1984 年 39 巻 2 号 p. 87-98
In Japan, it is often pointed out that the rural settlement is divided into several small territorial units, which are named doi, jo, kaito and so on. These units have been playing a vital role in the ritual rites like the ceremonies of coming age, marriage, funeral, and ancestral worships as well as communal works. The purpose of this paper is to investigate recent changes in the small territorial units, taking koju in the Iki island, Nagasaki prefecture, for example. Two sample areas. Hatsuyama-nishi Fure and Honmura Fure (which is equal to Oaza in the Iki island),were selected. In Hatsuyama-nishi Fure, most households are native, and 70% of all households are farmhouses, but large number of farmers have come to be part-time farmers. Honmura Fure is the key settlement in the Iki island, and is characterized by many in-migrants from the outside of the area. [Hatsuyama-nishi Fure] Since 1960 s, several regular assemblies called ko have ceased. An increasing number of part-time farmers have tended to earn as much income as possible rather than to attend ko assemblies. In addition, traditional agricultural calender has gradually changed by the introduction of tobacco cultivation. Thus, some of tobacco cultivators did not come to attend the tenjin ko assembly, which was originaly organized for rice cultivation. As a rule, all members of koju including junior and senior high-school students were supposed to attend ko assembly, and this was a time-honoured custom. But, nowadays, few students join ko assemblies since around 1965. They had once enjoyed themselves by chatting with one another and taking delicious meals every time when the ko assembly was held. But, in recent years, living standard was risen up on the whole, the ko assembly is not so attractive as expected. In this settlement, neighbourhood group han consists of one or two koju. In this sense, the traditional koju became basic unit of han, which was organized by the administrative authority concerned. Though, several ko assemblies have ceased, in Okubo-han and Nokozaki-han, both of which are made up of two koju respectively, inhabitants of han set out additional events such as bonenkai (a year-end party) and hanachirashi (a cherry blossom viewing) several years ago as an seasonal activity of han. [Honmura Fure] In this district, owing to the increasing number of in-migrants, koju became territorial units only for the native and the those who have returned to the native place. On the other hand, han includes all households in the area and has the administrative functions. In consequence, the traditional koju has lost homogeniety as a territorial unit. About 20 years ago, since the agricultural cooperative association guinded koju to reduce ko assemblies, every koju has two or three ko assemblies at present. In these days, it is difficult to meet all members of koju, because those who had gave up farming became salaried workers; a certain dual-income family did not come to attend ko assemblies and it becomes a problem in the members. Judging from the investigation in two sample areas, it is clear that koju has been disintegrated, while, han comes to play more important role as a neighbourhood group. But, according to the interview, it is evident that present householders and their wives still show an affirmative attitude to koju, in spite of diclining unity of them.