Recently, studies of industrial spaces have taken several perspectives. For example, a Locality study, especially in the United Kingdom, studies not only economic aspects but also social and political aspects.
This paper discusses the changing locality of the industrial city of Mizushima, Okayama pref. which was industrialized in a period of high economic growth. The indicators of a locality study are working and social trends, and the results of elections. However it is difficult to use same indicators for a Japanese industrial city, because locality research may be unique to English cases. Pollution problems, which had been a special topic of debate in local politics, are used as the indicator for industrialization. The topics of members of the assembly, which are recorded in proceedings, are important pointers to the change from an agricultural and fishing village to an industrial city.
When it was an agricultural and fishing village (pre-modern period) there were such developments as a new rice field at Mizushima located beside the mouth of Takahashi-river. These are the bottom of industrial area, now. During World War II, a munitions factory was constructed on land reclaimed from the Takahashi river. Air raids destroyed most of the factories. After the war, Okayama pref. decided to invite many large companies. Machine, petrochemical, and steel manufacturing plants began operations. The resulting industrial complex made Mizushima an industrial city.
In terms of social structure, old leaders retained power until the agricultural and fishing villages combined to form Kurashiki city. Kojima city and Tamashima city also combined to form part of Kurashiki city. In those areas, old industries supplied a large part of employment. Therefore, it has taken time to change urbanize communities while increasing the population through the inflow of workers for large factories.
Secondly, to clarify local politics, there has been debate on pollution problems. Incidentally, labor movements, which are thought to be important in a locality study, did not have much influence on the pollution problems in Mizushima. The first pollution problems occurred with fish and crops. So farming and fishery organizations claimed compensation for damage. Furthermore, pollution problems harmed human health as industrial spaces grew. From the 1960's to the 1970's most Japanese industrial cities had anti-pollution movements, as was the case in Mizushima. There were neighborhood associations and working organizations forming anti-pollution organizations. These spread to form a network organization in Mizushima. Eventually, the anti-pollution movement was restricting to patients with diseases caused by pollution and their supporters. These changes can be seen in the proceedings about pollution problems.
At the beginning of the period with pollution problems, there were debates about industrial change, damage to local people, and policy between parties. After pollution problems increased, this topic was shared by all of the inhabitants of Kurashiki city. The debate concentrated on pollution problems, regardless of resident or party or occupation. This led to an administrative policy for the pollution problem. Then pollution damage gradually decreased. The debate moved from pollution to environment problems, which also contains protection of nature, in the latter period. There was much debate by members of the assembly in a local reformist party, and residents of Mizushima were very concerned about improving the environment of living spaces affected by pollution problems.
In conclusion, industrialization and urbanization in Mizushima not only involve construction of factories and increase of industrial labor, but urbanization also refers to the living environment sought by local residents.
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