The Green Archipelago
Forestry in Preindustrial Japan
By (author) Conrad Totman
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Green Archipelago by Conrad Totman
Book DescriptionEvery foreign traveler in Japan is delighted by the verdant forest-shrouded mountains that thrust skyward from one end of the island chain to the other. The Japanese themselves are conscious of the lush green of their homeland, which they sometimes refer to as 'the green archipelago'. Yet, based on its fragile geography and centuries of extremely dense human occupation, Japan today should be an impoverished, slum-ridden, peasant society subsisting on a barren, eroded moonscape characterized by bald mountains and debris-strewn lowlands. In fact, as Conrad Totman argues in this pathbreaking work based on prodigious research, this lush verdue is not a monument to nature's benevolence and Japanese aesthetic sensibilities, but the hard-earned result of generations of human toil that have converted the archipelago into one great forest preserve. Indeed, the author shows that until the late 1600s Japan was well on her way to ecological disaster due to exploitative forestry. During the Tokugawa period, however, an extraordinary change took place resulting in a system of 'regenerative forestry' that averted the devastation of Japan's forests. "The Green Archipelago" is the only major Western-language work on this subject and a landmark not only in Japanese history, but in the history of the environment.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520063129
(241mm x 165mm x 40mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 24-Jan-1989
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Conrad Totman
Japan, Hardback (January 2014)
From the outset, society in Japan has been shaped by its environmental context. The lush green mountainous archipelago of today supports a population of over 127 million people and one of the most advanced economies in the world. How has this come about? At what environmental cost?
Japan Before Perry, Paperback (January 2008)
By 1853 Japan had been transformed from a sparsely populated land of nonliterate tribal peoples into an elaborately structured commercial society sustaining massive cities and a array of sophisticated cultural production. This work examines the origins of Japanese civilization and explores in the classical, medieval, and early-modern epochs.
History of Japan, Paperback (November 2004)» View all books by Conrad Totman
Presents the history of Japan from c 8000 BC to the present day. This title covers a range of subjects, including geology, climate, agriculture, government and politics, culture, literature, media, foreign relations, imperialism, and industrialism.
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Author Biography - Conrad Totman
Conrad Totman is Professor of History at Yale University and author of Japan Before Perry: A Short History (California, 1981) and Politics in the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1600-1843 (California, 1988).
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