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Bad Water: Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870–1950 by Robert Stolz (review)

Bad Water: Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870–1950 by Robert Stolz (review) the 1923 earthquake, The Great Kanto Earthquake and the Chimera of ¯ National Reconstruction in Japan (Columbia University Press, 2013). Thus, the ambitious rhetoric of renewal that typically crops up in the wake of natural disaster, animated by hopes of realizing beneficial social change, is not matched by results in modern Japan where they have been, at most, a, "catalyst accelerating processes already under way" (p. xii). Smits elsewhere makes this point in his excellent monograph, Seismic Japan: The Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake (University of Hawai`i Press, 2014). The orderly and dignified response of the Japanese in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami has had a significant impact on how people view Japan. Extensive contemporaneous coverage enabled the world to look on with horror at the images of devastation and then growing admiration as they witnessed the benefits of Japan's social cohesion. This impressive coping with unimaginable loss has often been attributed to Japanese cultural attributes. Smits, however, points out that in 1923 there was rioting and looting in the aftermath of the earthquake, indicating that hunger trumps culture. He argues that the major difference between 2011 and 1923 was material shortages http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Bad Water: Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870–1950 by Robert Stolz (review)

The Journal of Japanese Studies , Volume 41 (2) – Jul 30, 2015

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Japanese Studies.
ISSN
1549-4721
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Abstract

the 1923 earthquake, The Great Kanto Earthquake and the Chimera of ¯ National Reconstruction in Japan (Columbia University Press, 2013). Thus, the ambitious rhetoric of renewal that typically crops up in the wake of natural disaster, animated by hopes of realizing beneficial social change, is not matched by results in modern Japan where they have been, at most, a, "catalyst accelerating processes already under way" (p. xii). Smits elsewhere makes this point in his excellent monograph, Seismic Japan: The Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake (University of Hawai`i Press, 2014). The orderly and dignified response of the Japanese in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami has had a significant impact on how people view Japan. Extensive contemporaneous coverage enabled the world to look on with horror at the images of devastation and then growing admiration as they witnessed the benefits of Japan's social cohesion. This impressive coping with unimaginable loss has often been attributed to Japanese cultural attributes. Smits, however, points out that in 1923 there was rioting and looting in the aftermath of the earthquake, indicating that hunger trumps culture. He argues that the major difference between 2011 and 1923 was material shortages

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jul 30, 2015

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