The Role of the Shin Nihon Hakkei in Redrawing Japanese Attitudes to Landscape

  • Thomas Jones
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


This chapter provides a critical analysis of the Shin Nihon Hakkei (hereafter Hakkei), a canon of eight ‘new’ landscape sites that were nominated in 1927 following an opinion poll jointly conducted by two newspaper companies, the Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbunsha and Osaka Mainichi Shinbunsha. At first glance, the Hakkei’s ostensible aim of showcasing the nation’s finest landscapes in eight pre-determined geophysical categories seems relatively innocuous. Yet the poll marked an important shift toward the nation-building imperatives of the new era, particularly as it was timed to commemorate the transition from Taishō (1912–25) to Shōwa (1926–89) periods by simultaneously promoting characteristically ‘Japanese’ landscape along with ‘modern’ Western aesthetics and concepts of scenic beauty.


National Park Natural Landscape Newspaper Company Scenic Beauty Natural Monument 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    John S. Brownlee, Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600–1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jinmu (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 1999), 28.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Tanaka Seidai 田中正大, Japan’s Nature Parks: Conservation of Nature and Landscape [日本の自然公園―自然保護と風景保護] (Tokyo: Sagami Publishing, 1981), 166.Google Scholar
  3. 16.
    Yokoyama Atsumi 横山篤美, Tales of Kamikōchi: History and Nature [上高地物語―その歴史と自然] (Nagano: Shinshū no Ryosha Publishing, 1981), 206.Google Scholar
  4. 19.
    Natural Parks Foundation 自然公園財団, Kamikōchi, Chubu Sangaku National Park Guide [上高地中部山岳国立公園パークガイド] (Tokyo: Shizen Kōen Zaidan, 1993), 33.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    Kawai Sayuri ‘Kamikōchi’s pre-modern woodland; a mixed history shaped by logging and volcanic activity’, Shinshū University Institute of Mountain Science Newsletter 15 (2009): 5.Google Scholar
  6. 22.
    Kären Wigen, ‘Discovering the Japanese Alps: Meiji Mountaineering and the Quest for Geographical Enlightenment’, Journal of Japanese Studies 31, no. 1 (2005): 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 25.
    Brett L. Walker, The Lost Wolves of Japan (Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2005), 131.Google Scholar
  8. 30.
    Thomas Havens, Parkscapes: Green Spaces in Modern Japan (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 2011), 73.Google Scholar
  9. 31.
    Murayama Kenichi ‘Kamikōchi in the early Showa era: the exploitation of water-power resources, conservation of nature and national parks’, Regional Branding Research 4 (2009): 4.Google Scholar
  10. 33.
    There were 11,000 hectares designated as gakujutsu sankō hogorin (学術参考保護林). Fukuda Takamasa 福田隆政, ‘The National Forest’, [国有林] in Current forest policy in Japan [現代森林政策学], ed. Endō Kusao 遠藤日雄 (Tokyo: J-FIC, 2008), 166.Google Scholar
  11. 37.
    Kojima Usui (1907), The Head of the River Azusa, quoted in Tanaka, Japan’s Nature Parks, 111.Google Scholar
  12. 38.
    Thomas M. Lekan, Imagining the Nation in Nature: Landscape Preservation and German Identity, 1885–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), 145.Google Scholar
  13. 39.
    David R. Leheny, The Rules of Play: National Identity and the Shaping of Japanese Leisure (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), 60.Google Scholar
  14. 40.
    Katō Mineo 加藤峰夫, The National Park System of Japan, vol. 3 [国立公園の法と制度] (Tokyo: Kokon Shōin, 2008), 14.Google Scholar
  15. See also Murakushi Nisaburō 村串 (2005), Research on the Development History of Japan’s National Parks [国立公園成立史の研究] (Tokyo: Hōsei University Press, 2005), 417. ‘外国人観光客を増やして外貨を稼ぐ’.Google Scholar
  16. 42.
    Paul Sutter, Driven wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement (Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002), 101.Google Scholar
  17. 44.
    Marguerite Shaffer, See America First: Tourism and National Identity, 1880–1940 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001), 429.Google Scholar
  18. 45.
    Nishimura Takahiro, ‘From national parks to nation-building: change in the semantics and significance of national parks from 1929 to 1944’ 1929–1944, The Bulletin of Osaka Education University 60, no. 2 (2012): 3.Google Scholar
  19. 46.
    Masako Gavin, ‘Nihon fūkeiron (Japanese Landscape): nationalistic or imperialistic?’ Japan Forum 12, no. 2 (2000): 220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 47.
    Nelson H. H. Graburn, ‘Tourism: The Sacred Journey’, in Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism, ed. Valene Smith (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989), 21–36.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Thomas Jones 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Jones

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations