- The Human Geographical Society of Japan
- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.41, no.1, pp.6-22, 1989-02-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
This paper aims to clarify the development process of a frontier urban settlement from its beginning with special reference to its changes in urban function. Takikawa is a central city with 50, 000 inhabitants in the Naka-Sorachi Region where agriculture (rice) and mining (coal) form an inportant economic base. Takikawa was one of the earliest settlements in inland Hokkaido. It is blessed with water transportation, located at the junction of the Ishikari River and the Sorachi River. As a result of this study, it was discerned that there are three stages in the changes of urban function in Takikawa City. They are as follows:1) First stage; gateway city (1886-97)In 1886, Takikawa was selected as the base site for road construction of National Route 12 which started from this point. And in 1887, it was determined that a tonden-hei-son (pioneer column settlement) would be established here, which was completed in 1890. The first Takikawa settlements were at the river ports site, namely Sorachihuto and Shinhatoba. These two river ports had the depots in which the materials for construction workers were stored. Furthermore, the traders in Takikawa expanded their tributary areas to the Kamikawa Region, which is 50km away upstream along the Ishikari River, with the openning of the railroad in 1892. In this period, therefore, Takikawa had a gateway function which was connecting newly-opened inland frontier to the settled regions by transport and wholesaling.2) Second stage; central place city (1898-1954)In 1898, the railroad was extended up to Asahikawa, which took on the gateway funtion in the northern and eastern regions of Hokkaido. Accordingly, Takikawa lost its long distance trade with these regions and it began to put stress on retailing activities within the Naka-sorachi Region. Traders in Takikawa began to specialize in dealing instead of managing Aramono-sho (general stores) and they strengthened the controlling power over their tributary areas in the Naka-sorachi Region through collecting and distributing. The two river ports were abandoned and the commercial centers were built around the focus of the railroad station. In addition, several governmental offices controlling the Naka-sorachi Region were also opened in Takikawa. Takikawa functioned as the central place city in the Naka-sorachi Region throughout this period.3) Third stage; economically advanced city (1955-)Throughout this period, the most important change of commercial activities in Takikawa has been the agglomeration of branch offices of large enterprises from the outside. In 1985, these branch offices accounted for 43.7% of total wholesale sales and 39.7% of total retail sales in Takikawa. This indicates that there was a decline of local commercial capital which played the main role of central place function before.To sum up the above discussion, there are three different functions in the course of urban development of frontier settlements: a gateway function for the first stage, a central place function for the second, and an agglomeration function for the last (Fig. 5).