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Japanese Environmental Philosophy$
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J. Baird Callicott and James McRae

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456320.001.0001

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Recollecting Local Narratives on the Land Ethic

Recollecting Local Narratives on the Land Ethic

Chapter:
(p.179) Chapter 10 Recollecting Local Narratives on the Land Ethic
Source:
Japanese Environmental Philosophy
Author(s):

Toyoda Mitsuyo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456320.003.0011

Indigenous Japanese narratives about the land and its relation with human societies have been handed down from generation to generation as guides to appropriate human conduct. Though Japan has a rich heritage of such narratives about nature, their value has not been properly appreciated because of the adoption of a modern epistemology, which is primarily based on scientific reasoning. Japanese mythological accounts of the world provide a treasure trove of ideas for constructing a land ethic rooted in local traditions. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic offers the notion of biotic community based on his actual observation of nature from an ecological perspective, treating humans as plain members and citizens of the biotic community. Japanese nature narratives provide guidance for living safely and sustainably in harmony with the natural world. The collection of these narratives, therefore, is an important source for a Japanese land ethic built upon the unique cultural heritage of Japan.

Keywords:   nature narrative, Japanese mythology, Shintoism, Aldo Leopold, land ethic

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