The island world of Japan offers a unique standpoint for thinking about ecological history. An ecological standpoint likewise illuminates the deep history of Japan. This course takes in the entire span of Japanese history, from the beginnings of human habitation to the present. Topics include ancient Japanese lifeways; climate and history; the development of agriculture; population and resources; Buddhist and animist views of outer and inner nature; urbanization from ancient capitals to Megacity Tokyo; industrialization and energy; the recent nuclear accident at Fukushima; and future visions. Readings include influential scholarly works and Japanese primary sources in English translation.
This is a small-enrollment seminar that follows a discussion-based format. The basic text is Conrad Totman, Japan: An Environmental History (I.B. Tauris, 2016 [paperback ed.]; ISBN: 978-1-78453-743-2).
--The course syllabus and other materials are posted to the "Files" folder.--