Hiroyuki Watanabe, Japans Whaling: The Politics of Culture in Historical Perspective Paperback
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Hiroyuki Watanabe, a young researcher based in Kyoto University, investigates how the numerous relationships between people and whales in Japan become reduced to the single relationship of killing whales for their meat. He argues that from the introduction of Norwegian whaling technology at the end of the nineteenth century, through the Russo-Japanese War and Japan s windfall acquisition of the Korea-based Russian whaling fleet, to the end of World War II, Japanese whaling was closely bound to Japanese imperialism. He questions the assertion that whaling is traditional Japanese culture and demonstrates how the same whaling discourse that in the past drove some whale species to the brink of extinction, today continues to fuel the rhetoric of the Japanese whaling debate.

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