- The Human Geographical Society of Japan
- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.35, no.2, pp.116-138, 1983-04-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
School districts are one form of social region. The purpose of this study is to consider how primary school districts have been formed in relation to certain factors. It is assumed that the influence of those factors varies with the geographical characters of each region. Therefore, the author divided the case study area (Hiroshima City) into three regions: the region of the old castle town (inner city), the region surrounding the inner city, and the region which has been consolidated since 1971. As a result of this analysis, the formation processes of primary school districts are classified into four types. These types are summarized as follows:In the region of the old castle town (the inner city), it was decided at first that school districts would be the same as each Shoku established by the Daiku-Shoku-Sei. This area consisted of Buke-Yashiki (samurai districts), Machi-Yashiki (Chonin districts), and Shingai (newly opened districts). Though these blocks characterized each Shoku, they were not equivalent to social regions. Afterwards, a lot of primary schools were established. Those school districts were based on population distribution, and their boundaries were natural boundaries in many cases. However, the blocks of this area were changed by war damage and land readjustment after the war. Since then, school districts have been reformed according to the actual circumstances, especially in regard to traffic safety problems of school attendance.There are sprawl areas in both the regions surrounding the inner city and the region which has been consolidated since 1971. In these areas, there had been one school in most of the villages for a long time. Therefore, each school district had been strongly united as the social region. After the war, the population increased and now these areas are contiguous with the inner city. The areas of original villages have lost their meaning as school districts. It is considered that the present school districts are the new social regions replacing the original villages. The traffic safety of school attendance has become the most important factor in the formation of school districts. On the other hand, there are few sites for new schools in these areas. It is difficult to establish new schools as previously planned. This is apt to cause social problems about school districts.In the rural areas within the region, which have been consolidated since 1971, one to three schools were established in each village. However, the population decreased rapidly after the war and a lot of schools were combined. The aim of these school combinations was to maintain a reasonable scale for the schools and to reduce the costs of education. In these areas, school districts have been formed according to the convenience of school attendance. As a factor in the formation of school districts, the existence of transport facilities for school attendance is more important than the distance of school attendance. The Oaza, which is recognized as important territorial relational grouping, has been adopted as the unit of school districts in those cases where the Oaza is contained in one traffic region.There are new towns in both the region surrounding the inner city and the region which has been consolidated since 1971. When these new towns are constructed, primary schools are established intentionally. The factors in the formation of school districts, for example, the population distribution, the distance of school attendance, the traffic safety of school attendance, etc., are considered in the new town planning. Therefore, school districts are expected to become the new social regions from their inception.These results show us that the basic factor in the formation of school districts is the population distribution, and that the traffic safety of school attendance is the single most important and common factor at present.