- 一般社団法人 人文地理学会
- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.38, no.5, pp.387-407, 1986-10-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the immigration process of agricultural emigrants to Hokkaido from Tokushima prefecture early in the Meiji era.The form of immigration to Hokkaido at this period was mainly collective migration and the author has confirmed six groups; Niki-group (117 households) immigrated into Yoichi county in 1879, the second immigrant group (61 households) into the same settlement in 1881, Kaishinsha-group (9 households) into Sapporo county in 1881, Kosansha-group (32 households) into Sapporo county, Takekichi-group (23 households) into Setana county in 1882, and Setana-group (21 households) into Setana county in 1884.Except for the Kaishinsha- and Kosansha-groups, the other groups were led or induced by Takekichi Niki, who played the part of leader when the early migrant groups emigrated to Hokkaido from Tokushima prefecture. His purpose was to cultivate Japanese indigo plants and manufacture indigo in Hokkaido. Accordingly, the area where Takekichi Niki recruited the first immigrants was the Kitagata-Shimogoori region, which was a central cultivation region for Japanese indigo plants on the lower Yoshino River. He intended to produce indigo in Hokkaido, because it was easy to obtain land on the rich plains and cheap fish manure which were indispensable for cultivation of the indigo plant. As they were petty peasants and were distressed by the rising price of fish manure, many farmers in the Kitagata-Shimogoori region responded to Takekichi's recruiting.However, Takekichi, who at first intended to increase the indigo production, became more and more eager to recruit poor peasants as immigrants. Therefore, he also recruited immigrants in the Minamigata region, were the indigo plant had not been cultivated. This implies that the source region of immigrants to Hokkaido spread from the Kitagataregion to the Minamigata region. As the indigo production in Tokushima prefecture declined after the middle of the Meiji era, part of the surplus labor moved to Hokkaido and Tokushima prefecture became the biggest supplier of immigrants in western Japan. Some of these later immigrants settled at the settlement of the early immigrants or at their peripheries. This is because the settlement of the early immigrants played the role of axis for the later immigrants.