22 , 2017-08 , 沖縄移民研究センター , Center for Okinawa Migration Studies
This article studies the characteristics of Japanese prefectural statistics that may be useful for emigration data and the distribution of emigration areas on a microscale. First, prefectural statistics listed “absentees” on a citywide or countywide basis from the 1880s to the 1920s. Absentees were members of the domicile population who were briefly living overseas; they were listed in the prefectural statistics until the late Taisho era after which the Japanese government started counting the census. Prefectural statistics on absentees are also a suitable means of obtaining the exact number of emigrants from Japan on a microscale, beginning from the early modern era. Next, this article examines absentee and emigration statistics at the city and county levels. It demonstrates changes in the emigration areas within the same prefecture, regional emigration areas to the east of Kinki district, and emigration areas near trading cities such as Nagasaki before the middle of the Meiji era. The article thus concludes that prefectural statistics are useful for studying emigration areas on a microscale in the early and middle of the modern period in Japan.