Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
Development of Riparian Businesses in the Lower Tenryu Basin and the Correspondence of Basin Inhabitants from the Edo Period into the Meiji Era
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2002 Volume 75 Issue 6 Pages 399-420


This study attempts to examine the state of flood emergency activities and levee construction and transformation of the relations between leeve construction and the inhabitants of the lower Tenryu basin. The author studied the activities of flood prevention cooperatives, which had a leading role in levee construction, and used historical documents to examine changes in construction practices from the end of the Edo Period to the end of the Meiji Era.
The results are summarized as follows.
1. Most of the costs associated with improvements made to the Tenryu River were paid by shogunate funds, Gofushin, during the Edo Period, and by the prefecture during the Meiji Era.
2. Flood emergency activities and the repair of levees at the end of the Edo Period were carried out by villages that joined flood prevention cooperatives. Flood emergency activities and levee construction were undifferentiated.
3. During the middle of the Meiji era, flood emergency activities were continued by the flood prevention cooperatives, although levee construction was carried out by subcontractors, while structure, and flood prevention cooperatives had a role as contractors. This expanded the scale of river improvement by the Department of the Interior from 1885. Subsequently flood damage decreased in the lower basin after the middle of the Meiji Era.
4. Because leeve construction by subcontracting companies become a general practice and flood damage decreased, the role of flood prevention cooperatives in river-related construction became a mere formality. In reality, the restoration work that was planned by flood prevention cooperatives in 1911 after one bank of the Tenryu River was strengthened did not go well. Although the River Law was enacted in 1896 and riparian businesses came under national and prefectural control, the connection with the inhabitants of the lower Tenryu basin and riparian business faded away.

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