This article analyzes human migration from mountain villages in Japan in the early 20th century. During that time, industrialization and urbanization were occurring rapidly, and many migrated from mountain villages to urban areas where they were employed in the newly developing industries. However, while it is recognized that such migration took place, there has been no detailed understanding of how it occurred or the number who migrated due to incomplete, inaccurate statistics. This study explored in detail the type of migration from mountain villages and analyzed the relationships among migration, urbanization, and industrialization using data on temporary residence (kiryu-todoke) in the village of Gamo. Kiryu-todoke records include significant data such as migrants’ destinations, dates, and characteristics. All available records were compiled into a database composed of information on 2,146 migrants.
The data showed that most migrants from Gamo went to major cities or neighboring areas. The geographic spread may be due to the fact that the spinning industry was developing rapidly in Aichi prefecture, where Gamo is located. Along with the rise of industry came an increasing demand for labor, which may have accounted for the fact that so many migrants remained in the surrounding area.
It was also found that almost all migrants from mountain villages were very young and included many unmarried female teenagers who left their homes to work at silk mills in neighboring towns. They intended to stay in mill-run dormitories, although they did not expect to live there permanently. The increase in the number of younger female migrants may have resulted in a rise in the age of marriage and a decline in the birthrate.
Finally, many families migrated to big cities such as Tokyo and Nagoya and neighboring cities such as Okazaki. Those families intended to reside permanently in the cities, although they often moved repeatedly after arrival. Such families contributed to the increase in urban populations.
The method of analysis devised for this study was effective in gathering more detailed information on migration in early 20th-century Japan and allows researchers to perform more detailed, dynamic socioeconomic analyses.
To clarify the significance and problems of regional development through the promotion of ecotourism in the city of Hanno, Saitama prefecture, this study aimed to understand the rationale for the introduction of ecotourism and the reasons why guides participate in it. Differences in the awareness of participating local residents were analyzed from the perspective of their attributes and regional characteristics. Hanno has two areas with distinctive regional features: the eastern area located on the outskirts of the Tokyo metropolitan area has many characteristics of a commuter town; and in the midwestern area the population is shrinking and aging due to the waning of the forestry industry. Ecotour guides in the eastern area tend to cite social effects such as “motivation in life” or “joy” as the reasons why they participate in the tours, rather than the pursuit of economic benefits. Guides in the midwestern area, however, tend to have a strong awareness of crisis surrounding the continued existence of their local community and expect that the economic benefits from the tours will reduce the population decline and encourage youth to stay in the area. Thus, regional differences are observed in the participation awareness of ecotour guides. A number of low-priced ecotours are conducted, reflecting ecotour guides’ intentions to achieve social effects. The tours have also advanced communication within and outside Hanno, which does not have specific tourism resources. Although this is of great significance, it did not match the ecotour guides’ expectations of economic effects.