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No.61 (2014/12) >

Title :蔡温の農務帳
Title alternative :An English Translation of Sai On's Noumuchou (Book on Agricultural Affairs)
Authors :Purves, John Michael
Chen, Bixia
Authors alternative :パーヴェス, ジョン・マイケル
陳, 碧霞 / チェン, ビシャ
Issue Date :27-Dec-2014
Abstract :The contents of Noumuchou can be divided into six sections: 1) conservation of agricultural land, 2) methods of cultivation, 3) cooperative community cultivation, 4) laying aside produce for times of emergency, 5) growing useful plants and 6) the duties of agriculture-related officials. From these sections it is possible to extract regional characteristics particular to Okinawa. Several points are detailed below. The first concerns technical methods of conserving soil fertility. There are two terms found in the original Japanese (souroubun) text that relate to this: 'mizokamae [literally 'ditch arrangement/position']' and 'ifukaeshi.' Deep ditches ('mizo') are dug at the edges of fields to accumulate rain water that can then flow back into the agricultural land to keep it fertile. This process is called 'ifukaeshi.' Because this work is extremely important in keeping soil fertility high, conserving agricultural land and increasing productivity, Noumuchou provides strict guidance to agriculture-related officials on this matter. The second relates to hill forest and agricultural area land-use classification. Because of the importance of forests in terms of obtaining cattle feed and firewood any decrease in the extent of forest should it be cut down in order to expand the area of arable land is a worrying situation. With this in mind, boundaries between cultivated land and forest should be clearly demarcated by digging ditches or by planting trees. So as to avoid any disputes with regard to the boundaries of agricultural land trees should be planted, stones placed or ditches dug. The third point concerns the planting of adan (Pandanus odoratissimus) as an agricultural land shelter belt measure. Adan is commonly planted near to agricultural land in coastal areas to prevent damage to agricultural land from sea water. The planting of adan along river banks to prevent soil collapse is also encouraged. A fourth point concerns the use of water from paddy fields. Unlike mainland Japan, most paddy fields in Okinawa are rain-fed. Because of this fact it was instructed that ponds be dug in case of water shortages. It was ordered that once the rice was harvested the ridges of earth between rice fields should immediately be firmed up in order to accumulate water. The fifth point relates to the method of production organization on the part of farmers. Agricultural land was allocated in farming community units called 'yogo.' Under this system each farming community was responsible for the payment of annual tribute tax as a single unit. Should an individual or individuals within a community be unable to pay annual tribute tax it falls upon the community as a unit to make up the shortfall. A sixth point deals with the laying aside of produce such as sotetsu and sweet potatoes ('hantsu-imo') for times of bad harvest. Because sotetsu contains a toxic ingredient called cycasin it has to be prepared for human consumption using fermentation and water soaking methods. Sotetsu was allowed to be planted along banks in fields and in the forest. In terms of sweet potato, at such times when the harvest was plentiful a certain amount should be dried and stored away for emergencies. A seventh point concerns state encouragement for farming communities to grow useful plants. These include cotton, bashou, shichitoui, shuro, kurotsugu and karatake (Bizennarihira/Semiarundinaria okuboi). Fiber from shuro and kurotsugu can be used to make rope. Karatake is mainly used to make hoops that bind black sugar barrels. Noumuchou also contains technical guidance for agriculture in general and details the duties of regional officials responsible for agriculture. All of these measures were designed to increase agricultural productivity.
Type Local :紀要論文
ISSN :0370-4246
Publisher :琉球大学農学部
URI :http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12000/31634
Appears in Collections:No.61 (2014/12)

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