Scotland. Okubo planned and made suggestions regarding large infrastructure development projects and the development of natural resources in Northeast Japan in 1878. This was the major focus of his spatial practices. In this way, the spatial experiences of a man who lived at a historical turning point resulted in spatial practices adapted from spatial recognition. Since the intervention of an agent of structuralization can have a great influence on the formation and changes of regions, we need to study the spatial recognition and practices of this influential man in order to investigate such core facts of modern historical geography.

Keywords : Toshimichi Okubo, modern Japan, spatial experience, spatial recognition, spatial practice, Tohoku

Continuity and Characteristics of Bullfighting in Japan

Hiroshima University Museum

This paper has two purposes. One is to identify the features of Japanese bullfighting, which originated as an amusement during agricultural off-seasons, and has continued to exist as a traditional event up to the present time. The other is to show the significance and characteristics of Japanese bullfighting as compared to foreign, especially Spanish, bullfighting.
The main factors that tend to support the tradition vary by district, for example, as a tourist event, as an appreciation of a traditional event, and as a local amusement. However, there is one overriding common factor. It is the social relationships among the actors engaged in bullfighting that keep it alive. Bull owners get acquainted and become familiar with each other through trading bulls. Bull owners and facilitators are tied together through a deep confidential relationship. Bull owners, their families, and neighbors strengthen the ties among them through cheering on their bulls together.
Bulls in Spanish bullfighting symbolize nature. There, bulls are regarded as an enemy of humans. Compared with this, bulls in Japanese bullfighting symbolize humans. A strong bull symbolizes its owner’s power. A battle between bulls is like that between people. Therefore, people and bulls make up a team and fight together. Japanese bullfighting has a characteristic that the Spanish version does not have, which is a social relationship between people centered on their bulls. Networks of bullfighting actors are increasingly becoming widespread across the country. Such a social relationship created through bullfighting is called ushi-en.

Key Words : bullfighting, traditional culture, social relationship, tourism, amusement

Changes in Residential Structure in 20th-Century Kyoto City

Graduate Student Graduate School of Letters, Ritsumeikan University JSPS Research Fellow

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate long-term changes in residential structure in 20th-century Kyoto City. My research focuses on the three time points of 1911, 1965, and 2005 because of the availability of small area statistics on residents. These small areas under the administration of the Kyoto City Government in the targeted time points are classified into types based on residential characteristics. Comparisons of spatial distributions of the types in each time point reveal the following three characteristics : First of all, while each time point shows sectoral spatial distributions of types in the occupation, the distributions in 2005 do not show this tendency so clearly as before. Second, as of 1965, one can easily recognize a concentric pattern of household size, that is, the closer to the city center, the larger the household. Yet, that changed in 2005, going in the opposite direction. Finally, in the city center, while spatial distributions of the types show clear patterns in 1911 and 1965, the types in 2005 come to form a mosaic pattern. Until 1965, the residential structures had remained unchanged since the late Edo period. However, they changed drastically during the four decades after 1965. In 2005, typical models of intra-urban structures such as sectoral and concentric ones have become irrelevant when one interprets Kyoto’s residential structures.

Keywords : residential structure, intra-urban structure model, Kyoto City, Self-Organizing Map (SOM)