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Thursday, March 29 • 11:15am - 6:15pm
11 - Is It Really The 'GOOD' Place? -The spatial analysis about the distribution of the Japanese Ancient Local government office 'Gunga'.

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This paper aims to reveal the strategy of local administration about the Japanese Ancient State ( We call it the "Ritsuryo State" ) by referring the geographical information and using the FLOSS ( Free/Libre Open Spurce Software) the GIS (Geographic Information System) . In the Japanese Ancient era ( from 7th to 11th century), the Ritsuryo State set up many local government offices ( We call them "Gun-ga" ) one by one at each county ( We call it "Gun" ) all of their controlled area. It is said that the place of the Gun-ga was selected as the best place of the transportation or administration in the county by some historians or some historical archaeologists, but they rarely verify their opinion by using quantitative method up to the present time. This problem arose that many Japanese Historical scholars are not good at or not train using numerical methods for their study. Therefore, I use the GIS and DEM (Digital Elevation Model) to verify that the place of the Gun-ga was actually selected as the best place in that area. At First, I plot Gun-ga sites, and digitize the ancient roads on the GIS. Next, I import the inland waters' data in the field. Finally, I run the Least-Cost Pathways Analysis between the Gun-ga sites and the ancient road, the inland waters on the GIS, and estimate the potential of each Gun-ga's place.Some of the distribution of Gun-ga fits the result of Least-Cost Pathways Analysis, but some of them does not fit the result of it. It is expected that this mismatch occurs the political environment in previous period or special political or religious circumstances of the area. I will consider this issue to analyze the other type of archaeological sites' distribution or historical documents of the area. This work is one of the attempt to integrate some academic fields separately one by one so far, the Japanese Historical Archaeology, the Japanese History or the Japanese Historical Geography by linking Geo-spatial data or using the GIS. These academic fields' research method usually tend to be the subjective way in Japan. The Digital technologies or the quantitative methods have the potentialities of link each other academic fields and their research method to be the objective analysis. I use the FLOSS GIS in my study because this tool has the powerful analysis capability recently and has many advantages for the students or freelance researchers. We can read the source cords of the FLOSS software. This is the important thing that we can learn the system, and the system is not the black box. The system should keep the transparency and the traceability of the algorithm in the scientific software. In addition, the FLOSS usually requires no money to use, therefore the students can use the GIS easily than the expensive GIS software. These aspects are also very important for the education.


Yoichi Seino

Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University Twitter: @Say_no

Thursday March 29, 2012 11:15am - 6:15pm BST
Building 65, 1173 Streamed into room 1093

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