Year 2009: Kagoshima Environmental Studies I


Thoughts on Yakushima
Nampo Shinsha Co., Ltd
Edited by Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program Working Group

Akira Nishimura

The target readers of this book are those who are determined to consider the environment from within Kagoshima or at least from Kagoshima’s perspectives. In other words, we aim to find new approaches or clues from the environment that help deal with environmental issues from the viewpoint of Kagoshima, its region and its standpoint. The three-year-project of the “Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program”, a new perspective from this systematic environmental studies program rooted in local areas, was initiated in the fiscal year of 2008 with the discretionary funds of the president of Kagoshima University. The working group of this project has been organized to carry out our activities. This group is characterized by the make up of its members, who hail from diverse fields; including young faculty research members of Kagoshima University, mass media related persons, officials working for the local prefectural government and many others from outside the university. In the first year of the program, we staged the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Symposium and published the book titled “Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program I” along with “Key-words Dictionary of the Kagoshima Environment.” (The details of the working group activities and the summary of the symposium are listed at the end of this book).

As the name implies, this book is the first volume of the “Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program” series. We plan to publish a total of three volumes, one volume each year of the project.

This book contains three chapters. The first chapter is an outline which discusses “What is the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program?” Based upon the confirmed directions to which the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program has been heading, various environmental problems are overviewed first before discussing the necessity to set up the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program. This is followed by reviewing environmental issues from the viewpoints of value-theory and national land theory, which will guide the readers toward a more systematic understanding.
The second chapter is titled thoughts on the region. Yakushima was designated as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1993, and in 2003 Amami was listed as a candidate for the Japanese government’s world natural heritage site ascension as a part of the Ryukhu Islands. As Kagoshima features these two characteristic natural environments, this chapter discusses the status and the issues encompassed in these two regions of Kagoshima.

The third chapter features the itemized discussion. Kagoshima’s environment is introduced from various perspectives. These include academic approaches to natural history, or “coexistence between human beings and nature”, and a viewpoint explained from local journalism. The chapter also expresses viewpoints from foreign visitors visiting Kagoshima. Furthermore, it discusses the current status of Kirishima Yaku national park and the water quality of Kagoshima Bay as well as issues motivating environmental education to seek a relationship among the people within communities or links between different generations.
As seen above, the warp, the outline, and the weft, the regional theory and various perspectives, are all interwoven to support our work on the regional environmental studies project about which is described in this book.
It is our sincere hope that the utilization of this book will not be limited to students of Kagoshima University but that it will also be used by readers within and outside Kagoshima for supporting their specific endeavors in the future.


■Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program
Table of contents
Declaration of Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program   3

Preface       Akira Nishimura  5

Chapter 1
Outline: What is the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program?
Hiroshi Onodera  11
Akira Nishimura

1. New approaches to Kagoshima Environmental Studies  13

2. What are environmental problems?     16

3. What specifically is the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program?  22

4. Towards a systematized Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program 23

Chapter 2
Outline: Theory of regional studies  Hiroshi Onodera  45

1. Thoughts on Yakushima 48
2. Thoughts on Amami 60

Chapter 3
1. Kagoshima’s environment from the perspective of natural history
Ryusuke Imura 73

2. Kagoshima’s environmental studies from the perspective of “coexistence between human beings and nature” Kei Kawai 93
4. Regional journalism and environmental issues Kentaro Maruyama 107

5. Kagoshima viewed through the eyes of foreign visitors
Michiko Yamasaki 121

6. The National Park system and Kagoshima  Masaru Horikami 131

7. A study of water quality conservation
? A viewpoint derived from study of Kagoshima Bay    Jiro Iwata 143

8. Issues that should be handled through environmental education
Yuko Oguri 163

Activities carried out by the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program Working Group 179

Summary of the Kagoshima Environmental Studies Program Symposium  181

Postscript Akira Nishimura 197