Satoyama pp 9-39 | Cite as

The Nature of Satoyama Landscapes

  • K. Takeuchi


To Japanese people, the term satoyama conjures up images of the idyllic rural landscape of fields and woodlands. However, it is surprising that this term only became popular within the past 40 years. The term satoyama was used as long ago as 1759 by a Kiso area assistant wood manager by the name of Hyouemon Teramachi, who described satoyamas in a book entitled Miscellaneous Stories of Kiso Mountain. He described satoyama as mountainous landscapes close to rural villages (Tokoro 1980). The person who revived the term in modern times was Tsunahide Shidei, a forest ecologist, who proposed the idea of satoyamas in the early 1960s. He later explained that this term is just a modification of yamasato (village in the mountains) to satoyama (mountains near the village) so that everybody can understand the meaning. Based on this idea came the concept of the satoyama as an agricultural woodland (Shidei 2000).


Paddy Field Natural Park Conservation Ecology Secondary Nature Allotment Garden 
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© Springer Japan 2003

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  • K. Takeuchi

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