地理科学
Online ISSN : 2432-096X
Print ISSN : 0286-4886
ISSN-L : 0286-4886
北陸地方における雪室の分布とその盛衰
池上 佳芳里
著者情報
ジャーナル フリー

1999 年 54 巻 2 号 p. 126-137

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Along the coastal area of the Sea of Japan, in and around the Hokuriku district, there are heavy snowfalls in winter. In this region the practice of using "yukimuro" had been prevailing from the Meiji to the early Showa era. The Japanese word "yukimuro" means the traditional storehouse of snow, to keep snow until late summer or autumn. It was made of woods and straw, and a great deal of snow was put inside. Its stored snow was used as refrigerant for food and the sick, and sometimes was eaten together with syrup. Few studies, however, have been undertaken about yukimuro. Therefore, the author has tried to clarify its distribution and historical changes since the 1860's. The author showed that there were about 200 yukimuro in the Hokuriku district. They had been used from the 1860's to the 1960's and this period can be divided into the following six stages. 1) The first rising stage from about 1880's early 1900's due to the increase in the demand of snow for eating. 2) The first declining stage in the 1900's due to the authorities restricting the sales of edible snow. 3) The second rising stage from the 1910's to early 1920's due to the increase in the demand of snow as a refrigerant. 4) The second declining stage at the end of the 1920's due to the increased production of artificial ice. 5) The third declining stage from the 1940's to about 1950's due to the shortage of labourers to make yukimuros; and the authorities restricting sales of snow as refrigerant. 6) The final stage, in the 1960's, of the disappearance of yukimuros was due to the significant increased production of artificial; and the increased availability of electric refrigerators. Advantages of yukimuro were as follows: 1) The snow stored in yukimuro was a better refrigerant than artificial ice for fish. 2) No investment in plant and equipment was needed to make a yukimuro and use its stored snow in contrast with artificial ice. 3) Though the winter is the farmers' slack season in this district, they were able to earn considerable incomes by making yukimuros in the winter. In the past, heavy snowfalls have been considered a hindrance to the progress of modernization in Japan. Now, however, after the heavy snowfall in 1981, active use of snow has become an important subject in high snow accumulation regions. From this point, yukimuro can be regarded as one of the typical "usage of snow" representative of the traditional snow culture of Japan.

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