Japanese Images of Nature: Cultural Perspectives

Asquith, P.J. and A. Kalland (eds.) (1997) London: Curzon Press. 290 pp. 2nd printing 2001.

It is often claimed that the Japanese have a particular love for nature, commonly reflected in their art and material culture. Yet equal notice is paid to the environmental degradation caused by the Japanese at home and abroad. Through topics ranging from medieval poetry and fine arts, to vending machines and tourism, the authors document the great diversity in how Japanese perceive their natural environment and how they come to terms with nature, through force, rituals or idealization. The main message of the book is that “culture” and nature are concepts conditioned by their context.