Waiting for Wolves in Japan: An Anthropological Study of People-wildlife Relations

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Oxford University Press, 2003 - Social Science - 296 pages
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In the 1990s a Japanese conservationist group, inspired by North American examples, launched a campaign for the reintroduction of the wolf in Japan. In addition to restoring Japan's natural heritage, the main reason offered for its reintroduction is that the wolf would be the saviour of upland areas of Japan suffering from wildlife pestilence. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on the Kii Peninsula in western Japan, one of the areas nominated for reintroduction, this book critically examines the problem of people-wildlife conflicts in Japan from a social anthropological perspective. Focusing on wild boar, monkeys, deer, serow, and bears, it describes the relationship to these animals on the part of farmers, foresters, hunters, and tourists. This detailed case study shows that conflicts with wildlife are inextricably bound up with social conflict among people, and that wildlife pestilence must therefore be understood in terms of its symbolic, as well as material dimensions.
 

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Contents

Mountain Villages
20
Farmers
21
Foresters
29
Hunters
37
Animals
43
Wild Boar
48
Images of the Boar
49
Farmers and Boars
51
Hunters and Herbivores
138
National Animals
147
Bears
159
Images of the Bear
161
The Problem of Bears
168
Hunters and Bears
179
Conservationist and Bears
186
Wolves
194

Hunters and Boars
68
Farmers Hunters and Boars
79
Monkeys
84
Images of the Monkey
85
Monkey Wars
87
The War Idiom
97
Killing Monkeys
110
Feeding Monkeys
115
Deer and Serow
123
Images of Deer and Serow
125
Foresters and Herbivores
131
From Wolves to Dogs
209
The Wolf Reintroduction Proposal
216
Hunters and Wolves
230
Conclusion
235
The Symbolism of the Pest
237
The Symbolism of the Wolf
246
Bibliography
255
English
275
Index
291
Copyright

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Page 7 - States in the period between 1865 and 1885 cattlemen killed wolves with almost pathological dedication. In the twentieth century people pulled up alongside wolves in airplanes and snowmobiles and blew them apart with shotguns for sport. In Minnesota in the 19705 people choked Eastern timber wolves to death in snares to show their contempt for the animal's designation as an endangered species.
Page 18 - to claim that what is literally true of relations among humans (for example, that they share), is only figuratively true of relations with animals, is to reproduce the very dichotomy between animals and society that the indigenous view purports to rejecr

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About the author (2003)

John Knight is a Lecturer, Queen's University Belfast.

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