This paper aims to review the discussion of physical and intellectual ‘disability’ within the discipline of geography in English-speaking countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. This paper specifically focuses on how disability has been viewed by geographers in the UK. By doing so, I explore how these countries’ geographers have been active in examining socially- and spatially-produced causes of disability.
Since the 1990s, with the upsurge of the ‘cultural turn’ and interest in the human body in cultural and social geography, geographers have become aware that the body is socially constructed and politicized. Consequently, medical geographers and social and cultural geographers have attempted to replace the medical model of disability with a social model which emphasizes social theory. Some have posited that how the body was disabled was contextual in time and space. For them, disability was understood not as a natural phenomenon, but as the result of or product of social and spatial construction. By problematizing the body through conceptualizing it in this way, geographers began to challenge the dichotomous dis/ability thinking.
Furthermore, since the 2000s, physical and mental problems which had been overlooked among social science researchers have gained attention in both disability studies and geography. For example, by paying attention to a great variety of disabling processes, other body-related topics such as weight increase or aging have been researched. Also, disabilities which pose a challenge for research, such as intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities, have been researched with effective methods. The second characteristic of the disability research in this period both in disability studies and geography is that the materiality of the body and embodied acts of disabled people have come to the attention of researchers. As a result, in disability studies the fluidity and instability of a disabled identity have been demonstrated. In geography, with the rise of the ‘material turn’ in social and cultural geography, geographers have begun to examine the material body as well as its representation, meaning, and symbolism. In this paper the empirical studies which focus on women with chronic illnesses, ‘fat’ women, and those with autistic spectrum and anxiety disorders who communicate online, are examined.
The objective of this paper is to clarify the urban development process of Beppu City and its formation as a modern hot spring resort, from the beginning of the Meiji period until the outbreak of the Second World War.
One characteristic of the urban development of Beppu is that it began relatively early for Japan, and inter-city transportation between Beppu and Oita was established as early as 1900. These early developments were mainly realized by private capital, especially the transportation route between Beppu and Oita, which was operated by mainly local magnates and people from Ehime Prefecture. The urban development that started in the Meiji period eventually became the basis for Beppu’s modern hot spring tourism.
During the Taisho period, short-term visitors to Beppu increased. Cheap inns, built originally for customers of therapeutic baths, were converted into hotels, and additionally many accommodation facilities for short-term visitors were built. Moreover, land consolidation projects were carried out, and these newly-adjusted areas became home to new accommodation and entertainment facilities. The popularity of Beppu as a tourist destination gained momentum when the entrepreneur Aburaya Kumahachi and the city government started promoting and advertising it as a tourist destination.
When Beppu achieved the status of a city in 1924, tourism development was progressing well, and even more leisure complexes were constructed. From the beginning of the Showa period in 1926, the Beppu government started to advertise to tourists on an international scale. Two expositions were held, but after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, the number of foreign tourists started to decrease, and when the war situation worsened, the number of Japanese tourists also declined.