Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands
296 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Apr 2015
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Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands

From Prehistory to the Present

Oregon State University Press

Over the long course of Japan’s history, its people profitedfrom their rich natural environment while simultaneously facingsignificant environmental challenges. Over time, they have alteredtheir natural environment in numerous ways, from landscape modificationto industrial pollution. How has the human-nature relationship changedover time in Japan? How does Japan’s environmental historycompare with that of other countries, or that of the world as a whole?Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands attempts toanswer these questions through a series of case studies by leadingJapanese and Western historians, geographers, archaeologists, andclimatologists. These essays, on diverse topics from all periods ofJapanese history and prehistory, are unified by their focus on the keyconcepts of “resilience” and “risk mitigation.”Taken as a whole, they place Japan’s experience in global contextand call into question the commonly presumed division betweenpre-modern and modern environmental history.

Bruce L. Batten is a professor of Japanese history atJ. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, and the former director of theInter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies inYokohama.Philip C. Brown is a professor of history atThe Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He is a specialist in earlymodern and modern Japanese history and focuses on developmentsaffecting rural Japan.
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