Limits...
Geographical structures and the cholera epidemic in modern Japan: Fukushima prefecture in 1882 and 1895.

Kuo CL, Fukui H - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Bottom Line: The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted.Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. jinlin@ntu.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease diffusion patterns can provide clues for understanding geographical change. Fukushima, a rural prefecture in northeast Japan, was chosen for a case study of the late nineteenth century cholera epidemic that occurred in that country. Two volumes of Cholera Ryu-ko Kiji (Cholera Epidemic Report), published by the prefectural government in 1882 and 1895, provide valuable records for analyzing and modelling diffusion. Text descriptions and numerical evidence culled from the reports were incorporated into a temporal-spatial study framework using geographic information system (GIS) and geo-statistical techniques.

Results: Changes in diffusion patterns between 1882 and 1895 reflect improvements in the Fukushima transportation system and growth in social-economic networks. The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted. Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.

Conclusion: In addition to enhancing our understanding of epidemics, the spatial-temporal patterns of cholera diffusion offer opportunities for studying regional change in modern Japan. By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

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Study area: Fukushima prefecture in the late nineteenth century.
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Figure 1: Study area: Fukushima prefecture in the late nineteenth century.

Mentions: Established in 1876, Fukushima prefecture was at the time Japan's third largest prefecture in terms of area. Its position along the coast in northeast Japan made it an important link between the cities of Tokyo and Sendai (Fig. 1). In the late nineteenth century, several cholera outbreaks gradually spread from southern prefectures to northeast Japan [1]. Due to its location, Fukushima could not avoid being hit full-force by each outbreak. However, according to textual accounts in the two Ryu-co Ki-ji, there were substantial time lags between national and Fukushima outbreaks – it was one of the very last prefectures to feel the effects of the initial national diffusion. The reports also indicate that cholera entered the prefecture via a different route during each outbreak, that it suffered fewer cases than most prefectures, and that it rarely exported the disease.


Geographical structures and the cholera epidemic in modern Japan: Fukushima prefecture in 1882 and 1895.

Kuo CL, Fukui H - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Study area: Fukushima prefecture in the late nineteenth century.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1941729&req=5

Figure 1: Study area: Fukushima prefecture in the late nineteenth century.
Mentions: Established in 1876, Fukushima prefecture was at the time Japan's third largest prefecture in terms of area. Its position along the coast in northeast Japan made it an important link between the cities of Tokyo and Sendai (Fig. 1). In the late nineteenth century, several cholera outbreaks gradually spread from southern prefectures to northeast Japan [1]. Due to its location, Fukushima could not avoid being hit full-force by each outbreak. However, according to textual accounts in the two Ryu-co Ki-ji, there were substantial time lags between national and Fukushima outbreaks – it was one of the very last prefectures to feel the effects of the initial national diffusion. The reports also indicate that cholera entered the prefecture via a different route during each outbreak, that it suffered fewer cases than most prefectures, and that it rarely exported the disease.

Bottom Line: The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted.Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. jinlin@ntu.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease diffusion patterns can provide clues for understanding geographical change. Fukushima, a rural prefecture in northeast Japan, was chosen for a case study of the late nineteenth century cholera epidemic that occurred in that country. Two volumes of Cholera Ryu-ko Kiji (Cholera Epidemic Report), published by the prefectural government in 1882 and 1895, provide valuable records for analyzing and modelling diffusion. Text descriptions and numerical evidence culled from the reports were incorporated into a temporal-spatial study framework using geographic information system (GIS) and geo-statistical techniques.

Results: Changes in diffusion patterns between 1882 and 1895 reflect improvements in the Fukushima transportation system and growth in social-economic networks. The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted. Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.

Conclusion: In addition to enhancing our understanding of epidemics, the spatial-temporal patterns of cholera diffusion offer opportunities for studying regional change in modern Japan. By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus