Environmental History in East Asia : Interdisciplinary Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Environmental History in East Asia
Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited By

Tsui-jung Liu

ISBN 9781138658042
Published March 2, 2016 by Routledge
444 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

As environmental history has developed as growing sub-discipline within the study of history, great emphasis has been placed on the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach. Indeed, as Environmental History in East Asia shows, by drawing on research and methodologies from the fields of science, technology, geography, geology and ecology, we are able to develop a much richer understanding of a region’s history.

This book provides a comprehensive examination of environmental history in East Asia, ranging temporally from the Ming dynasty to the 21st Century and spatially across China, Japan and Taiwan. Split into four parts, the chapters cover a wide range of fascinating topics, comparing environmental thought and policy in the East and West, the transformation of the landscape, land resource utilization and impact of agriculture and disasters and diseases across the region. A diverse selection of case studies are used to illustrate the chapters, including the role of Daoism, Qing pasturelands and 21st century swine flu.

Truly interdisciplinary in approach, this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Asian environmentalism, environmental history, Asian anthropology, Asian development studies and Asian history more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Ts'ui-jung Liu Part I: Environmental Thought and Policy 1. Scientific Curiosity in China and Europe: Natural History in the late Ming and the Eighteenth Century, Mark Elvin 2. Environmental Ethics and Aesthetics: The Laozi Revisited Yim-tze Kwong 3. Vision and Significance in Environmental Policy History, Susumu Kitagawa Part II: Utilizations of Land Resources 4. The Effect of Environment on the War between the Song and the Jin States, Jin Liu and Lei Kang 5. The Retreat of the Horse: The Manchus, Land Reclamation and Local Ecology in the Jianghan Plain (ca. 1700s-1850s), Yan Gao 6. Problems Concerning the Environmental History of the Chinese Loess Plateau, Kohei Matsunaga 7. The Zhaozhou Bazi Society in Yunnan: Historical Process in the Bazi Basin Environmental System during the Ming Period (1368-1643), Jianxiong Ma 8. Lashihai: Changing Environmental Protection of an Alpine Lake and Wetland, Shu-min Huang 9. Forest Landscape Change at the Shihmen Reservoir Catchment (2002-2007), Chih-Da Wu, Shih-Chun Candice Lung, Yung-Chung Chuang, and Jihn-Fa Jan Part III: Ground Gained for Agriculture 10. Limitations and Adaptation: Environment and Technology in Jifu Region’s Rice Cultivation during the Ming and Qing Periods (1368-1911), Xin-hao Du and Bo Ren 11. Historical Knowledge and the Response to Desertification: A Study of Agricultural Water Supply Technology in Eighteenth–Century Northwestern China, Shinobu Iguro 12. The Aesthetics and Politics of Chinese Horticulture in Late Qing Borderlands, Peter Lavelle 13. Maize Cultivation and Its Effect on Rocky Desertification: A Spatial Study of Guizhou Province (1736-1949), Zhaoqing Han Part IV: Ground Lost: Disaster and Disease 14. Infant Mortality and Beriberi in Osaka City between the World Wars: Impact of the Mother’s Diet on Infant Health, Emiko Higami and Kenichi Tomobe 15. Faith Healing and Vaccination against Smallpox in Nineteenth-Century Japan, Hiroshi Kawaguchi 16. Living Style Diseases: Parasite Infections and Kaoping Region’s Rural Environment, Michael Shiyung Li 17. Ecodemics: Facing and Mediating the Risks from the Wild, Mika Merviö 18. Beyond Uncertainty: Industrial Hazards and Class Actions in Taiwan and Japan, Paul Jobin

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Ts'ui-jung Liu is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.


"The virtue of this collection is that it broadens East Asian history beyond national borders. Summing Up: Recommended" – F.N Egerton, University of Wisconsin in CHOICE