Jiro Yonekura (1909-) appeared in the Japanese geographical academic world in the early years of the 1930s. He commenced the study of the Jori system and Kokufu in ancient Japan, and Japanese settlements by the method of historico-geographical study. Thus, he was a pioneer in these studies. He studied the Jori system with reference to Chinese land division and settlements in ancient times. He succeeded and developed Takuji Ogawa's (1870-1941, Yonekura's professor at the Imperial University of Kyoto) studies on the subject (Ogawa: Study of Human Geography, 1928; Ogawa: Studies of Historical Geography of China, 1929). Furthermore, he was deeply concerned about administrative planning. Thus, he continued to study the Jori system as rural planning, Kokufu as urban planning, the administrative districts, national land (regional) planning, colonial planning, and Japan's grand planning or the illusion of the New Order in East Asia. It can be said that Yonekura has succeeded Ogawa's method of historico-geographical study. In his historico-geographical view of the world found in the theories about the origin and dispersal of both grid pattern land allotment and agriculture, however, he has come to have a broader perspective than Ogawa, which is due to his attention to India. He achieved this through the studies of India he has pursued since the 1960s. The subjects and the methods of Yonekura's studies after World War II succeeded those before the end of the war. In particular, his historico-geographical studies of the Jori system and Kokufu clearly show them. These studies had a great influence in the academic world of geography, history and archaeology. In geographical associations, particularly, his studies have been succeeded, criticized and developed by many researchers. Meanwhile, Yonekura played a leading part in these studies from an unbending viewpoint on his own basic theory, while he made a partial revision of his own theory. Yonekura has maintained a firm will to study regional planning and political geography from wartime between 1931 and 1945. He advocated comparative study as a method of regional geography after the war, as he considered that comparative regional geography was necessary for regional planning. Thus, he attached importance to the study of regional geography of larger regions than prefectures in Japan. There were few geographers who studied regional geography in Japan, and yet, he studied it with the specific aim of putting it to some use i regional planning. That is concerned with his active interest in political geography. He actively participated in geopolitics in wartime (Yonekura: An Introduction to a Geopolitical Study of East Asia, 1941; Yonekura: Manchuria and China, 1944). For that reason, he was purged from public service from 1947 to 1952. Nevertheless, he advocated the restoration of political geography, after he himself criticized his remarks during wartime in fairly early times of the post-war days. It is indicative of his self-confidence in his geopolitical studies and his firm will to study political geography. The writer considers that a consistent feature of Yonekura's geographical studies is his serious consideration of similar types and his thorough investigation into ideal types. This is clearly shown in his studies of Jori settlements, a number of Kokufu and the ancient capitals of Japan (Yonekura: The Historical Geography of Settlements in East Asia, 1960), and the contemporary villages and the ancient town plans of India (Yonekura: Recent Changes in Settlements in India, 1973). His studies of similar and ideal types covered the studies of their origin and spread, and attained the status of world historical studies. Moreover, his serious consideration of similar types directed his comparative studies, which enabled his studies of comparative regional geography. He studied similar types of Jori
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.