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Night and Landscape: Invisible Night and Experienced Darkness

DOI Open Access
  • IKEDA Mariko
    Faculty of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba
    Faculty of Life and Environmental Science, University of Tsukuba
  • NAKAGAWA Sachi,
    Graduate Student, University of Tsukuba
  • OTA Kei
    Faculty of Regional Policy, Takasaki City University of Economics
    Graduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • UDA Takuya
    Faculty of International Studies, Meio University

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 夜と景観 ー見えない夜と感じる闇ー


This paper reconsiders the terminology of landscape at night in a geographical context, by examining the definition of the landscape, a subject of longstanding discussion across several academic disciplines in both humanities and sciences. The German term Landschaft, from which the Japanese term keikan for landscape derives, has become a key concept in geography of science, and it was defined to be visually, statically and morphologically capturable together with the development of methodology within natural sciences. On the other hand, in the humanities, the terms keikan and fūkei were defined separately, and even especially to the modern perspective within keikan, a critical review has been conducted especially since the 1970 s, when visual images such as pictures and paintings were set as main objects. Under the definition of night as absence of sunlight, when humans are not able to visually ‘see’ the surface, the meaning of Landschaft as ‘area’ becomes apparent. This will contribute to critical rethinking of the hierarchy of the visual in modern society. At the same time, since the dawn of modern society with industrialisation, humankind evaluated both light and darkness, associating them with enlightenment and obscurantism, urbanity and naturalness. That is, to light up the historical centre in European cities or delight the starry sky which gets visible in real nature. Both are interdependently existing both in the natural environment and urban society in our modern society.


  • Geographical Space

    Geographical Space 12 (3), 207-226, 2019

    Japan Association on Geographical Space

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