Chumon-zukuri means a private house, with a Chumon (originally “middle gate”), which is in the shape of the letter L. This type of house is geographically distributed in the chilly, snowy districts of the northern part of Japan proper. The mode of life there necessitates placing a hall in the center of the main house, which fact is the basic cause of so many Chumon in these districts. Like la maison-bloc, Chumon-zukuri contains everything in one house, including a pen, a workroom and others; and therefore, is a suitable type of house for life in a snowy province. For this reason, although it originally came into existence on the plains, it is at present most widely popular in snowy districts among the mountains. In the first place, Chumon-zukuri came into being as a private living-room of a wealthy farmer, or as the earth floored workroom of a stable about the middle of the 17th Century. It was so named because it bore a resemblance to the Chumon in the house of the military caste, which house formed an L shape. The name Chumon is originated from that of Shinden-zukuri in the Heian period. It meant in those days the central side-gate, and later the extended part in the house of the military caste, and finally has come to mean the projected part of a farm house.
Although the cotton production in Japan rapidly fell into decay after the middle of the Meiji period under the pressure of imported raw cotton, it once flourished remarkably during the Edo era and the first half of the Meiji period as one of the most advanced fields of agriculture in Japan. The writer tried to trace back and see the geographical distribution of the cotton production in Japan in the Edo era, and further, made research for its location in the regions of dense distribution. As a result of the research, the following points were made plain: 1, Raw cotton was cultivated chiefly on the sandy upland-field, especially old sand bar and reclaimed land, on the delta of big rivers. 2. On the other hand, in the Kinai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and their neighbourhood), the district which advanced in civilization from old times, raw cotton was cultivated, as well as rice plants, in a paddy-field in alternate years. 3. These are the two types of location for the cotton production in the Edo era. The latter was started from comparatively early years, but the part it played dwindled toward the closing years of the Edo era, while the former has gradually come to play a dominant part. That is to say the location for cotton production shifted from the paddy-field to the sandy upland-field. The reasons for this were (1) sandy soil of the upland-field was suitable for the cotton production, (2) no other suitable crops could not be cultivated on the sandy soil, and (3) the upland-field being a new land, taxes on it were rather low.
In our country there were two different types of towns and villages when they were first formed in 1889 (the 22nd year of Meiji). One was complete administrative towns and villages, and. the other was incomplete ones, (or “associative” towns and villages), that is, those which have left their modernization half-way under various circumstances. In Tottori prefecture there were lots of the latter type. Therefore it may safely said that what has been called “towns and villages amalgamation” in this prefecture really means that towns and villages in the modern sense have been established by dismembering such associative towns and villages. This happened in the last years of Meiji and in the Taisho Era. The chief reason why such semi-feudal towns and villages as associative ones had to be dismembered was financial difficulties. The difficulties were by no means caused by towns and villages themselves, but by the financial policy of the state. With the coming of the Showa Era, however, “towns and villages amalgamation” has shown a development in its modern sense. The fact is shown in the enlarged scale of towns and villages thus formed and in their merging with municipal districts. Since the war came to an end, the importance of the amalgamation in this sense has been cried for nation-wide, and this prefecture is taking the lead in advancing such amalgamation.
Among various fields of the fishing industry in Japan, it is in cuttlefish that the haul has suddenly and remarkably increased after the termination of World War II. Though a cuttlefish, especially a sagittated calamary (the scientific name being ommastrephes sloani pacificus streenstrup) lives on every coast along this country, it is caught in the largest quantities in the southern part of Hokkaido fronting on the Tsugaru strait, where the shoals of cuttlefish fall across from the Japan Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The catch of fish is the highest in October and November. The fishing vessels used for this are usually of 5-20 tons manned by approximately 20 men. They angle for fish from six o'clock in the evening till half past four in the next morning, during which time the haul of fish is 20-30 kan (1 kan-3.75kg.) per person. Those engaged in the fishing industry of cuttlefish are divided into the owners of fishing boats and fishermen who actually angle. A haul is shared between the two at a fixed rate. The latter's subordinate relation in social standing to the former is not so remarkable as in other fields of fishing industry in Japan. The way of fishing, and fishing tackle are both quite simple. Moreover, a cuttlefish being an annual creature, there is no need to worry about reckless fishing. These are the factors which have helped the fishing industry of cuttlefish make such remarkable progress after the war, while other fieldes are generally dull.