The purpose of this paper is to examine the distribution patterns and characteristics of the development of reclaimed land in the modern period based on the cases recorded in the Kaikonchi Ijyu Keiei Jirei (The Management Cases of Reclaimed Land), government documents published by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 1922 and 1927. These official documents contain information concerning the location of reclaimed land, land uses, types of farming conducted on reclaimed land, major crops and supplemental employment taken up by settlers. Because of the lack of data, reclamation projects in Hokkaido are not included in my analysis of the development of reclaimed land. During the 1920s, rural villages throughout the country suffered from an economic slump and population increase. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry carried out a policy which called for the development of land under cultivation. The Kaikonchi Ijyu Keiei Jirei served as the basic guidelines for the enforcement of the ministry's land development policy. An examination of data included in the above-mentioned documents reveals the following: 1. The scale of reclamation projects in the Tohoku and northern Kanto and Chubu regions was larger than in the western region. The number of reclamation projects in the western region was also small in comparison to those recorded for eastern and northeastern Japan. The relative scarcity of reclaimable land and scarcity of government-owned land for reclamation purposes, contributed to this uneven development. In Aomori, Tochigi and Okayama prefectures, large farms were developed by nobles and wealthy merchants with large funds. 2. There were three periods when reclamation projects were actively conducted: early Meiji era, midMeiji era, and former Taisho era. During the early Meiji era, former samurai (shizoku) who received money from the Meiji government conducted reclamation projects. During the mid-Meiji era, privatization of government-owned land promoted the development of land under cultivation. The acquisition of reclaimable land by noble families (kazoku) also fostered the expansion of reclaimed land in the Tohoku region. During the Taisho era, the adoption of the Land Arrangement Law of 1909 permitted the opening of marginal areas adjacent to existing agricultural land. 3. Reclamation and settlement projects in the modern period were initiated by many individuals and groups, including former daimyo (kazoku), former samurai (shizoku), cooperatives and corporations. Many reclamation projects by shizoku were promoted during the first two decades of the Meiji era. Most of these enterprises, however, failed. As a result, individuals lost ownership of land they had reclaimed. The farms developed by kazoku were mostly located in Tochigi prefecture in the 1880s. 4. The management of reclaimed land centered around field farming, combined with sericulture, handicrafts, and livestock breeding. The main crops were wheat, barley, sweet potatoes, potatoes and other staple crops. In addition, settlers grew vegetables, fruits, tobacco, jute and other cash crops to supplement their meager income. More importantly, they engaged in sericulture in many regions. Because of the low productivity of reclaimed land, most settlers had to produce some cash crops and earned additional income by engaging in supplemental employment. 5. People who settled on reclaimed land not only came from nearby villages but also from other distant places. The opening of new settlements promoted intervillage migration, and constituted one of the major characteristics of modern Japan.
Zelkova serrata is a tree species familiar to human beings, serving as building material or for the beautification of the landscape. Because of that it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish natural wood clusters of Z. serrata from man-made woods. The north-central part of the Abukuma Mountains is characterized by gentle slopes like a peneplain. Z. serrata is scattered in the form of single trees or of patches, far from forest vegetation in the talus of ravines, which is considered typical of this species. The present paper discusses this remarkable pattern of distribution and clarifies its formative factors, especially from the viewpoint of edaphic conditions, and also throws some light on the possibility of human impacts influencing the habitat points. The study area covers about 25 square kilometers in the north-central Abukuma Mountains. It was classified into three zones; zone M (monadnock zone) situated on the upper part; zone L (low-relief zone) on the lower part; and zone T (transitional zone) covering the middle part. Every tree with a diameter at breast height above 20 centimeters was surveyed, and its correlation with edaphic factors such as micro-landforms, springlets and surface material was investigated. Interviews were also carried with local inhabitants specializing in forestry. The results are summarized as follows: (1) Z. serrata occurs in several locations, such as inside of the natural or man-made forest, on the edge of the forest, and outside of the forest (for example, cultivated pasture). The evidence collected from interviews and documents about this region suggests that the origin of these Z. serrata is mostly the natural regeneration and not planting. (2) From the viewpoint of edaphic conditions: 1) More than about 65% of habitat points in each zone is related to springlets. 2) In the M and L zones, more than about 70% of the surface of habitat points is occupied by unstable materials such as block or bedrock, gravel, and decomposed granite soil (transported type). 3) The habitat points in zone M correspond mainly to ‘valley type-A’ and in zone L exclusively on ‘the toe of side slope of valley type-C.’ There is a similar environment (edaphic conditions) in both micro-landforms. 4) In zone T, it is difficult to find a clear relationship between the habitat points and surface material and micro-landf orm factors. Generally, the edaphic conditions in the study area are the same as in ravines. The factor preventing the possible development of forest vegetation of Z. serrata is presumably a lack of sufficient extension of suitable land. It must be added that in zone L, in spite of the similarity of the edaphic conditions in two microlandforms of ‘valley type-A’ and ‘the toe of side slope of valley type-C, ’ Z. serrata rarely occurs in the former. This unnatural distribution may be caused by the different human impacts on each microlandform:the coppice administration has unfavorably influenced Z. serrata in ‘valley type-A, ’ while local custom has contributed to conserving this species on ‘the toe of side slope of valley type-C.’