Geographical review of Japan series B
Online ISSN : 1883-4396
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Volume 88 , Issue 2
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Preface to the Special Issue “Geographical Thinking about Modern Japan's Territory”
Article of the Special Issue on “Geographical Thinking about Modern Japan's Territory”
  • Rosalia AVILA-TAPIES
    Type: Article
    Volume 88 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 47-65
    Released: September 30, 2016
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The formation of the Japanese colonial empire entailed major population movements and important socio-economic and territorial impacts in East Asia. These were particularly relevant in Manchuria, where important Japanese immigration also occurred, especially after the establishment of Japanese-sponsored Manchukuo in 1932. This paper focuses on the location of co-ethnic concentrations of the four major population groups of immigrant background in Manchukuo. The aim of the study is to re-examine the reality of Manchukuo’s inclusive ideology of ethnic harmony and the blurring of ethnic borders from a spatial viewpoint. The location of co-ethnic concentrations of Han Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and Russians was identified by calculating the Location Quotients for each group at national and urban (Mukden’s railway town) scales. The results were mapped, showing uneven ethnic distributions and concentrations at both scales. This analysis confirmed the existence of clusters of affluent co-ethnic concentrations in Manchukuo, including some recent concentrations, such as the Japanese deliberate segregation in the North Manchuria countryside and in the Mukden railway town. Thus, the inclusive ideology of the new State coexisted, paradoxically, with high levels of co-ethnic spatial concentrations. This occurred not only because of group interest in achieving community cohesion, but also because of exclusions and restrictions resulting from official segregationist settlement policies. According to the results of the spatial analysis, the article concludes that Manchukuo’s utopian ideals of equal coexistence and concord among all ethnicities were not realized.
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  • Edward BOYLE
    Type: Article
    Volume 88 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 66-79
    Released: September 30, 2016
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A renewed focus on the notion of empire has prompted an interest in questions of modern Japanese imperialism after the Meiji Restoration, both in Japan and abroad. It has also focused attention on the issue of comparing empires across Eurasia during the early modern period, under the rubric of ‘global history’. Japan has not really been incorporated into this latter discussion. This article begins by examining the reasons for this lack of incorporation, before moving on to discuss the value of considering early modern Japan as an imperial formation. The lens it adopts is one of cartography, that quintessentially imperial practice that has featured heavily in discussions of a Eurasian early modernity. The article examines the cartographic incorporation of Japan’s northern region of the Yezo into Japan itself, culminating in the area being newly designated as Hokkaido in the early Meiji period, the newest circuit within Imperial Japan’s administrative map. This political outcome was the result of varied practices that found reflection across the Tokugawa–Meiji divide. Yet this intense variety of practices, constantly shifting in response to contingency, served to form the state-effect, through which the land of Yezo was granted its unity and represented on the map. The territory on the map provided the visual, graphic representation of the demarcation of authority of the state that authorized the practice of its own mapping. In this manner, the state mapped itself into Hokkaido and from this perspective, the division between the early modern and modern eras is far less significant than is frequently assumed.
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Research Note of the Special Issue on “Geographical Thinking about Modern Japan's Territory”
  • MIKI Masafumi
    Type: Research Note
    Volume 88 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 80-85
    Released: September 30, 2016
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study focuses on the economic importance of Karafuto, the southern part of Sakhalin Island, in terms of its disputed status as a Japanese or Russian territory. The author focuses on the Sea of Japan Rim Region. Shotaro Kazama, Chief Secretary of the Niigata Chamber of Commerce, edited ‘A Report of inspection for business of Vladivostok and Karafuto’ which was published in 1907 after the Russo-Japanese War. Niigata Prefecture had sent a team to inspect not only the merchants in Vladivostok but also the fishermen in the territorial waters of the Far East of Russia, where, in 1907, Japanese rights were still unsettled. One of the reasons for inspecting the activities of the merchants and fishermen was to document the widespread circulation of soy sauce, dyeing, and weaving as a precondition to establish a Japanese territory in Karafuto. By developing their networks, the merchants had established the Port of Niigata and the markets between Vladivostok and Karafuto as part of a direct regular voyage in the Japan Sea. Niigata Prefecture expected its team to obtain information about economic conditions in these regions. This study clarifies that the inspection team was dispatched by Niigata Prefecture as part of its regional policy in 1907. Niigata Prefecture’s proposed regional framework, “The Sea of Japan Rim Regions,” was similar to the Japanese Imperial Region, in which colonial areas were set up around the Japanese Islands. The author considers the political framework that existed in the Sea of Japan Rim Region near Niigata Prefecture as part of “petit Japanese imperialism” after the Russo-Japanese War.
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  • NAKANISHI Ryotaro
    Type: Research Note
    Volume 88 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 86-95
    Released: September 30, 2016
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In this study, I elucidate the regional relationship between the mainland and the Japanese colonial city of Dalian. For this research, I focus on the backgrounds of contemporary influential figures: successful Japanese businessmen and other social elites, including the merchants, manufacturers, and senior officials of the South Manchuria Railway Company. For the time frame of the study, I used the Who’s Who of Japanese living in Manchuria; Manshu-shinshi-shinshoroku edited in 1926 and published in 1927. This book listed 427 persons living in Dalian along with their occupations and careers. These people can be classified into two groups based on their educational background: the highly educated and the less educated, many of whom hailed from hometowns in western Japan. Among highly educated people, their schools were catalysts as a central turning point and their location played a pivotal role in their lives; herein, their life was related with Dalian, and schools in Tokyo were especially significant. In contrast, the locus of the professional turning points for less-educated people was the place of employment: the store (or company) where they worked or the business that they had initiated; Osaka–Kobe area became the most significant area for them. Many of the less-educated people traveled to Dalian after working in Osaka–Kobe area. Approximately 30 percent of the total population under study had worked abroad, mainly in other Japanese colonies, before coming to Dalian.
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Article of the Special Issue on “Geographical Thinking about Modern Japan's Territory”
  • YAMANE Hiroshi
    Type: Article
    Volume 88 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 96-110
    Released: September 30, 2016
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    After the opening of Japan and the Meiji Restoration in the 1850s–1860s, the Japanese land space changed drastically with domestic restructuring and the expansion of overseas colonies. In the process, the stronger presence of Japan in Northeast Asia was accompanied by the reinforcement of the ports on the shores of the Japan Sea and the East China Sea. Some good natural ports on the mainland competed with rival ports in supplying services for the continent and in harbor improvements, and became positioned as pivotal nodes for international trade or passenger transit in the Northeast Asian network. This paper focuses on two successful ports, Tsuruga and Nagasaki, and explores two problems from the perspective of ‘realism-structuration.’ One is how locally influential individuals as special human agencies contributed to the regional formation of these ports through their time-space practices in the expansion process. The other is how they recognized and understood or experienced the sea areas surrounding the Japanese mainland and the continental area. Two key people, Owada in Tsuruga and Suzuki in Nagasaki, actively visited the continental area, and insisted on and practiced development of their localities in close relationship with the continental area. In this sense, they were special human agencies precisely embodying the structure that provided regional formation. Finally, the following inference is made: In a multilateral area as an actor-network, from the viewpoint of Actor-Network Theory, the sea areas became involved in the networking as non-human actors.
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