Japanese Journal of Human Geography
Online ISSN : 1883-4086
Print ISSN : 0018-7216
ISSN-L : 0018-7216
Research Note
Landscape of the Seto Inland Sea as Seen by Wealthy People in the Late Meiji Era: Trip to West Japan in 1901
Ryohei Hara
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2022 Volume 74 Issue 1 Pages 27-45

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Abstract

In this paper, the Seto Inland Sea landscape is analyzed, based on the writings in a travel diary belonging to a landowner during the Meiji period. Tourist guidebooks of that period generally not only described famous scenic spots and historic sites but also human landscapes of the Seto Inland Sea. They also cited legends and waka poems in their descriptions of the landscape. However, intellectuals viewed the Seto Inland Sea as a landscape that would appeal to Westerners as a place of scenic beauty and historic sites. Nevertheless, they considered it more as an archipelago and a human landscape, with port facilities for ships to come and go, and from a natural science perspective they were interested in the components of the land and the living organisms that inhabited it. Although the literati viewed the Seto Inland Sea as an archipelago, the human landscape did not interest them much. Mr. A., the author of the travel diary, did not have a natural scientific perspective, but he did write about the Seto Inland Sea as an archipelago, without focusing much on its scenic spots and historic sites. Further, he also mentioned the human landscapes, such as cities and harbors, and land use in the coastal areas. Since tourist guides also focused on human landscapes, it may be inferred that Mr. A was influenced by the descriptions in the tourist guides of that time.

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