Japanese Journal of Human Geography
Online ISSN : 1883-4086
Print ISSN : 0018-7216
ISSN-L : 0018-7216
Farmers' Perceptions and Responses to the Recent Cool Summer Hazard in the Shimokita Region, Aomori Prefecture
Kiyoshi ANDO
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1989 Volume 41 Issue 2 Pages 172-182

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the farmers' perceptions and adjustments to the cool summer hazard damaging rice production. Natural hazard perception studies initiated in 1960s have been evaluated and discussed since the late 1970s. Although such case studies have recently been fewer, the main contemporary task is focussing on the adoption of human adjustments to hazard. Thus, we should probe the relationship between perception and adjustment.
From this standpoint, the author attempts to grasp the farmers' images, describe the adjustments to the hazards, and investigate the relationship between these and the degree of damage-the yield of rice- as the result of the farmer's perception and adjustment.
In the Shimokita Region, Aomori Prefecture, fasmers experienced a series of cool summer hazards from 1980 to 1983. Especially in 1980, they had almost no crops. The farmers in this region began to adopt various adjustments -the shift of cropping varieties, the establishment of nets for windbreaks, etc. But there were differences in the farmers adjustments and these differences were reflected in rice yields.
It was found that the yield of rice in 1983 was connected to the adoption of adjustment. More possitive adoption related to more yield. The image which farmer had toward the hazard was obtained by the semantic differential method test carried out by questionnare. Analysed by factor analysis, four rotated factors that constitute the image are abstracted and identified as follows:
Factor I Seriousness during cool weather
Factor II Fate of suffering hazard damage (controllability)
Factor III Appearance of damage
Factor VI Expectancy of occurence
These four explained 59.1% of the variance. The structure of this image has something in common with the results of previous similar studies.
Finally, the author also examined the relationship between this image and the degree of damage to yield in 1983. It seems that the degree of damage is closely connected to the dimension showing the‘fate’or‘controllability’. That is to say, farmers perceiving their fate pessimistically, namely anticipating damage in the future, attempted to adjust to the cool summer hazard. As a result, they had a good yield of rice and reduced the damage.

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