The Morio Ono human geography materials

Yoshihiro Nishiaki
The University Museum
The University of Tokyo

Professor Morio Ono (1925–2001) was a human geographer at the Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, who specialized in studying socio-economics of pre-modern village societies in Eurasia and South America. His research career of nearly a half century, started with the exploration of fishing villages in the Japanese archipelagos in the early 1950s, and is characterized by a series of long-term field campaigns on a global scale, resulting in the production of extensive archival research materials including field notes, photographs, movies, interview tapes, and other related information. The subject of this catalogue constitutes such materials donated by his family in 2003.

The major materials in this collection are derived from field investigations in (1) fishing villages in the Japanese archipelagos in the early 1950s, (2) farming villages of Japanese immigrants in Brazil and Paraguay in 1956 and 1957, (3) farming villages in Afghanistan and Iran in the 1960s and 1970s, (4) extensive surveys in arid lands stretching from North Africa to Central Asia in the 1980s and 1990s, with focus on rice cultivation economy from a comparison perspective, and (5) farming villages in Central Turkey in the late 1990s. The resultant archives from these and other field investigations, which often involved a long-term stay in the target villages for several months or over a year, comprise first-hand information on the changing society and economy in rural societies of the world. In addition, the documentation by Professor Ono, as a geographer, includes numerous maps and photographs of the natural environments and landscapes of the villages under study. Altogether, the collection should serve as a valuable database not only for those interested in regional studies of human geography, but also for those who study regional history from a longer perspective, such as archaeologists and anthropologists, as well as those who study regional environments, like geomorphologists and botanists.