Book , Print in English

The nature of the beasts : empire and exhibition at the Tokyo Imperial Zoo

Ian Jared Miller ; foreword by Harriet Ritvo.
  • Berkeley : University of California Press, [2013]
  • xxvii, 322 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.

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  • Eisenhower C Level
    QL76.5.J32 M55 2013 c. 1
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Local Subjects
  • History.
  • It is widely known that such Western institutions as the museum, the university, and the penitentiary shaped Japan's emergence as a modern nation-state. Less commonly recognized is the role played by the distinctly hybrid institution--at once museum, laboratory, and prison--of the zoological garden. In this eye-opening study of Japan's first modern zoo, Tokyo's Ueno Imperial Zoological Gardens, opened in 1882, Ian Jared Miller offers a refreshingly unconventional narrative of Japan's rapid modernization and changing relationship with the natural world. As the first zoological garden in the world not built under the sway of a Western imperial regime, the Ueno Zoo served not only as a staple attraction in the nation's capital--an institutional marker of national accomplishment--but also as a site for the propagation of a new "natural" order that was scientifically verifiable and evolutionarily foreordained. As the Japanese empire grew, Ueno became one of the primary sites of imperialist spectacle, a microcosm of the empire that could be traveled in the course of a single day. The meaning of the zoo would change over the course of Imperial Japan's unraveling and subsequent Allied occupation. Today it remains one of Japan's most frequently visited places. But instead of empire in its classic political sense, it now bespeaks the ambivalent dominion of the human species over the natural environment, harkening back to its imperial roots even as it asks us to question our exploitation of the planet's resources.
  • note: Animals in the Anthropocene
  • Ecological Modernity in Japan
  • Natural World as Exhibition
  • 1. Japan's Animal Kingdom: The Origins of Ecological Modernity and the Birth of the Zoo
  • Bringing Politics to Life
  • Sorting Animals Out in Meiji Japan
  • Animals in the Exhibitionary Complex
  • Ueno Zoo
  • Ishikawa Chiyomatsu and the Evolution of Exhibition
  • Bigot's Japan
  • Conclusion
  • 2. Dreamlife of Imperialism: Commerce, Conquest, and the Naturalization of Ecological Modernity
  • Dreamlife of Empire
  • Nature of Empire
  • Nature Behind Glass
  • Backstage at the Zoo
  • Illusion of Liberty
  • Imperial Trophies
  • Imperial Nature
  • Conclusion
  • 3. Military Animals: The Zoological Gardens and the Culture of Total War
  • Military Animals
  • Mobilizing the Animal World
  • Eye of the Tiger
  • Animal Soldiers
  • Horse Power
  • Conclusion
  • 4. Great Zoo Massacre
  • Culture of Total Sacrifice
  • Strange Sort of Ceremony
  • Mass-Mediated Sacrifice
  • Taxonomy of a Massacre
  • Killing Floor
  • And Then There Were Two
  • Conclusion
  • 5. Children's Zoo: Elephant Ambassadors and Other Creatures of the Allied Occupation
  • Bambi Goes to Tokyo
  • Empire after Empire
  • Neocolonial Potlatch
  • "Animal Kindergarten"
  • Occupied Japan's Elephant Mania
  • Elephant Ambassadors
  • Conclusion
  • 6. Pandas in the Anthropocene: Japan's "Panda Boom" and the Limits of Ecological Modernity
  • "Panda Boom"
  • Science of Charisma
  • Panda Diplomacy
  • "Living Stuffed Animals"
  • Nature of Copyright
  • Biotechnology of Cute
  • Conclusion.
Other information
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • OCLC
  • 9780520271869
  • 0520271866
  • 0520952103
  • 9780520952102
Identifying numbers
  • 40022616993
  • LCCN: 2013002001
  • OCLC: 833917969
  • OCLC: 833917969