|Budget Amount *help
¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1996: ¥500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1995: ¥500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥500,000)
In the central areas of the main islands of Amami and Okinawa in the modern era, foreign merchants from other parts of Japan and other areas of Amami and Okinawa formed the commercial districts, with their stores and offices ("the temporary resident merchants"). This paper examines the formation and characterisitics of the commercial spaces established by this specific social group.
Many temporary resident merchants began to migrate to Amami and Okinawa after the abolishment of feudal domains and the implementation of prefectures. These temporary resident merchants were overwhelmingly from Kagoshima Prefecture, and this is due to historical relationships as well as Kagoshima Prefecture's geographical closeness to Amami and Okinawa.
One of the reasons for the temporary resident merchants to migrate to Amami and Okinawa was to commercialize the feudal dealings of sugar and textiles, which had been practiced since the Edo Period. Amami and Okinawa were also untouched markets for various kinds of retail and wholesale products including kimono fabrics and sundries.
The biggest commercial district in the Amami Islands was Naze, which then hsd 259 stores and offices. Most (84) owners of these stores and offices came from Kagoshima Prefecture. Naze, itself, accounted for the next largest origination point for owners (64). In Naha, the biggest city in Okinawa Prefecture, There were 335 temporary resident merchants. Of these, 205 came from Kagoshima Prefecture, which accounted for nearly one third of all the temporary resident merchants in the city. For both Amami and Okinawa, stores owned by these merchants formed commercial districts concentrated in the central of these islands. During the last years of World II,temporary resident merchants from outside Amami and Okinawa vacated the districts, and this in turn caused the disappearance of the temporary resident merchant districts.