It is often argued how important and crucial roles communication media play in the social phenomena of the modern world. Nowadays, communication media seem to have become one of the most attractive research topics for researchers of any social science. However, it is not the case with human or social geographers. Quite a few geographers refer to keywords like communication, information flow, and télématique, but only few are positively trying to build up “Geography of Information.” “Geography of Information” is yet to come. In the present stage, no standard method nor common direction is established for it. One of the factors which prevent the development of “Geography of Information” is lack of sufficient amount communication media studies in geography, which would provide fundamental knowledge upon the spatial distribution of information. Up to now, geographers have produced not a few research papers upon communication media, but these works arescattered over varied sub-fields of geography. They have been done under different research interests, and have only limited relations with each other. This review article describes the present stage of communication media studies in geography, and tries to search a way to establish common property and common direction for them. In this review, some foci are set upon such subjects as nodal or functional region studies using telecommunication flow data, diffusion studies of broadcasting stations as innovations, and several approaches to newspaper industry. Almost 30 research papers are referred, and more than 50 of them are in English or French.
In the islands of Japan, some characteristic patterns of precipitation distribution result from the winter monsoon. This paper aims to describe the regional characteristics of the distribution of precipitation in meso-scale during the winter mcnsoon. To show parallel fluctuation in daily precipitation between the places of observation, a cluster analysis was made to the coefficient of correlation between observatories in each 4 districts ; Hokkaido (HD), Tohoku (T), Hokuriku (HR), Seinan-Nippon (S) (Fig. 1). The data used are daily precipitation caused by the winter monsoon in each district during the 1980/1981 winter season, normalized by the square-roots. The precipitation data of the station with more than 10 precipitation days (about 20% of the days chosen) was also analysed. From these results, the districts were divided to the areas using the same standard throughout the districts (Fig. 3). The areas were numbered in order of their average daily precipitation. In Hokkaiko and Hokuriku, the correlations between areas (Table 1) are rather lower and same pairs have a negative-correlation. Fig. 5 indicates that the higher the precipitation, the lower the coefficient of variation. The percentage frequency of days with precipitation for each 850 mb-level wind direction (Fig. 6) indicates that the percentage is very large for each direction within the even-precipitation areas (the coefficient of variation is less than 1). The average precipitation frequency in the uneven-precipitation areas (the coefficient of variation is more than 1) as a whole, but some particular wind directions is relatively low. This indicates that wind directions which bring heavy precipitation to the area are limited in the uneven-precipitation areas. The correlation between the amount of precipitation and the upper air temparature over the Japan Sea coast (Table 2) shows the contrast between many areas of Hokkaido and of other districts. In the latter, precipitation increases under lower temperature conditions over southwest Japan, while in the former it increases under higher temperature conditions. The synoptic conditions of the heavy precipitation days in each area were then studied. As conditions vary a little from area to area, the areas as a whole are classified into 2 groups : one group consists of areas located under or in front of the 500 mb cold air mass ; the other consists of areas located behind it. The former shows the following common characteristic conditions. The gradient of the upper air temperature over the Japan Sea coast is weak ; the temperature below the 700 mb level is relatively high over the Tohoku Hokuriku district ; the difference between the temperatures at the 500 mb and 850 mb level over the district is large ; the wind direction at 700 mb, 850 mb level is westerly. The latter shows the following conditions. The gradient of the upper air temperature is strong and the difference between temperatures over the district is smaller; wind direction at the 700 mb and 850 mb is northwesterly. The 500 mb level circulation patterns also differ between the groups. The detailed areal differences could be explained by the 700mb and 850 mb level winds. Especially in Hokkaido and Hokuriku, the heavy precipitation area shifts markedly with the change of wind direction. Thus, dual differences between areas are found. One is classified as the even and unevenprecipitation areas, with wind directions at the 850 mb level. The other is classified as areas under heavy precipitation conditions located within the 500 mb cold air mass. The patterns of precipitation distribution during the winter monsoon in Japan can be better understood when these characteristics are taken into account.
It is essential to obtain radiocarbon ages for the investigation of the period when landslide frequently occurred. Landsliding processes must be considered on the basis of microlandforms within a landslide area. Many landslides are distributed in the mountains southwest of Sapporo, Hokkaido. In this paper, topographical features of three landslides along the Izariirisawa River, west of Nakayama Pass and on the NE slope of Muineyama are described, and the radiocarbon ages are presented in relation to the occurrence of these landslides. The small-scale landslide along the Izariirisawa River occupies an area of 8.2 ha and is composed of such simple landform elements as a pair of scarp and sliding block. The radiocarbon ages of wood from the landslide deposits suggests that this landslide occurred at about 11, 000 y. B. P.. The landslide west of Nakayama Pass has an area of 29.4 ha and comprises four sliding blocks. As these blocks are dissected to show the almost same topographic features, it seems possible that these blocks were formed within a same period. The radiocarbon age of wood in a block is older than 31, 250 y. B. P. The landslide occupying an area of 379.4 ha on the NE slope of Muineyama is topographically composed of main scarp, main sliding block and depositional surface of debris flow. Such micro-landforms as mounds, ridges etc. can be recognized both on the main sliding block and on the depositional surface of debris flow. This suggests that the sliding process responsible for the formation of this landslide occurred more complicatedly than that of the other landslides. The samples for radiocarbon dating were found as follows : peat in the bog formed on the sliding block, a piece of wood in the landslide deposits and a piece of charcoal in the debris flow deposits. The radiocarbon ages of these samples show that debris flow occurred at around 8, 400 y. B. P. prior to the occurrence of landslide on the upper slope at around 7, 100_??_6, 200 y. B. P. This suggests that landslide did not always occurr together with debris flow.
Geography, by its nature, is a broad interdisciplinary academic field with numerous sub-fields. In order to reinforce the identity and social presence of geography as a total discipline, geographers of different sub-fields should have a chance to co-operate upon topics of common concern. Planning and evaluation of regional development have been and will be a good opportunity for geographers to work together with each other, and with people of related academic or administrative background. This symposium was organized to review and showcase the recent and present situation of geographers' participation and involvement in various kinds of regional development projects in Japan. Following the organizer's speech by Nishikawa, O., fifteen presentations were given in four sessions. Reviews of regional planning in post-war Japan and case study reports of the Kitakami river basin were read in the first session. Takasaki, M. reviewed major regional development projects in post-war Japan from the perspective of national land development policy, while Chitose, H. focused upon the “National Capital Region” or the Kanto plain. Nakahara, R. discussed the Kitakami river “Techno-Zone” from administrative standpoint, and Kawamoto, C., Chida. N., and Uchida, K. evaluated the Kitakami river general development in 1950's and 1960's centring upon the river flood control. Rural area development was discussed in the second session, where Konno, S. pointed out the need of enterprenuership in the rural local-scale development, and Nakaya, S. showed the change of agriculture in the northern part of Iwate prefecture. The third session was on the urban area development. Hattori, K. and Takahashi, H. discussed the urban development planning of Morioka, the prefectural centre of Iwate Prefecture, from academic and administrative viewponits respectively. Takahachi, K, reported an interesting case of Kitakami, where a newly-built shopping centre gave a fatal impact upon the traditionally established local shopping complex. And Kawaguchi, T, analysed a case of Hachioji in the west suburb of Tokyo. Some general topics were referred in the last session, where Kubo, S. explained the information system of the TVA, and Matsuda, H. reviewed the role of maps in regional development projects. Murata, K. concluded the symposium with a general review of development and industrialization in the Tohoku region. Through the discussion, it turned out to be clear that regional “gap” or unequall economic development might be found not only between metropoles and countrysides, but also among periphery regions. In some sense, the symposium failed to give a clear description and explanation of such inequality, but, as some speakers pointed out, it would not be explained by traditionally mentioned environmental and climatic factors nor by simple indice of local economy. Several topics were left to be answered some other day.