In the articulations forming a landscape on various levels, we can recognize the relationships of “material ∈ morphème ⊂ constituent, ” and “constituent ⊂ part of a landscape.” A “region” can be regarded as a unity of places where the articulations of landscapes serve as a ground and figure for actions to be physically performed, and where the loci of these performances are stratified to reform and reorganize the given articulations. Thus, we first notice that the existence of relations which are latent in a “region” corresponds to the structure of a language. Since ancient days, the Japanese have had the concept of “ma, ” a concept related to a space-time continuum. A versatile concept, it further connotes even relative relationships among objects in the space-time realm. In other words, various performances have been considered to manifest themselves in concrete forms in the realm of “ma.” Accordingly, it is presumed that among the traditional codes (langue) which have determined performances (parole) based on the background of various articulations of landscapes consisting of morphémes peculiar to Japan, there are some codes which contribute to providing a unique structure for “ma.” This paper aims at varifying the existence of these codes on the basis of the results of studies on the historical geography in Japan and at clarifying their characteristics from the viewpoint of comparative geography. Furthermore, this paper aims to elucidate the codes that have some aspects corresponding to the topological space beyond Euclidean space and to give a concrete explanation to the morphogenesis of landscapes in conformity with the theory of bifurcation in topology. In addition, the author intends to clarify part of the topological underlying structure of “regions” in general.
Municipal territories and boundaries exist in Japan as if they are a gift from the ancient ancestors. Since they were established before the modern juristic system delimited Japanese territory, the principal process to resolve a boundary dispute is to find out and identify lost boundaries rather than to create a new one. The boundary dispute between Ohmuta (Fukuoka Prefecture) and Arao (Kumamoto Prefecture) is one of the typical disputes on the reclaimed land, where each administrative unit anticipates receiving tax income. In the course of research on this problem, the author examined the antecedent boundary from the viewpoint of historical geography, the subsequent boundary contested by the socio-economic spheres of each city, and the superimposed boundary according to cartographic technique. Though the geographical-objective results might support Ohmuta's assertions in this dispute, the author chose to ask the mayor of Ohmuta not to demand control of the concerned land so as to reach a stable resolution. This is an excellent example of geographical survey techniques applied to resolve a political problem in Japan, even if the results were not adopted.
This article focuses on some aspects of economic management function performed by head and branch offices of big private enterprises located in the major cities of Japan, reviewing them from a historical perspective. In 1907, there were large agglomerations of this function in the former six big cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Kobe), and a fairly large number of head offices were located in some provincial cities. Head offices in these provincial cities, however, decreased gradually while those in Tokyo continued to increase. The trend has basically been maintained to present. The agglomerations in Yokohama, Kyoto, and Kobe have not grown very much since 1935, in the postwar period, in particular. On the contrary, those in regional primate cities have grown very rapidly since 1935 when they started to show such a tendency. From 1960 onwards, the ranking by agglomeration size has been completely reversed between the former and the latter groups. Furthermore, the agglomeration of this function has tremendously increased in the provincial cities like Niigata, Shizuoka, Chiba, Kanazawa, Toyama, and Okayama. It is also inferred from Figure 2 that the tendency will continue in the years to come. In the three metropolises (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya), however, the growth of the agglomeration almost came to a halt in 1980 probably because of the small increase in number of the relevant corporations covered in that year. It exhibits contrast vis-àa-vis the growing trend of the agglomeration in the regional primate cities even though the increase was small. A follow-up survey to see further transition would be worthwhile and of great interest. In terms of the types of industries, during the earlier periods reviewed here, the number of head and branch offices of iron/steel & machinery and chemical/rubber & ceramics industries was small. These types of industries, however, began to multiply their offices at a turning point in 1935. Especially from 1960 onwards, the increasing trend became stronger. The branch offices of the iron/steel & machinery industry in particular started to increase in 1935, and have been the most important type of industry throughout the postwar period. The agglomerations of this industry were mostly found in the three metropolises in the earlier periods, and gradually increased in the regional primate cities as well. It is also to be noted that the construction industry increased its head and branch offices after World War II. In view of the total number of branch offices, the finance & insurance industry is naturally the largest due to the nature of its services requiring intensive office network. It is an important point to be noted that the branch offices of the iron/steel & machinery industry are not numerous in Yokohama, Kyoto, Kobe and the above mentioned six provincial cities including Niigata, although the respective total agglomeration sizes in these cities are large. In these cities, on the other hand, the agglomeration of the branch offices of finance. & insurance and construction industries is sizable, although the share in number of corporations by this group of industries is not. It is because the number of the size of branch offices of these types of industries are closely linked with the high intensity of the population agglomeration in the respective cities, than with territories for their operation. A review on the relocation of functional head offices in the postwar period points out the enhanced importance of Tokyo as reflected in the emergence of the double head office system. The Osaka group corporations which have their origins in Osaka, in particular, have strengthened the functions of their Tokyo head offices rather than of their Osaka offices, as typically shown in the case of the trading companies. The waning trend of Osaka is observed in relocation of head office functions.
The population of mountain villages, especially that of snow-covered highlands, has decreased since the latter half of the 1950's. On the other hand, the demand for recreation facilities in the mountains has increased with the growth of the national economy, causing the expansion of recreational areas in the snowy highlands. With the regional development of recreational activities, many existing settlements have been changed, and have become diversified. This has occurred in response to the development of skiing grounds. The author has defined a “ski settlement” as a resort settlement where the development of a skiing ground plays a very important role in the formation of the resort settlement, causing the skiing ground and the settlement to function as one complex. The origin of skiing areas is traced historically, in an effort to specifically examine the development process and distribution of winter sports in Japan. In addition, ski resorts are systematised according to origin, evolutionary processes and stages to explain the conditions for the formation of these settlements. Locationally, almost all Japanese skiing areas concerned are concentrated in sites with over 50 centimeters of annual maximum depth of snow cover and with a skiing period of over 110 days. In addition to these natural conditions, accessibility plays an important role in the location of skiing grounds, since visitors originate primarily from large cities. The existence of hot springs was a precondition for the formation and development of ski settlements in Japan. The form of land ownership is of utmost significance in the formation of ski resorts, since they occupy large areas. The existence of communal lands offers an advantage in development. There is a great variety of ski settlements in Japan. The author presents a typology of Japanese ski settlements through analysis of their origins and the processes of their transformation. The ski settlements in Japan are classified into two groups. The first is composed of the settlements “developed from existing settlements”. In this case, the socio-economic structure of the settlements has drastically changed since the skiing grounds were developed nearby. The second group is composed of settlements “newly developed” along with the development of new skiing grounds. New settlements came into existence as the newly developed ski areas prompted the removal of local people to formerly unsettled areas.
Paleoclimate during the Last Glacial age was reconstructed from glacial and periglacial landforms in Japan. Both the summer air temperature and the winter precipitation were the major controlling factors for the glaciation in the Japanese high mountains. Because of the change of paleogeography of the Japan Sea, which was caused by the sea-level changes, the fluctuation of the amount of snowfall must have been large. Mountain glaciation attained to its maximum between about 60, 000 and 40, 000 y. B. P., when the warm current still entered into the Japan Sea. The glacial extension was much more limited between 30, 000 and 10, 000 y. B. P., when the Japan Sea had been almost isolated from the outer ocean. Distributions of the glacial landforms, both horizontal and vertical, indicate that the winter monsoon had basically the westerly direction during the Last Glacial age. That is also verified by the distribution of fossil periglacial phenomena. The latter was used for the reconstruction of winter and annual mean air temperatures. Decrease of the summer monsoon precipitation was evidenced by tracing of the valley filling with debris which indicates a considerable diminution of river discharge during the Last Glacial age. Location of the polar front during the Last Glacial age was inferred together with the southern limit of sea ice and the distribution of permafrost. Decrease of the summer air temperature and the effect of snowfall on the glaciation were discussed by comparing the altitude of the present and Last Glacial snowlines.