C. History and Geography

Human Activities That Characterize Time and Space

History: The former residence of a successor to the Mitsubishi Zaibatsu, which was built in 1896 on the large site of a former feudal lord’s residence in Tokyo (2023). This change represents the transition from early modern to modern times in Japan. Below are some photos of human activities that characterized those times.
Prehistoric Age: A site where obsidian was repeatedly mined over and over again for 30,000 years during the Stone Age in Nagawa, Japan (2023).
Ancient History: View of the area where the first capital of Magadha was located. In the break in the hill (right), the stone wall of those days remains. On Griddhakuta in Rajgir, India (2024).
Ancient History: A train traveling along an ancient trade route of the Silk Road, somewhere between Liuyuan and Hami in China (1996).
Ancient History: The ancient city of Jiaohe (交河故城) on the Silk Road in Turpan, China, a heritage of the rise and fall of countries (1996).
Medieval to Early Modern History: Venice, which prospered from the Levantine trade, but its decline began with the rise of the Ottoman Empire and the arrival of the Age of Exploration (1995).
Early Modern History: Ferdinand Magellan died in Mactan, the Philippines, in 1521 during his voyage around the world. At Mactan Shrine (2016).
Modern History: Century-old buildings, lit up at night, from the French colonial period in Ho Chi Minh City: From left, City Hall, Hotel Continental Saigon, and the Opera House (though only its roof is visible in the photo) (2008).
Contemporary History: The Jagalchi market in Busan, where many evacuees from the Korean War opened shops to survive (2002).
Contemporary History: The house of the late PM Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore (2016). He made the agonizing decision in 1965 that Singapore would become independent of Malaysia.
Contemporary History: A wall in Beijing, remembering a slogan from China’s 1960s during the planned economy period: “(工业)学大庆、(农业)学大寨 (In industry, learn from Daqing; in agriculture, learn from Dazhai)” (2006).
Contemporary History: China’s process of gradual economic liberalization (改革开放) began in 1978. In Shenzhen (2010).
Contemporary History: In 1986, F1 promoters broke through the Iron Curtain and held the first-ever Eastern Bloc race in Hungary (pictured is a 1992 ad in Budapest). Hungary was one of the first countries in the bloc to adopt political and economic reforms.
Contemporary History: A piece of the Berlin Wall as a symbol of the Cold War, which I bought in Berlin in 1992. More than three decades after the end of the Cold War, where is the world headed as multipolarity accelerates?
Geography: Marchant houses in Yanai, Japan, prospered from water transportation in the Seto Inland Sea, the Mediterranean of Japan, from the 17th century to the first half of the 19th century (2023). They are famous for their white walls plastered for fire protection and goldfish lanterns. To understand human life, we should first understand the impact of the natural environment on it, as Fernand Braudel argued in his book “The Mediterranean.” However, the photos of nature are classified in the first half of E. Science and Technology. In this section, below are some photos of human activities that characterized those locations.
Towns and Villages: The historic castle town of Iwamura in Ena, Japan (2018). In the mountains ahead are the ruins of one of Japan’s most famous mountain castles.
Towns and Villages: Peranakan terrace house in the Katong district of Singapore, showing the hybrid of Chinese, maritime Southeast Asian, and European cultures (2016).
Towns and Villages: Historic shophouses in Phuket where many Chinese descendants live (2020).
Towns and Villages: Chuandixiacun (爨底下村) in Beijing, a village of traditional Qing dynasty houses (2006).
Towns and Villages: A town of the Garifuna people who have preserved their own culture in Roatan, Honduras (2012).
Towns and Villages: A floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap during the rainy season (September 2009).
Towns and Villages: A gated community in Mactan, the Philippines (2016).
Formation of Towns: After the Cuban Revolution, high-quality Cuban cigars are also made by immigrants in Miami’s Little Havana (2012).
Formation of Towns: Johannesburg’s New Chinatown has sprung up on the outskirts due to deteriorating security in the city center, where the Old Chinatown is located (2011).
Industrial Agglomeration: The garage where HP was founded in 1939 in Palo Alto, one of the birthplaces of Silicon Valley (2015).
Transportation: Tsumago-juku (妻籠宿) on Nakasen-do (中山道) in Nagiso, Japan, a post-station town on a major Edo (now Tokyo)-Kyoto route from the 17th century to the first half of the 19th century (2018).
Transportation: Japan’s metropolitan expressway network has developed since the 1970s to connect the city center with the suburbs. In Tokyo (2023).
Transportation: After Mr. Dashrath Manjhi’s wife died because of the distance to a hospital over a rocky hill, he spent 22 years cutting through the hill and opened this road in 1982 to improve the lives of the people in his village of Gehlaur, India (2024). His life was made into a movie, “Manjhi: The Mountain Man” (2015).
CBD (central business district): View of Hong Kong’s Central and Admiralty districts from Lugard Road Lookout, The Peak (2015).
Urban Landscape: Neon signs hanging over the streets of Hong Kong, which are disappearing due to regulations (1995). The current street view of the area is here.
Urban Planning: A district of Vienna where traditional buildings have been largely preserved since the late 19th century (1992). The current street view of the area is here.
Urban Structure: Are there any differences between the spatial structure of present-day Chicago and that of the city when Ernest W. Burgess developed the concentric zone model about a century ago? Over Lake Michigan (2013).
Urbanization: The front line of development in Ulaanbaatar (2013).
Gentrification: The wave of redevelopment coming to Boston’s Chinatown (2015). A related article in Japanese: “Chinatown in Boston” (IDE Square, 2015).
Globalization: The gradually increasing number of Chinese cars in Lima (2013).
Localization: The clown giving a “wai,” the traditional Thai greeting, in Bangkok (2020).

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