The symbolic landscapes of a nation are important clues to the human-landscape relation, which is an aspect of the relationship between the people and their environment. Mt. Fuji was long the typical symbolic landscape of modern Japan, as can be seen in textbooks for use in elementary schools. I examined the symbolism of Mt. Fuji in textbooks to suggest tendencies in the relationships between Japanese and their environment. The results are as follows: 1) Mt. Fuji appeared in the primary school textbooks from Meiji Era until 1945. The mountain was presented as the sublimest mountain in Japan through textbooks for reading, drawing, and singing, whose contents were inter connected. Consequently, children learned a certain image of Mt. Fuji. 2) Mt. Fuji was praised as the sublimest mountain of Japan in order to make children sympathize with the sentiments of Japanese adults, who were supposed to admire Mt. Fuji. At the same time, children were taught that the national sentiment was focused on the image of Mt. Fuji. 3) The relation between the nation and school children as illustrated in teaching materials concerning Mt. Fuji is shown graphically in Fig. 5. The materials formalized the appearance of Mt. Fuji and formed a specific image of it. Children learned the materials and internalized a certain image of the mountain. The image validated the content of the materials and suggested the national sentiment. Through this process of learning, children came to obscurely understand the concept of a national sentiment. 4) The national sentiment of Japan that was used as a unifying concept was a Vague idea escaping logical grasp; therefore the education inevitably stressed impressions rather than logic. Mt. Fuji was seen to be the best material for that kind of education. 5) The relation between Mt. Fuji and the national sentiment seems to have been sustained by an “intentionality to legitimacy”. The national sentiment was supposed to have legitimacy, although the foundation of that legitimacy was not shown. On the other hand, Mt. Fuji was given legitimacy through the formalization of its appearance. Therefore, Mt. Fuji was chosen as the image of legitimacy to suggest the content of the national sentiment.
A working group on hydro-geography was established as a study group of the Association of Japanese Geographers in 1986, and a large number of physical and human geographers have actively participated in this group. The following three issues have been discussed: 1) aspects of water on basin and regional scales, 2) description of the hydro-geography of Japan, and 3) environmental education, introducing water as a subject. This symposium was one of the goals of the group's activities. And the theme of the symposium was selected in view of the fact that the major interest of the participants was focused on the second issue. The following nine reports were presented in the symposium: (1) O. Shimmi: Regional characteristics of water in Japan. (2) Y. Suzuki: Hydrogeography of the Aizu basin: The ideal style of regional hydrology. (3) N. Naganuma: Hydrological environment and water use on a limestone area in Nansei islands, southwest Japan. (4) K. Kondo: Water quality and hydrological environment of Lakes Shinji and Nakaumi. (5) M. Akiyama: Recent changes in water use in the Yasu river, Lake Biwa watershed. (6) A. Yoshikoshi: The hydrological environment and the causes of its change in urban area: a case study of Kyoto. (7) M. Takagi: A regional network of irrigation canals and water amenities in urban area: a case study of Nikaryo canal in the lower Tama river and Katsushika and Edogawa wards of Tokyo. (8) Y. Tagutschi: Can geographers make any contribution to environmental water problems? (9) Y. Shirai: Aspects and substance of watershed management: in the direction of integrated management of water and land. Commentators: M. Hibino, Y. Mizoo, T. Ito, N. Mizutani and K. Kawauchi Chairpersons: K. Tukada, K. Mori, Y. Sato and T. Miyazawa
The symposium was organized to explore new horizons in urban geography, based on the activities of the Urban Geography Commission of AJG. Five papers were presented: K. Konagaya: Population structure and urban problems in the year 2010 in Tokyo. K. Yano: Modelling the mechanism of residential location in metropolitan areas. T. Kawaguchi: Emerging new life styles and activities of suburban residents in Tokyo Metropolitan Area. K. Tomita: Recent trends in Tokyo Metropolitan Area and research issues in urban geography. K. Suzuki and H. Yagai: Regional structure and urban planning issues based on a recent person trip survey in Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Questions and comments in the discussion mainly focussed on: 1) New spatial definition and concepts of metropolitan areas. 2) Changing functions of central areas and decentralization to suburban areas. 3) Problems of excessive concentration in Tokyo and its global, national and local contexts. 4) Future trends and issues for metropolitan, areas and the expected contributions of urban geographers.
Since the latter half of the 1960's, there have been great changes in public transport in Japan, in which a main factor has been motorization in rural regions. The study group on transport geography has contributed many case studies, related to regional transport since its foundation in 1982. A total of 83 branch lines of the national railways have been discontinued or transferred to third-sector enterprises during 1983-1991. The difficulty of maintenance and the necessity of transforming public transport facilities, however, has remained a big social problem in every rural region. In these circumstances, regional case studies are very important and useful for understanding and analyzing the essential characteristics of the relationship between transport and regional communities. Five articles based on regional case studies were presented in this symposium, apart from articles of introduction and general perspective by the organizers. They were: E. Aoki: The historical processes of regional transport since World War II: an introduction of the symposium. T. Oshima: Bus operations in rural regions in Nagano prefecture. S. Mita: Residential development and transformation of bus operations in Sendai City. M. Nitta: Residential development and regional transport policy in Kawaguchi City. K. Okuno: The changing transport modes in Japanese remote islands. T. Higashi: The development of high-speed passenger ships in coastal services in Japan. S. Konno: Perspectives on the new stage of rural transport.