Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.63 No.6 (2011)

Vol.63 No.6 (2011)


LIAW Kao―Lee and ISHIKAWA Yoshitaka
Characteristics of Japan―born Japanese in the United States : Students, Non―students, and Recent Brides of Non―Japan―born American Citizens  1

David W. EDGINGTON and NAGAO Kenkichi
Local Development in the Higashi Osaka Industrial District  25

Volker ELIS
The impact of the Trinity Reforms and the Heisei Mergers on processes of peripherisation in Japan’s mountain villages  44

Commemoration, Conservation, and Commodification : Representing the Past in Present―Day Tokyo  57

Book Review 74

Meeting Report

272nd Regular Meeting  76

News 78


Characteristics of Japan―born Japanese in the United States : Students, Non―students, and Recent Brides of Non―Japan―born American Citizens

LIAW Kao―Lee
McMaster University
ISHIKAWA Yoshitaka
Kyoto University

Our primary goal in writing this paper is to demonstrate the usefulness of micro data for research in social science so that a strong movement can emerge in Japan to persuade governmental and other agencies to make representative micro data sets widely available to researchers. Based on the merged micro data of the 2005, 2006, and 2007 American Community Surveys, we have found several features of the Japan―born Japanese residents in the United States that can be interpreted as reflections of the strong influences of the male breadwinner model and the Japanese―style employment system on the Japanese in Japan. These features include (1) the high proportion of post―secondary students being undergraduate rather than graduate students, (2) strong female―domination in the sex―compositions of both students and non―students, and (3) among non―students, very large gender gaps in educational attainment, employment rate, and wage level. For the subpopulation of the Japan―born Japanese brides of non―Japan―born American citizens, these influences were also reflected in their strong tendency to be in hypergamy and their relatively low employment rate. Reflecting the history of interactions between Japan and the United States, the Japan―born Japanese residents in the United States are found to show disproportionately heavy concentrations in the states of California and Hawaii and especially in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Key words: Japanese Residents, United States, Japanese Brides, American Community Survey, micro data

Local Development in the Higashi Osaka Industrial District

The University of British Columbia
NAGAO Kenkichi
Osaka City University

In this paper we address changes in the Higashi Osaka industrial district, part of metropolitan Osaka, western Japan. Higashi Osaka is distinctive due to its very high density of factories and its wide variety of consumer and industrial products. After clarifying the city’s manufacturing structure, history and spatial development, we explain the contemporary challenges facing industrial development. Along with slower economic growth in Japan commencing during the 1990s, Higashi Osaka has experienced declines in production output, employment and the number of establishments. Recent problems include competition with lower―cost East Asian countries as well as stricter regulations on local industries due to their incompatibility with nearby residential uses. To illustrate these general trends we undertook a limited number of in― depth interviews with four firms that produce industrial bolts, screws and associated machinery. The results indicate that these firms have responded by a variety of business policies, including working more closely with their customers and producing innovative machinery. This suggests that it is unlikely that Higashi Osaka will face terminal decline in the foreseeable future as these firms have upgraded their production and associated activities rather than abandoning the district. The paper concludes by illustrating how public policy has played a role in supporting new technologies and innovative small firms in this industrial district.

Key words: industrial district, small―and medium―sized firms, local economic development, Higashi Osaka, Japan.

The impact of the Trinity Reforms and the Heisei Mergers on processes of peripherisation in Japan’s mountain villages

Volker ELIS
Research Fellow, University of Tübingen

The Trinity Reforms and the Heisei Mergers impacted on the peripherisation of mountain villages in Japan. Through structured analysis of the effects of the two reforms, this article draws on theories from recent discourse on peripherisation in Germany and applies the framework to a Japanese context. The two reforms are treated as interrelated measures in line with the neoliberal reform agenda of the Koizumi administration. By examination of cause effect relations, the article assesses induced changes in terms of the four dimensions of peripherisation outmigration, disconnection, dependency, and negative perception. It concludes that the two regional policy reforms led to a further peripherisation of mountain villages in respect of all four facets, albeit to a varying extent and with different implications. Circumstances in many mountain villages can already be deemed critical due to the challenges of demographic change; these are exacerbated by the need to consolidate local finances and the effects of municipal amalgamation. Factors contributing to further peripherisation of mountain villages include a lower level of public service provision, infrastructure cutbacks, the loss of administrative independence, restrictions of policy options of local governments and the weakening of local identity. Paradoxically, the reforms originally aimed at devolution of power to local governments but could now lead to heightened importance of lobbying for funds from central government.

Key words: mountain villages, peripherisation, demographic change, Trinity Reforms, Heisei Mergers

Commemoration, Conservation, and Commodification : Representing the Past in Present―Day Tokyo

University of Leeds, U. K.

Various commentators have observed that Tokyo is missing the grand monuments that are a feature of many other large capital cities. Indeed, it could even be said that the city lacks a physical sense of its own history. This paper examines these propositions and lays out a number of reasons why this may be so. I argue here that the treatment of the past in contemporary Tokyo can be understood through the lens of commemoration, conservation, and commodification. While Tokyo may lack grand memorials and significant conservation areas of historical importance, I argue both that the city contains smaller, more improvised monuments and that consumption objects and indeed re created streetscapes furnish a sense of the past in today’s city. I suggest at the same time that within Tokyo there has been a concentration on bringing in elements of a Western urbanism considered more modern or, recently, more exotic, and that the past has tended to be consigned to places outside Tokyo. There is in sum little space in Tokyo’s ever changing landscape for a physical representation of the past. These claims about the contemporary city are placed in the context of geographical writing on memorialisation and related themes such as heritage in a broader Asian and European context.

Key words: Tokyo, memory, monument, place, the past, urban landscapes

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