Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan

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Overview


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This fascinating environmental history of Japan examines how traditions and practices in several industries -- from raising silkworms to mining lead and coal to refining petroleum -- have affected the health of workers and those who have lived in these toxic landscapes.

"Historian Walker effectively links, perhaps for the first time anywhere, the historical processes of the economic, social, and land-use policies involved in modernizing and globalizing Japan with the pain and suffering of its environment and people. Never has a book so clearly illustrated the aphorisms 'all politics are local,' 'the personal is the political,' and 'we are what we eat.' This discussion of the evolution of environmentalism in Japan will reflect new light on the understanding of environmental history. Essential." -Choice

Brett Walker is Regents' Professor and department chairperson of history and philosophy at the University of Montana, Bozeman. He is the author of The Lost Wolves of Japan.

Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental History

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Toxic Archipelago would make an excellent addition to any course on environmental issues in Asia. . . . carefully researched, thoughtfully rendered accounts of industrial disease in Japan make clear that . . . modern technology has . . . tightened the binds between us and the world we inhabit." -Darrin Magee, Journal of Environmental Studies and Science, Vol. 1 (2011)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295991382
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 5/6/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 810,939
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Pain of a Poisoned World William Cronon ix

Preface xiii

Prologue xvii

Introduction: Knowing Nature 3

1 The Agency of Insects 22

2 The Agency of Chemicals 45

3 Copper Mining and Ecological Collapse 71

4 Engineering Pain in the Jinzu River Basin 108

5 Mercury's Offspring 137

6 Hell at the Hojo Colliery 176

Conclusion 211

Notes 225

Works Cited 251

Index 271

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