Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands
296 pages, 5 1/5 x 9 2/5
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 profited from their rich natural environment while simultaneously facing significant environmental challenges. Over time, they have altered their natural environment in numerous ways, from landscape modification to industrial pollution. How has the human-nature relationship changed over time in Japan? How does Japan’s environmental history compare with that of other countries, or that of the world as a whole? Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands attempts to answer these questions through a series of case studies by leading Japanese and Western historians, geographers, archaeologists, and climatologists. These essays, on diverse topics from all periods of Japanese history and prehistory, are unified by their focus on the key concepts of “resilience” and “risk mitigation.” Taken as a whole, they place Japan’s experience in global context and call into question the commonly presumed division between pre-modern and modern environmental history.

Bruce L. Batten is a professor of Japanese history at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, and the former director of the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama.Philip C. Brown is a professor of history at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He is a specialist in early modern and modern Japanese history and focuses on developments affecting rural Japan.
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