Planted Forest and Diverse Cultures in Ecological Village Planning: A Case Study in Tarama Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Chen, Bixia, Nakama, Yuei and Urayama, Takakazu, (2013). Planted Forest and Diverse Cultures in Ecological Village Planning: A Case Study in Tarama Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Small-scale Forestry, 13(3), 333-347

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Chen, Bixia
    Nakama, Yuei
    Urayama, Takakazu
    Title Planted Forest and Diverse Cultures in Ecological Village Planning: A Case Study in Tarama Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
    Appearing in Small-scale Forestry   Check publisher's open access policy
    Volume 13
    Issue No. 3
    Publication Date 2013-12
    Place of Publication Berlin and Heidelberg
    Publisher Springer
    Start page 333
    End page 347
    Language eng
    Abstract Traditional village landscapes that were planned with a combination of local traditional beliefs and the Feng Shui concepts of ‘ho:go’, featured in remaining patches of flourishing planted forest on Ryukyu Islands, were estimated to have been built about 300 years ago. This study sought to clarify the actual landscape composition and map the layout and distribution of landscape elements, with a focus on understanding the dimension of the widespread Feng Shui woods. The cultural landscape combines shapes of patches of greening, corridors of planted forest belts and intersecting roads, scattered areas of water and clustered human settlements. On the relatively flat islands, a forest belt about 15 m wide was planted to curve in front of the village and be connected with the preserved natural forest on the low hills behind the settlements to shape a green protective circle with a radius of about 400 m. The grounds of each house were surrounded by one row of trees. Thousands of big Fukugi trees were found surrounding the settlements and sacred sites. These forest belts are almost completely connected and shape green corridors providing habitat for flora and fauna. Inside the village, roads have been designed to meander, and thus function to mitigate damage from strong winds. In Okinawa, utaki (sacred places dedicated to a guardian deity of hamlets) and the remains of old springs also consist of important landscape units. Such a traditional aesthetic village landscape embodies the harmony of man and nature, or ‘people living in the forests’. A cultural landscape with ecological context needs to be reevaluated as a rural planning style in island topography, and promoted as a tourist attraction in order to better conserve it.
    UNBIS Thesaurus LANDSCAPE PROTECTION
    JAPAN
    FORESTS
    ISLANDS
    CULTURAL HERITAGE
    VILLAGES
    LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
    Copyright Holder The Editors
    Copyright Year 2013
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 1873-7617
    DOI 10.1007/s11842-013-9257-z
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    Created: Mon, 14 Apr 2014, 11:58:15 JST