This paper traces a trend in the methodological study of geographic education from the turning point of the 1970s in Japan, and points out the problems for its further development. After the reformation of education in 1947, the subject of geography was divided into two subjects; a part of human geography and regional geography was put into a subject called ‘social studies’, a newly established subject in the reformation, and a part of physical geography was put into natural science. Unfortunately, the attempts of the reformation met with failure at least in the case of geographic education, because it lacked integrated geographic philosophy and methodolgy. Moreover, they had come to be much distress and stagnation in many schools. However, in the early 1970s, the study of geographic education entered a new era of development in many sub-fields. Studies on the modern history of geographic education, mainly after the Meiji era, emerged triggering these developments. Additionally, the remarkable progress of the study of cultural geography and humanistic geography promoted the growth of a new theoretical system for the study of geographic education as an interdisciplinary study of geography together with philosophy, pedagogy, child psychology, cultural anthropology and so like. In this methodology, the concept of Weltbild translated as “another world” is signficant. Weltbild is the mental geography of the world, the geography which is perceptively constructed in the mind. The author conceptualizes this as child's Weltbild deriving from Piaget's concept of “la représentation de monde chez l'enfant” with a geographic interpretation. Together with child development, “la representation de monde chez l'enfant is transferred to “Wissenschaftliche Weltanschauung” mainly through school education. Geographic education plays an important role with the Weltbild in this transference. Because much of this is based on hypothesis, it is necessary to clarify the structure of this représentation and transference through the fieldwork method, as developed by R. Hart, and his colleagues. In many ways geographic education resembles the learning of one's native language. In general, a child acquires his/her “geography” through various experiences, and thereby constructs his/her own Weltbild. As in the case of the education of native languages, children correct language that acquired by themselves in their social life, with grammer learned in school education and make their language life more fertile. The author proposes this methodology for use in the teaching of geography which he calls “genetic geographic education theory”. Along with this methodology, the new curriculum for oversea schools for Japanese children has already been developed, and now it is expected for domestic schools to revise in order to put them to use.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the rainfall variations of the Baiu, a rainy season in Japan, in the historical time and the Little Ice Age in particular. In order to reconstruct the rainfall variations in the historical time, old documents and diaries were used. The process of reconstruction was as follows: 1) Regional division based on the rainfall data for June, July and June plus July in the instrumental time was carried out using the Varimax rotated principal component analysis. With this method, Japan could be divided into eight regions for June and six regions for July and June plus July. 2) Unrotated principal component analysis was applied to the rainfall data in each region. Then the first principal component scores of each region were defined as ‘Rainfall Variation Index (RVI)’. 3) In order to reconstruct the RVIs in the historical time, regression equations were made using monthly number of days with precipitation more than 1 mm as independent variable for each region. With these equations, RVIs in the historical time were estimated. Comparison of RVI between in the instrumental time and in the Little Ice Age, whose boundary is set around 1900, shows that there was much rainfall in the Kanto district, East Japan, in the latter period. Moreover, it was known that there were regional differences in RVI through the ages. Finally, the authors pointed out that it was necessary to confirm further the reconstructed results with abundant material and to compare to other reconstruction by different kinds of proxy data.