Over the last few decades, theories of the spatial structure of Japanese villages have been the subject of controversy in human geography, folklore, cultural anthropology, history and architecture. The author identifies an important unresolved question concerning these theories. Although many scholars have profoundly discussed each of the categories of space such as land use zones, folk-taxonomy, 'place', social space, and symbolic space, the interrelationships among these categories and the synthesis of them have not been sufficiently examined. With this in mind, this article discusses each of the categories of space for a case study area, an agricultural and forestry village - Hagikura - in Central Japan, to reveal the interrelationships among all spatial categories by introducing a semiotic theory. The author examines the historical changes of space since the mid-Edo era, when Hagikura was settled. To pursue these aims, various methods and materials are used: interviews, landscape observation, participant observation, the analysis of land ledgers, cadastral maps, tax ledgers, local topographies, historical documents and geographical statistics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development