Landscape and Subsistence in Japanese History

  • Gina L. Barnes


Japan consists of four main islands plus the Ryukyu archipelago south of Kyushu Island (Fig. 20.1). It stretches from 20°24¢N to 45°30¢N, thus crossing cold to warm temperate and subtropical climatic zones. Because of its backbone mountain ranges, the climate of Honshu Island is radically different on the Japan Sea side and Pacific Seaboard. Seasonal monsoonal winds bring heavy snowfall to the western side in winter, and a June rainy season and typhoons from the south/southeast in summer. Average annual precipitation ranges from 944 to 4060 mm but mostly exceeds 1020 mm/year. The forest types vary by latitude and altitude, with broad-leaf evergreens at low elevations in the southwest, deciduous forest at higher altitudes in the southwest and through the northeast into Hokkaido Island, while high northeastern mountains host conifers (Statistics from and Kojima 2004).


Paddy Field Rice Paddy Swidden Cultivation Barnyard Millet Swidden Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research has been supported by SOAS, University of London; International Research Institute for Japanese Culture, Kyoto; Durham Archaeological Services.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Art & Archaeology at SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies)University of LondonLondonUK

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