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Keywords:

  • C02;
  • R23, R59;
  • P25
  • Surnames;
  • regionalization;
  • geodemographics;
  • Lasker distance;
  • clustering

Abstract

This paper uses an extended case study of Japan to illustrate how surnames, or family names, can be used as a basis for regionalization. We undertake a comparison between inductively surname regions of Japan with areal geographies based upon both contemporary and historical prefecture (administrative) units. The work is seen as using highly disaggregate framework data to evaluate the integrity of the areal units that are used in regional science. It also is relevant to understanding population distributions, past and present, and the consequences of local, regional and national residential mobility and migration.