Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.62 No.1 (2010)

Vol.62 No.1 (2010)



KUBO Tomoko
Decision-making Processes on Residential Choices of Condominium Residents in Makuhari Bay Town 1

Reserch Notes

Typology of Water Rights Disputes in the Early Modern Period :
A Case Study of the Foot of the East Mountain Area in the Nara Basin 20

BU Hye-Jin and KIM Doo-Chul
Revitalizing Depopulated Mountainous Areas through Endogenous Self-organization :
A Case Study of Kawane Village, Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture 36


Alan R H Baker
Conserving the Historic Environment in the UK : The Cambridge Case 51

Meeting Reports

Special Presentations in the Annual Meeting 2009 63
118th Research Seminar of Historical Geography Study Group 83
99th Research Seminar of Geographical Thought Study Group 86
33rd Research Seminar of Metropolitan Area Study Group 88
16th Research Seminar of Education of Geography Study Group 90
Announcement 94
Notes for Contributors of the English Papers 110
Subscription 112


Decision-making Processes in Residential Choices of Condominium Residents in Makuhari Bay Town

KUBO Tomoko
Graduate Student, University of Tsukuba, JSPS Research Fellow

Numerous attempts have been made by Japanese geographers to study condominiums. The condominium supply began in the central areas of Tokyo in the late 1950s as a form of luxury residences. After the 1970s, the condominium supply began to extend into the suburbs, and within a short period of time, many people began living in condominiums.
Since the late 1990s, the condominium supply has increased rapidly in the central areas of metropolitan regions and many local cities in Japan. In addition, the growth of suburban cores such as Makuhari and the increased condominium supply in suburban cores became remarkable phenomena. In recent years, the importance of residential areas in suburban neighborhoods has changed in the metropolitan regions.
This study aims to clarify the decision-making processes involved in the residential choices of condominium residents, on the basis of a case study of Makuhari Bay Town, a new condominium district developed after the late 1990s. Among 130 households that participated in the interview surveys, data from 112 households that were living in resident-owned condominiums were used in the analysis.
Most of the residents indicated that they had spent their entire lives in the suburbs and therefore preferred newly developed areas. In addition, some of the young families preferred to live close to their parents, while some parents moved into second-hand or rented houses in Makuhari Bay Town.
The residents evaluated Makuhari Bay Town as a pleasant neighborhood. Hence about 20 percent of the residents choose to remain in Makuhari Bay Town when they decided to move to a new residence. The decision-making patterns of the residents were different from that reflected by the classical decision-making model. That is, most of the households sought homes in famous residential districts although they were not familiar with the areas. Some residents visited housing parks as a kind of recreational activity, and upon finding a residence that they liked, decided to purchase it and move into the neighborhood. The characteristics of the residential form and the prosperous residential conditions of Makuhari Bay Town facilitated these decision-making patterns. Few residents used the Internet to search for houses. However, they did use the Internet to familiarize themselves with new areas, particularly to learn about the lifestyles of the district and the reputation of the elementary schools.

Key words: decision-making, residential choices, condominium residents, Makuhari Bay Town

Typology of Water Rights Disputes in the Early Modern Period: A Case Study of the Foot of the East Mountain Area in the Nara Basin

Graduate Student, Graduate School of Humanities, Kobe University

The type of farming in the Nara Basin had already been established before the start of the modern period. The Nara Basin boasted Japan’s highest capacity for producing rice. However, water rights disputes often occurred because of breaches of those water rights due to the limited amount of irrigation water available for use in farming. This paper examines the water rights disputes that were a part and parcel of the irrigation system in use in the early modern Nara Basin, and will proceed through the following methods?: First, the author classifies the types of water rights disputes by examining historical water rights dispute materials. Second, the approach is taken of examining the relationship between any patterns in the results and where the disputes occurred. In this paper, in order to objectively understand exactly where the disputes occurred, the places where they occurred are classified by landform. The first subject involves classifying the disputes by those where the generating factor of the problem was resolved and those where it was not. It is understood that the generating factor in the former was problems that arose because of natural factors such as water shortages and floods, and artificial factors such as repairs made by villagers.
The second subject concerns the relationship between the generating factor and the type of landform, examination of which reveals disputes to have been due to water shortages as they occurred on the alluvial fans, while floods, water shortages, and repairs were revealed to be factors when they occurred on the flood plain.
Thus this clarifies that shortages of water and drainage problems had occurred on the flood plain, while a shortage of water was the main matter with regard to the alluvial fan. The reason why the problems on the flood plain were so diverse is because use of the water supply facilities involved differing irrigation and drainage systems being used by each village, which then resulted in complicated irrigation customs. Conversely, disputes involving the irrigation ponds often occurred on the alluvial fans. Because there were few usable water sources in the vicinity, irrigation ponds became the main water source.

Key words: irrigation, water rights disputes, typology, landform division, early modern Yamato

Revitalizing Depopulated Mountainous Areas through Endogenous Self-organization: A Case Study of Kawane Village, Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture

BU Hye-Jin
Graduate Student, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Okayama University
KIM Doo-Chul
Graduate School of Environmental Science, Okayama University

Recently, the Japanese government initiated an administrative process which has resulted in the merging of municipalities across the country. Since then, the quality of services provided to inhabitants by the local government has declined in depopulated areas. As a result, it has been suggested that there may be a role for self-organization in the revival of local governance. In many depopulated areas, the distance between local government and the local community has continued to grow, and this has led to the newly established local government transferring certain responsibilities to the local community. Consequently, the reorganization of the local community has become indispensable.
Kawane Village is located in the mountainous area of Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Despite having a rapidly aging population, this village has been particularly successful in revitalizing local governance through reorganization of the local community. This research examines a variety of the community activities involved, and the unique management methods behind them, in an attempt to ascertain the factors which have resulted in successful self-governance in this village.
Since its establishment in 1972, the Kawane Promotion Association has experienced three crucial turning points. Initially, the Kawane Promotion Association, which had previously consisted of only a few households, encouraged every household in the village to become involved in the organization of cultural activities. Since the 1980s, the Kawane Promotion Association has begun to act as a representative for the local community, for example, in dealing with local problems and in communicating with the local government. Finally, since the 1990s, the Kawane Promotion Association has begun to manage private land resources and offer welfare services to individuals. The Kawane Promotion Association has instigated the development of eight related departments that are responsible for specific tasks or activities. This research shows that the success of the Kawane Promotion Association lies in its unique style of management, whereby there is no central authority?; instead, decision-making powers are transferred among units as required, ensuring full participation by local residents.

Key words: depopulated mountainous village, local community, Kawane Promotion Association, local governance, Kawane Village, Akitakata City

Conserving the Historic Environment in the UK: The Cambridge Case

Alan R H Baker
(Life Fellow, Emmanuel College, Cambridge)

Population growth and economic development are transforming the built-form of the city of Cambridge more swiftly today than at any time in its two thousand years’ history. These rapid and radical developments pose serious threats to the historic environment of this ancient market and university city. The built form of Cambridge is an architectural palimpsest not only of numerous religious and university buildings dating from the medieval period onwards but also of significant secular structures from the early modern and modern periods. This paper assesses the conservation principles that underpin efforts to protect and enhance Cambridge’s diverse and rich historic environment. It considers critically the national, the regional and, most especially, the local planning policies which constitute the framework within which conservation measures have to be practised. It examines the roles of key players, both public and private, in the conservation of Cambridge’s historic environment and specifically considers the designation of a new Conservation Area. Finally, it argues that while the development of an historic environment strategy for Cambridge is necessary that strategy cannot be expected to include submission of a claim for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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