This study classified Japanese inland waterway transportation forms and discussed the factors of such differences. In addition to previous studies of the Kirakami, Mogami, Abukuma, and Fuji Rivers, this study examined the Kako river. Statistics of the Meiji period were analyzed to classify river transportation in terms of the goods traded.
The characteristics of the Kako river transportation were identified through the document in the Ago Family. Although the route connected the Japan Sea and the Inland Sea was originally planned, the conflict among different groups of the region hindered the plan.
Classification of the transportation was made with four indices : (1) natural conditions, (2) transportation institutions, (3) capacity of transportation, and (4) transported goods. Big elevation gaps of rivers between inland basins and alluvial plains made transshipment necessary. The results were the development of trading towns and the limitation of transporting capacity. Because, the conflicts among different communities hindered the further development of transportation, railroad transportation took over the role of the river transportation.