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The changing iconography of Japanese political geography

Yasuo Miyakawa
GeoJournal
Vol. 52, No. 4, Iconographies (2000), pp. 345-352
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41147573
Page Count: 8
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The changing iconography of Japanese political geography
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Abstract

Our world is very fluid, very complex, constantly moving, made up of a great number of interdependent components. Therefore, the locus and the orbit of a particular area play an important role in geography and in politics. The purpose of this study is to examine the iconography of orbit and freedom of movement through an analysis of the transformation of the international politico-economic structure and its impact on Japan and to make clear the footsteps of Jean Gottmann on political geography. Due to its locus being on the crossroad of international power struggles, Japan had accepted different iconographies of orbits every time she faced great mutation in her history. This, in turn, accelerated the synchronism, synergism and synthesis of different iconographies that came to converge at the crossroad. The integration of imported cultures with the Japanese traditional culture promoted the transformation of Japanese society and community to emphasize the freedom of movements. The flexibility of Japanese society and the unifying iconography of Japanese community have enabled Japan to adapt and readapt to changing politico-economic phases. Interested in the relationship between freedom of movement and iconography, Jean Gottmann spent a considerable portion of his academic life inquiring into the changing dynamics of Japanese iconography on the global scene. After a quarter-century pursuit, he contributed to the establishment of political geography in Japan.

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