A Historical Study on the Relation between Damages on Farm Crops Caused by Wild Boars and Tatara Iron Manufacturing in Iwami-Ginzan Domain <Short Report>
Tatara iron manufacturing
wild animal damages on farms
General history of Japan
石見銀山領(幕領)内陸部では, 幕末期に猪による農作物被害が急増しその対策に苦慮している。この地域の猪被害は近世前半にもみられたが, その後しばらく大きな問題にはならなかった。本稿では, 美郷町潮の中原家に伝えられた史料をもとに, 幕末・維新期の猪被害と捕獲の状況を紹介し, その背景に地域の主要産業であったたたら製鉄の動向との関連を考えてみたい。
In the inland region of Iwami-ginzan domain, damages on farm crops caused by wild boars had increased from the Late Edo period to the Early Meiji period. Between 1869 and 1871 as many as 153 wild boars were captured by farmers in Ushio Village. Wild boar damages on farms had been observed from the Early Edo period, which were not problem for a long time. At the Late Edo period iron manufacturing in the region suddenly became very prosperous. Tatara iron manufacturing needed a large amount of charcoal when they produced iron. As a result it had to log many trees where many wild boars inhabited.
Historically speaking, when size of forests was huge, the number of wild boars remained high. It was an usual case that the number of animals diminished when many trees were cut down. That the area they inhabited dwindled meant a relative reduction of the animals. In this case damages on farm crops caused by them consequently, usually decreased. This phenomenon has been regarded as an established theory. However, it was not the case of Ushio Village in the Late Edo period.
In this paper I would like to discuss why damages on farm crops rapidly increased, when the iron industry thrived, which meant many trees disappeared.
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