The Hydrosphere and Socioeconomics in Modern Asia
Graduate School of Economics
As multi-polarization poses a challenge to the Western-centric worldview amid today’s globalization, much attention is directed to Asia as the new center of the world in modern history. For us, the important task is to envision a regional history of Asia based on its unique characteristics. The natural environment of the Asian region has two features related to water. One is the great influence of monsoons and seasonal rainfall. The other is that many parts of Asia consist of terrains surrounded by water systems, that is, a part of the hydrosphere. The aim of this study is to create a new Asian regional history by analyzing socioeconomic activities under the environmental conditions of monsoons and the hydrosphere. Firstly, we identify three sets of issues regarding climate and the hydrosphere: the natural environment and natural phenomena, production and lifestyle, and movement and distribution. We build a spatial information database (DB) by attaching spatial IDs, including latitude and longitude, to relevant information of each set of issues. Next, we apply the analytical method of spatial analysis to the data. Finally, we examine the results of the spatial analysis according to time, location, and issue-set combination, considering the structure and dynamics of modern Asian society in terms of its response to climate and the hydrosphere. We attempt to suggest a new kind of regional history that integrates climate and the environment with the production and distribution of goods. At the same time, we hope to make a broad academic contribution to the humanities and social sciences through the development of research methods. In addition, we will make a social contribution by sending our DB to the Data Integration and Analysis System (DIAS) on global environment.
Akiyuki Kawasaki (Project Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)
- Graduate School of Economics
- Tel: +81-3-5841-0688
- Email: hysoc_info[at]e.u-tokyo.ac.jp