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"[Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands] is a stimulating, well-researched, and well-edited volume that makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on Japanese environmental history. The individual chapters . . . offer a multifaceted and stimulating view of Japanese environmental history. In all respects, the book clearly lives up to the editors' first guiding principle: to bring together a diversity of authors and topics that throw new light on the long and varied environmental history of Japan. Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands has taken an important step by drawing on ecological theories such as the adaptive cycle to understand environmental history in Japan. This book deserves close attention by specialists and upper-level students interested in Japan and in global environmental history." -- Patricia Sippel, Monumenta Nipponica

"What sets this book apart from other works in the rapidly growing field of Japanese environmental history is the volume's disciplinary diversity, its broad historical range, and its engagement with ecological resilience theory. This volume not only adds a much needed premodern perspective to studies of the human-nature relationship in Japan, but through its accessible presentation and critical engagement with current debates, it also announces for Japan a more prevalent place in global environmental history." -- Tristan R. Grunow, Environmental History

"[Batten and Brown] do an excellent job of demonstrating the dynamic relationship between nature and humanity in the Japanese islands."
Ichiro Miyata, Agricultural History


"[Batten and Brown's] approaches blur boundaries and are not easily categorized. This, I think, is a strength rather than a weakness of this volume... The increasing amount of work on Japanese environmental history of various and assorted stripes highlights vibrancy and insights I could not have imagined a decade and a half ago."

Aaron Skabelund, The Journal of Asian Studies

"This rich volume presents recent research on Japanese environmental history from the perspectives of archaeology, biogeography, climatology, ecology, geographic information systems, history, and international relations in order to illuminate 'the processes of historical, socionatural change' (13) in Japan and in environmental history generally. The editors, Bruce L. Batten and Philip C. Brown, point out that Japan is instructive because many global environmental problems exist there, indigenous records for studying specific events reach far into the past, and distinctive environmental characteristics probably inhere there because it is an island country...Contributors are divided almost equally between specialists from Japan and those from abroad, representing an array of topics and methodologies at the forefront of environmental research. Each chapter brims with fresh data and sophisticated insights that will edify Japan specialists and global environmental historians alike...This is a book of great interest and importance."

-Tom Havens, American Historical Review


"This volume...deserves credit for helping name some of the challenges that are likely to shape Japanese environmental history going forward."

- Kerry Smith, Journal of Japanese Studies

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