Sharing the Pain: Apportioning Natural Hazards Exposure in Early Modern Japan

Philip C. Brown
2021 Sustainability  
In the search for ideas that promote sustainability, a number of scholars examine past practices of cooperative resource management. Seventeenth to nineteenth century Japanese cultivators developed mechanisms to spread equitably among themselves exposure to certain natural hazards associated with arable lands (warichi) and is the subject of this essay. Data was collected from handwritten manuscripts and maps as well as published primary and secondary sources. Data focus heavily on the region of
more » ... ly on the region of modern-day Niigata Prefecture. Limited numerical data was imported into digital elevation models for visual comparisons. Joint ownership practices were sufficiently robust to persist for more than two centuries and, although declining in number, continued to be employed in some communities into the 1970s. The concluding sections attempt to separate the distinctive historical circumstances from more generalizable and widely adaptable characteristics of this arrangement that might serve as inspiration for reconsideration of modern efforts to ameliorate the impact of natural hazards.
doi:10.3390/su13031053 fatcat:kpacp22cinbtjhmxdwhmha2aya