Miki Tsubota=Nakanishi

Reseacher,

Sophia University 

 

Miki Nakanishi=Tsubota is a Visiting Researcher of Graduate School of Global Studies, Sophia University. Her research focuses on Colonial Modernity for Indigenous Taiwanese, ethnic identity, and innovation of tradition in Taiwan. She published ‘Colonialism in Daily Life from the press on National Industrial Exhibitions’, Sociology (161) in 2008 and ‘Between the Empire and Tribe: the Life of ‘KABANPU (turned into civilized savage women as mediator)’ under the Early Japanese Rule’, Gender History (5) in 2009. She teaches Social History and Gender Studies at universities in Tokyo as a part-time lecture. She received her Ph. D from Kyoto University in 2011.

“The Absence of Plantations in the Taiwanese Sugar Industry: Problems of Land and Labor under Japanese Rule”
 

Recent scholarship has highlighted the economic and social importance of pre-modern whaling enterprises in western Japan. However, what has so far been neglected in the literature was the anti-whaling sentiments of fishermen in many other Japanese regions, particular in the Northeast. Tensions between fishermen and whalers led near Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture to the complete destruction of a whaling station in 1911. In this paper, I argue that these riots were not only rooted in the fishermen’s fear of loss due to modernization, but can be traced back to the early Edo period, when northern fishermen began to systematically reject all western Japanese attempts to introduce whaling at their coast. For the fishermen whales provided important ecosystem services, as they believed whales would bring sardines closer to the shore. Furthermore, the fishermen feared that the introduction of whaling would degenerate the coastal ecosystem on which they depended. I argue that a distinct anti-whaling culture existed in northern Honshu, which can not only be traced in petitions and scholarly documents, but also in distinct cultural and religious representations of whales. Exploring different value systems regarding whales helps us to better understand economic and ecological regional differences in pre-modern Japan.

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