Speaker: Prof. Philip C. Brown, Department of History, Ohio State University
Date: December 11, 2017
Venue: Humanities Faculty Meeting Room, 4F (文学部４階会議室), Kaizuka Campus
Japanese Traditions of Dominating Nature – Rivers
There are many threads in both academic and popular culture that stress traditional Japanese society, that is, pre-industrial society, lived in harmony with nature, that man-land relationships were sustainable, and that Japanese (along with other Asian civilizations) have a special appreciation of the value of nature. This presentation argues that Japan has a long history of quite forceful efforts to dominate and shape nature. This is not to say that there are no differences between societal-nature relationships since the start of Japanese industrialization. This presentation briefly explores one case to illustrate the complications involved in modern Japanese efforts at central planning that ignore local knowledge, something far less likely in pre-modern circumstances in which outsider control was almost impossible to implement.