- 公益社団法人 日本地理学会
- 地理学評論 Ser. A (ISSN:00167444)
- vol.58, no.10, pp.663-673, 1985-10-01 (Released:2008-12-25)
Japanese agriculture in the Edo period substantially depended on the fish fertilizer. In every agrarian village in those days land was continuously cultivated without fallow and fertilizer application was necessary to maintain the soil fertility. As the grass fertilizer from woodlands was limited, a demand for fish fertilizer expanded. Sardine fisheries developed along the south and east coast of the Kanto District, where existed many wholesalers specialized in sardine fertilizers. Particularly such wholesalers in Edo and Uraga played a very important role in the distribution of the fish fertilizer. Uraga, located on a small bay of Miura Peninsula just across from Boso Peninsula, was an important port of transit, where wholesalers played a crucial role transferring dried sardines for Kamigata (Kyoto and its vicinities). Their activities, however, were subject to the influence of the larger wholesalers in Edo. The anther analized the transformation of trade areas of fish fertilizer wholesalers in Uraga during the latter half of the Edo period. The results obtained are summarized as follows. 1. In the early Edo period Uraga wholesaler's collection area of sardines spread widely along the Pacific coast from the northernmost province of Mutsu to Izu Peninsula. In the mid-Edo period, however, it became restricted to some villages in Boso Peninsula. In the late Edo period a small fishing village of Katsuura in Kazusa Province of the Peninsula was the only place to supply Uraga wholesalers with sardines. 2. Competition with wholesalers in Edo was the main cause of the decline. When the new fishing gears (beach seine) appeared in Boso Peninsula, wholesalers in Edo were easily able to supply fishermen with fund reguired to materialize such advancement, thus expanding their control over the fishery. Uraga wholesalers being unable to compete with the Edo wholesalers in extending fund, their sphere of collection became restricted to minor fishing areas where primitive fishing gears such as pair boat lift net were still used. Furthermore, some feudal lords began to buy fish fertilizers for their peasants directly from producers. 3. While Uraga wholesaler's major market was Kamigata in the early Edo period, it shifted in the later period to the nearer districts such as Sagami and Owari Provinces (the present-day Kanagawa and Aichi Prefectures, respectvely). The central part of Sagami, where the fish fertilizer began to be used in the 1730s, became the market of Uraga because of its accessibility. As for the Province of Owari, the feudal lord preferred to use his ships carrying fish fertilizers on their return trips.