Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.63 No.1 (2011)

Vol.63 No.1 (2011)



The Current Significance of Mobile Pastoralism in the Tibetan Village of Northwestern Yunnan Province, China: Through an analysis of milk production  1

ASO Tasuku
Exclusion of Catholics on Amamioshima in the 1930’s and the Formation of “Landscapes of Exclusion”  22

Research Notes

ASADA Haruhisa
Rice based Cropping Systems of the Ahom: A village study in Assam, India  42

Dynamics of Segregated Housing Complexes for Heavy Industry Employees in the New Industrial Areas (Shin Sangyo Toshi): A Case Study of Akeno District, Oita  60

Meeting Reports

Special Presentations in the Annual Meeting 2010  78

News 102
Notes for Contributors 104
Notes for Contributors of the English Papers 107
Subscription 109
Announcement 112


The Current Significance of Mobile Pastoralism in the Tibetan Village of Northwestern Yunnan Province, China: Through an analysis of milk production

Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

Geographers and anthropologists have the utilization of mountain environments from the viewpoints of elevation and mixed agriculture, generally within relatively small scale structural frameworks such as those of a village or watershed. In recent decades, however, many once remote mountain areas have become more closely linked with the outside world and are gradually becoming incorporated into national policies and market economies. Consequently, new businesses such as tourism or picking matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma matsutake) have been introduced into mountain societies, and thus the patterns of environmental utilization are also changing. The objective of this study was to estimate the productivity of milk production in mobile pastoralism, a typical form of mountain environmental use, in ethnic Tibetan villages. This study also compares economic efficiency between traditional mobile pastoralism and the newly introduced matsutake mushroom business, and discusses the current significance of stock raising in mountain areas. Field research was conducted in Tibetan villages in northeastern Yunnan Province, China.
Milk yield fluctuated widely by season, with peak production in July and August when livestock and herders stayed at alpine pastures above the tree line. Yaks (Bos grunniens), which are well adapted to alpine environments, and yak cattle hybrids, were raised in the mobile pastoralist system. The yaks were used for both reproduction and milk yield, while yak cattle hybrids were specialized for milking. Villagers have achieved stable production by utilizing diverse bovine varieties. Based on the amounts of milk produced in sample households, mobile pastoralism appeared to provide comparable income to that obtained from selling matsutake mushrooms. Despite its economic advantages, mobile pastoralism has gradually declined over the past decade, while sedentary livestock raising has become more popular. Family structure and livelihoods have changed under shifts in national policies and the commodity economy, and these changes have led to labor shortages in the pastoral sector.
While selling matsutake mushrooms is currently the major income source in the villages, this activity includes several insecure aspects such as fluctuating international prices and fragile growing environments. Thus, if the labor issue were to be solved, mobile pastoralism could be a valuable option to make up for embedded risks in the selling of matsutake mushrooms.

Key words: mountain area, mobile pastoralism, Tibetan ethnicity, milk, milk processing, Yunnan Province of China

Exclusion of Catholics on Amamioshima in the 1930’s and the Formation of “Landscapes of Exclusion”

ASO Tasuku
Graduate Student, Ritsumeikan University

People have often regarded a specific person or group as being different, and excluded them. Exclusion is a universal phenomenon, and it sometimes is manifested spatially. Still, exclusion is a complicated phenomenon because buildings that are related to groups of people who are different are not only destroyed but can also be converted by exclusionary groups. Such buildings include various narratives, memories, or discourses of exclusion, so it is possible to call such converted buildings “landscapes of exclusion.” The purpose of this research is to analyze the process that generated “landscapes of exclusion” for Catholics on Amamioshima in the 1930’s.
Catholicism came to Amamioshima in the early Meiji era. Originally, the local religious groups called Noro or Yuta tried to exclude Catholicism from Amamioshima, but many people believed Catholicism would contribute to the education, medical treatment, and welfare of people on Amamioshima, and they were baptized. From the late Meiji era to the early Showa era, Catholicism was generally regarded as being different; however, because Catholicism contributed to the social welfare of people on Amamioshima, it was not excluded until the 1930’s. Catholics established a mission school called the Oshima Girls’ High School at a local assemblymen’s behest, but Catholicism became the target of suspicion because many missionaries were Canadian. As a result, the mission school was closed through an opposition movement among some locals. Owing to this incident, Catholicism was excluded socially and spatially by various local people: journalists, local assemblymen, military men, and local residents. Eventually, all Catholic workers were excluded from Amamioshima, and most believers were forced to abjure their faith. They were prohibited from gathering and praying by the local residents, and the Catholic community collapsed until the end of World War II. As a result, the unique Japanese ideological space, known as Japanese Imperialism, was expanded in Amamioshima prior to the rest of the country.
In addition, the real estate of Catholics was not sold but instead became public property. This paper addresses the case of the Renga Midou chapel in Naze City. In the process of conversion, Renga Midou was given the mantle of Naze City’s future prosperity and became the symbol of Japanese Imperialism and its justification for the exclusion of Catholics from Amami oshima and Japan. In this act the symbol of Renga Midou was changed from being a symbol of Catholicism to one of Japanese Imperialism, while at the same time creating a “landscape of exclusion.” This was related to the situation of Amamioshima, which was an unstable borderland in the modern Japanese ethnic nation state.

Key words: Catholic, Oshima Girls’ High School, Renga Midou, Landscapes of exclusion, Amamioshima

Rice based Cropping Systems of the Ahom: A village study in Assam, India

ASADA Haruhisa
Graduate Student, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University

This is a report on the present status of rice based cropping systems of the Ahom people living in Assam. Entry of outsiders to northeast India including Assam is restricted due to the unstable political situation over a period of many years, and few reports on this region are available. Little is known regarding the methods of rice cultivation used by the Ahom which have provided a foundation for the culture and society of present day Assam.
An intensive survey was carried out in an Ahom village with questions focusing on landholding patterns, cropping technologies, and rice variety usage to identify the characteristics of rice based cropping systems of the Ahom in comparison with other regions.
The Ahom have adopted a rice cropping technology of bullock ploughed land preparation, dry field broadcasting, mixed cultivation, weeding and thrashing using bullocks which are all typical features of the Indian type of rice cropping technology, especially for Ahu and Bao rice cultivation. They have developed rice cultivation methods that are well suited to the physical environment of the rice fields, and also technologies to minimize the environmental hazards through risk dispersion. These environmental adaptive technologies are also observed in other regions where Indian type rice cropping technology is influential to a large extent, e. g. the Bengal delta region, and delta areas and central plains of mainland Southeast Asia.
A prominent feature of the rice based cropping systems of the Ahom is that they are still using traditional technologies. While rice cropping technologies in other regions are drastically changing since the green revolution, Ahom farmers have not adopted modern rice cropping technology but they prefer to use traditional technologies. It is necessary to consider the reason why traditional technologies remain here by examining the individual technologies from the viewpoint of farming management.
There are many tribes and minority groups with unique cultures in different part of Assam. However, their existing cropping systems have not been extensively investigated. It is hoped that there will be more case studies of these groups through intensive field surveys.

Key words: rice based cropping system, traditional technology, Ahom, Assam, India

Dynamics of Segregated Housing Complexes for Heavy Industry Employees in the New Industrial Areas (Shin Sangyo Toshi): A Case Study of Akeno District, Oita

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Under the New Industrial Areas Act of 1962, which aimed to develop heavy materials processing industrial plants in non―metropolitan areas, housing complexes for invited plant employees were constructed in areas that were situated away from existing urban districts. These complexes were geographically and socially segregated from the existing local societies. This paper analyzes the dynamics of these segregated districts, focusing on the changing conditions in the heavy processing industry and the relations between the inhabitants of these complexes and existing local societies. A case study was conducted in the Akeno district of the Oita New Industrial Area.
Most of Akeno’s inhabitants were Nippon Steel (NS) Oita Steelworks employees and their families, many of whom were transferees from other NS steelworks plants such as Muroran (Hokkaido) and Hirohata (Hyogo). In addition to facing geographical isolation, they had rather different customs, cultures, and lifestyles compared to the existing Oita locals. These inhabitants of Akeno are viewed as a heterogeneous society and are simply referred to as ‘Akeno’s’ (Akeno zoku).
Until the 1980s, when the numbers of NS Oita steelworkers were maintained at about 3,700, Akeno had been a town that was populated exclusively by NS workers. Nevertheless, in the 1990s, due to the rationalization of Oita Steelworks and the collapse of land prices, redevelopment projects began in Akeno. These redevelopments weakened Akeno’s segregation and many in―migrants began to settle in the town. The main characteristic of the redevelopment projects was the aim to create a high―quality residential district. This reflects the ambitions of land owners and developers, who sought to raise the value of this district, and those of the existing inhabitants, with the hope of balancing the age structure of the population and improveing its living convenience.
In spite of the poor access it offers to central Oita, many affluent non―Akeno’s, in their thirties and forties, rate Akeno highly and chose to migrate to Akeno. These responses suggest that they may feel a “longing” for its social and cultural environments, especially its emphasis on education.

Key words: New Industrial Area (Shin Sangyo Toshi), redevelopment, Nippon Steel Oita Steelworks, Akeno district, segregation

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