An elucidation of the labor market's structure has been one issue under debate in textile industry studies in economic geography in Japan. Many reports explain socio-economic attributes including sex, age and pay from detailed investigation, and define the labor force in the labor market. It goes without saying that the textile industry is typically labor-oriented, in that it employs a younger female labor force which is placed at the bottom of the pay scale. And textile studies have pointed out the structure of the labor market, paying attention to this younger female labor force, however, but have not yet examined the discussion that labor quality, which is related to gender difference, is an important factor that places female labor force in such a position within the labor market. Moreover, there is a growing need for consideration of labor quality in the context of a new production system, that is ‘flexible production’, therefore it is thought that in the complicated and multiplied labor structure today, an examination from the standpoint of gender is important. This article attempts to examine the male and female labor force in the textile industry placed in the labor market, focusing on their labor quality. Currently, technological innovation and restructuring are also under way in the textile industry in Japan. There have, however, been few detailed reports of the topic of gender difference in the labor market, that is to say, about how these factors affect the supply structure of male and female workers in the labor market and the gender division of labor. The subject hitherto has received but scant attention even in foreign countries irrespective of differences in industrial sector. Worthy of note in our country is that since the 1980's, sociologists and economists have been engaged in exploring macro aspects such as nationwide trends of division of labor by sex. Nonetheless, they have neither dealt with the spatial dimensions of the trends nor have they made an exhaustive study of a particular industry or region. Thus it cannot be denied that their studies are far from satisfactory especially at meso or micro levels. Needless to say, these problems must be solved through geographical investigations. Keeping in mind the status quo of research, the second section of this paper examines spatial dimensions of gender difference in the local labor market of each manufacturing sector in Aichi Prefecture, which shows one of the highest rates of manufacturing workers in Japan. A difference of dependence on female labor force between manufacturing sectors, and the changing of dependence on their labor force from the transition period (1970) to recent years (1985) were clear. The following shows that concretely. A higher female employment rate (60∼68%) in the textile sector in both 1970 and 1985 suggests that this sector depends on female labor forces. However, contrasting to this sector, steel, general machinery and transportation machinery have a lower female employment rate (10∼30%). This suggests the existence of a sector-specific gender division of labor. Moreover, a remarkable reduction of the female employment rate in the textile sectors observed in two regions, both the western part of Owari and the southwestern part of Mikawa. The former region, which is a traditional textile district and has a high rate of industrial added-value, is selected as the study area here. The third section is devoted to exploring a changing source of labor force supply in this region. Examination is made for two separate periods: from the special procurement boom of the Korean War (1950∼53) to the first oil crisis in 1973, young female workers (especially new school leavers) were dominant, while, after the crisis, middle-aged and old workers have played a major role.
In recent years, many wa-daiko (Japanese drums) troupes have been appearing in all parts of Japan. The wa-daiko has come into vogue especially in peripheral regions where depopulation and aging have reached a serious degree. The boom should be regarded as folklorism, relating to the concept of the German Volkskunde, rather than a part of popular culture in modern or post-modern Japan. The wa-daiko groups often insist on strong ties with the scenery, history and peasant traditions of the home town and village. They are eager to be placed as an equivalent to or substitute for the traditional folkloric performing art. In this article, I analyze the process in which the wa-daiko performances are invented and acquire meanings in a local context. My discussion is based upon the survey of the forty-one troupes in Nagasaki Prefecture which took part in the Shichoson Day (Cities, Towns and Villages Day) of the Journey Exposition in Nagasaki in 1990. I begin with an examination of the names and self-introductions of the wa-daiko groups. Most of the groups take a name for themselves after their town, a well-known landscape feature, local history, or a local tradition such as a legend, folktale, or a traditional activity of production. These are presumed to symbolize the home region. The self-introductions are announced at concerts, and also can be read in concert brochures. They explain how deeply the groups are associated with the local traditions, and claim legitimacy through representing the regional cultures, even through the wa-daiko dramming as a performing art is not authentic. Secondly, the article discusses the way the playing techniques were introduced to the regions. Most groups learned the technique from instructors whom they invited from remote regions. They also requested the instructors to compose a few pieces for them. The composers attempted, by request or voluntarily, to express regional features related to the nature and tradition. However, there is in fact no difference among the pieces played by each group. The groups, therefore, try to be distinctive from each other through the performances and costumes on stage. It is not a process in which the locality makes the sound significant. The fact is the other way round; the sound itself gains meanings through the dramatization and contrivance of performances. Thirdly, the troupe members and performers are investigated. The players consist of town and village officials, staff members of the chamber of commerce and industry, the agricultural and the fishery cooperatives, members of youth associations, school teachers, factory workers, housewives and so on. Most of them are of a relatively younger generation in their twenties and thirties, and 30 percent of them are women. They practice routine activities at the central settlement where the town office is located. Fourthly, I describe financial matters. Most of the wa-daiko groups enjoy various kinds of assistance. Some of them are organized as part of the revitalization project of the town authority and the chamber of commerce and industry. Moreover, not a few groups are financially supported by the prefectural and national governments. In Nagasaki Prefecture, for the last nine years, the total amounts of the grants were eighty-five million yen for 45 cases with the average amount per case being nearly two million yen. The prefectural government also offers another type of assistance. It makes a constant promotion of the wa-daiko groups through television programs as one of its public relations activities. The idyllic images of “homeland” or furusato that many wa-daiko groups try to express through their performances are responding to what city dwellers as well as academics expect to see.
Location-allocation modelling studies, primarily applied to facility Location problems, have rapidly increased and extensively spanned a wide range of disciplines in the past three decades. In Japan, facility location models have attracted the attention of planning-oriented researchers from architecture, city engineering, operations research, and of a few geographers. This paper has three aims: first, to introduce location-allocation models to Japanese geographers; second, to review the development of new literature on representing decision-making behavior, uncertainty in the environment and the multi-objective formulation; and, third, to identify the tasks of models in chiefly geographical research. In general, location-allocation models are classified into three problems: the p-median problem which minimizes the aggregate distance or time from demand point i to facility j; the p-center problem which minimizes the maximum distance from i to j; the covering problem where coverage is required (the set covering problem) or optimized (the maximal covering location problem). These models on a network are formulated as a linear programming or a mixed-integer programming. Due to the computational complexity of these problems, several heuristic solution methods have been developed and demand data aggregation methods to eliminate errors in the aggregation process have been proposed. With improved solution methods and increasing computational speed, location-allocation models have been adapted to complex and realistic location problems. A variety of facility problems and developed models are summarized in the following categories: First, considering the characteristics of a facility, models are diversely formulated by the type of facility, the existence of constraint on capacity and the hierarchy of the facility system. Second are the facilities-location methods, including free location, adding locations to an existing network, or restructuring of networks (Hodgart, 1978), which are linked to dynamic locational problems. The above options are mainly concerned with “location”and selected by a single-location decision-maker. However, the third“allocation” option is controlled by two decision-makers, namely, the locator and allocator (Leonardi, 1981). Various types of decision-making behavior will be represented by several allocation patterns. Fig. 3 shows the classification of allocation systems that contains nearest-neighbor allocation, probabilistic allocation, intermediate trips, combined and round trips, routing trips and the hub-facility problem. Later, realistic models reflecting an uncertain environment are presented. Uncertainties arise from the stochastic nature of demand, travel time, service provision and the competitive environment in the private sector. Finally, it is demonstrated that multi-objective location-allocation models solve the complexity of decision-making faced in realistic facility location planning. Most applications of location-allocation models typically placed emphasis on facility location planning. Location-allocation models will provide, if we geographers as location analysts seek another way to use models, valuable tools by wich well-defined location theories, especially central place theory, may be formulated as operational and normative models. Accordingly I propose two tasks for location-allocation models as follows: 1) use of location-allocation models as a decision support system for facility location planning; 2) use of location-allocation models as a spatial analysis tool. The latter task can be adapted to geographers interests and demonstrate spatial analysis including theoretical insights in understanding real-world spatial organization. In addition, linked with geographic information systems (GIS), location-allocation models could create more interactive tools.