Inference on the Surveying Methods at the 8th Century in Japan
American Journal of Civil Engineering
Volume 8, Issue 5, September 2020, Pages: 106-116
Received: Jul. 30, 2020; Accepted: Aug. 22, 2020; Published: Sep. 17, 2020
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Author
Kaoru Yoshida, Kyouritsu Engineer Co. Ltd., Matsue, Japan
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Abstract
Ancient regional records on geography named Fudoki were compiled in Japan at the 8th century. There were about 60 provinces at that time, but only 5 Fudoki (transcripts) have remained at present. Among them, Izumo Fudoki (edited in 733) is not only almost complete, but also contains detailed geographic data (surveying data) not found in the others. The surveying data are distances between major points, heights and sizes of mountains, sizes of lakes and isles etc. However, there are many differences when comparing these surveying data with actual sites. The Fudoki researchers had tried many times to interpret the relationships between the two, but many unclear points have remained. During the time, we civil engineers had little interest in the Fudoki. In this paper, we estimated the surveying methods by comparing the Fudoki data with map data and confirming the sites, then obtained the following conclusions. The distances were almost correct, the heights of the mountains were converted using the number of steps, the perimeters of the mountains were calculated with the trails as diameters, and the sizes of the lakes and isles were the lengths of the waterways. The surveying methods at that time were simple, but the results obtained were practical. We think that these ancient surveying methods were widely used, not in one region or one period.
Keywords
Izumo Fudoki, Ancient Surveying, Mountain Heights, Sizes of Lakes, Sizes of Isles
To cite this article
Kaoru Yoshida, Inference on the Surveying Methods at the 8th Century in Japan, American Journal of Civil Engineering. Vol. 8, No. 5, 2020, pp. 106-116. doi: 10.11648/j.ajce.20200805.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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