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The Case Of Yamanashi Goryōrin

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Chapter Summary

Yamanashi Prefecture occupies some 450,000 chōbu in the southeastern quadrant of Japan's sharply incised central cordillera. During the 1870s, as noted earlier, Meiji leaders undertook the land surveying and kan/min division that distinguished government property from that of others. As government surveyors pursued their work during the eighties, their estimates of prefectural forest acreage slowly became more accurate. By the late nineties, the Property Office had made good progress in establishing control over its Yamanashi woodland. Finally, in early 1908, the Property Office issued a remarkably long and complicated set of regulations that constituted its final reply to the eleven-hamlet proposal. Widespread overcutting continued as villagers scrambled to meet the day-to-day needs of their farming, silk production, and other operations, exploit lumber market opportunities, and adapt to changing times. Under the onslaught, woodland continued to deteriorate, and by 1907 a recorded 6,300 landslides had ruined some 4,800 chōbu of land.

Keywords: Japan; kokuyū forest; Meiji leaders; woodland; Yamanashi Goryōrin



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