In this article cropping systems of wet-rice cultivation in a backswamp are described from both physical and socio-economic viewpoints in order to discuss the probability of the adoption of modern rice varieties (MVs) in lowland Bangladesh. The discussion is based on a case study in a backswamp located in the southeastern part of the country. It is concluded that recent dry season MV cultivation is competitive with traditional cropping systems in a large part of the lowland. There are no physical constraints on the MV growing where land is dried up by the end of February and, at the same time, water is available during the dry season. In economic terms, the MVs will be able to replace local mixed-sown tall varieties only when the material cost of irrigation is reduced to a reasonable level. In contrast, in the lower part of the area, dry season MV cultivation is risky or even impossible because of the long duration of submergence. The rice production capability of such lower land is not necessarily inferior in economic terms insofar as it is under pure floating rice cultivation, therefore traditional cropping systems will remain for a while. This type of floating rice cultivation is commonly observed in the backswamps on the lower Ganges delta by LANDSAT images.
According to the field observation in 1986, the cultivated area of Kufrayn occupied less than 30 percent of the total village territory, whereas it was almost 100 percent before the 1960s. The villagers who no longer are able to earn their livelihoods in agriculture, mostly had non-agricultural occupations in Damascus City. Kufrayn is a suburban village in the Oasis of Damascus, and is located on the fringe of the Syrian Desert. The field of Kufrayn was irrigated by the ancient canals and plentiful flood flow of the Barada River. Yet these canals have been neglected and destroyed without any repair since the land reform. Even cotton cultivation which is promoted by the government is scarcely profitable because of the high expense of motor-pumping. The factors which caused such a deterioration in agriculture are: firstly, disordered suburbanization due to the enormous population increase of Damascus City; and secondly, contradictions which exposed themselves under the process of the land reform. These factors are both the results of spatial configuration in the suburban area under the process of national integration. The Syrian domain was artificially created in 1916 according to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, scattering a number of ethnic, religious and tribal groups into its territory. Therefore, Syria has had serious difficulties in achieving national integration since Independence. After a series of political changes, the Ba'th Party, of which prominent members have minority origin, gained enormous power both in the army and the government. The centralization of power to Damascus has caused an ethno-regional inequality. As a result of immense rural exodus, the oasis has been encroached upon by the new settlements. In fact, it could be said that the land reform was successful only in constitution of a new political order of the Ba'th regime. However, it was completely insufficient for improvement of dispossessed peasants due to its lack of recognition of the traditional farming system and the peasants' value system. Thus, the surrounding oasis villages have been spatially configurated so as to be subordinate to the urban oriented Ba'th Party power through the process of national integration.
The author subdivided the recent sediments and discussed the landforms and sedimentary environment in the Bengal Lowland based on the analysis of the sediments. The recent sediments are subdivided into five members, and the sealevel curve in the region is similar to so-called “Sheperd curve” with regression during a certain period between ca.12, 000 and 10, 000 yBP. During the maximum epoch of the last glacial age, the rivers flowing in the Bengal Lowland deposited gravels on the valley floors. After the period, the sea level rose up to about 45m below present level, and the lower member deposited by ca. 12, 000 yBP. During ca.12, 000 and 10, 000 yBP, the delta and flood plain surface was slightly dissected according to the regression of the sealevel. After the regression, the middle member characterized by fine sediments in the deltaic condition deposited. The upper member deposited during 10, 000 (or 8, 000) yBP and 6, 000 (5, 000) yBP. After ca. 5, 000 yBP, broad peat land or wet land developed widely in the Bengal Lowland.
The Bai-u season between the beginning of the eighteenth century and 1895 was reconstructed with the aid of weather records entered in old diaries. Long-term tendencies and periodicities of the Bai-u season were investigated by linking the reconstructed data to that of an instrumentally observed time. Generally speaking, with regard to its beginning, end and duration, there are no significant differences between the Bai-u season in the historical time and in the instrumental time. Thus, the implication is that the characteristics of the Bai-u season in the Little Ice Age were the same as those in the post-Little Ice Age. The duration of the Bai-u season revealed a strong positive correlation with the end of the Bai-u season in both the historical and the instrumental time. The time series of the end and the duration of the Bai-u season indicated a longer cycle of around sixty years. It was also observed that three great famines were associated with late endings of the Bai-u season. In particular, the Tohoku District was adversely affected by cool summers during the years when the end of the Bai-u season was late.
Flume experiments suggest that, in a braided stream, terraces are formed from bars under erosional conditions. The terraces are often soon eroded out or replaced by newly-forming bars, while the experimental parameters change very slowly. This paper examines these processes of terrace formation with the aid of field data on the Holocene terraces of the Nedori River, in the Nikko volcanic area. Five terrace surfaces, T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 ranging in order from the older to the younger, stretch along a steep gravel-bed channel of the Nedori; here T1 and T3 are fill terrace surfaces formed in the Late Glacial time and the hypsithermal period, respectively. The other surfaces were formed by the downcutting of the T1 and T3 surfaces. The downcutting which formed the T2 surface was rapid and intensive, reflecting a highly erosional hydraulic condition of the Late Glacial-Holocene transitional period. The formation of the T4 and T5 surfaces is well elucidated by means of the processes observed in the course of the flume experiments, firstly because the former channels and bars on the T4 and T5 surfaces have a distribution pattern quite similar to that observed on the channel bed of the flume; and, secondly, becuuse the profiles of these surfaces and the present channel bed show a remarkably undulated form which is also characteristic of the channel bed of the flume. As the level of the terrace surface is included in the amplitude of channel bed undulation, the terrace surface is easily eroded or overlapped by newly-forming bars, as was observed in the flume experiments. These facts suggest a relatively small change in hydraulic conditions after the hypsithermal period, a change which was insufficient to provoke an intensive downcutting.
This paper examines fishery in Japan from the point of view of cultural geography and through observations of individual fishing communities. First of all, in its narrow sense, fishing may be considered as one of several extremely archaic forms of economic activity involving fundamental modes of human reaction and adaptation to the physical environment; in this context, it is necessary for us to consider fishing and fishery per se as cultural phenomena in much the same way as traditional agriculture and hunting are also considered to be cultural phenomena. Hence, in recent years, in the study of fishery, the cultural geographical viewpoint has increasingly come to be emphasized over that of conventional economic and settlement geography. The author would like to present this new approach to the geography of fishery. Secondly, an important emerging task is an investigation into the inshore village, which offers a framework for a study of the coastal population, which has depended for a living on both the land and the sea, and which has acted in the capacity of watchman to both ecosystems. In Japan, genealogically, most inshore villages originated from the small-scale unit that, since the feudal shogunate period, has been called gyoura and which forms the core of many local fishery cooperatives today. The gyoura as a subject of research is to be found at the “frontier” so to speak, of geography and fishery studies which are laying the basis for the establishment of a new total science of fishery geography. There is, at present, on increasing demand for precise geographical fishery surveys carried out in accordance with the actual situation of the regions involved. Hence, in order to meet this particular demand, a much more comprehensive geography of fishery is required. The latter may be termed the regional geography of fishery or the regional study of fishery policies, which are not sufficiently provided for in individual disciplines such as economic, settlement or cultural geographies. Moreover, a prerequisite to the realization of this new science is a thorough knowledge of the gyoura and its surrounding areas on both land and water. SAITO first presented the conception of “new fishery geography” as early as in 1977. But, since then, among Japanese geographers of fishery, there have been neither a theoretical development nor critical responses to the conception raised by SAITO. It is a further purpose of the author to criticize SAITO's rather rough idea and to attempt, instead, a more appropriate framework for a comprehensive geography of fishery. In addition, the advent of the 200 sea-mile limit has initiated, worldwide, a new spatial order of fishery. Research into the gyoura ushers in a period of adjustment on the part of Japanese fishery to this new and unfamiliar situation, and the discovery of appropriate ways and means of utilizing the inshore zone.