It is often claimed that the Japanese have a particular love for nature, a love often reflected in their art and material culture. But today equal notice is being given to the environmental degradation caused by the Japanese at home as well as abroad. How can these phenomena be reconciled? This issue is but one of several raised that this volume seeks to address in its examination of the human-nature relationship in Japan. Through topics ranging from medieval literature and fine arts through to modern vending machines and tourism, the authors document the great diversity in how people perceive their natural environment and how they come to terms with nature, be it through brute force, rituals or idealization. The main message of the book is that 'nature' and the 'natural' are concepts very much conditioned by their context, an approach quite different from the uncompromising stance so often found in the West.
'Overall, "Japanese Images of Nature" is an interesting and insightful collection of essays on an important topic.' - Brendan Luyt, Journal of Contemporary Asia Publishers