This study attempts to establish which principles are common to all villages in Tonami plains in Japan through a comparative study including three different types of villages. A «dispersed village,» a «row-shaped village,» and a «street village.» These three types of villages have been formed in the same epoch (17th century) and in the same geographical conditions. Thus, the different forms of these villages can be explained from a dwelling system viewpoint. A dwelling system is defined as the systematic relationship among a house plan, a homestead, and a village. It also includes an initial planning as well as a physical setting arranged by the inhabitants. A dwelling system is important to reevaluate Japanese traditional houses, and landscapes in provincial areas. Although a dwelling system has brought each village its own shape in Japan, this system has been neglected while performing environmentalimprovement policies since the Second World War. An analysis of village spatial composition, and land ownership before and after readjustment of arable land was conducted. From this analysis, three common principles were discovered: