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Troubled NaturesWaste, Environment, Japan$
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Peter Wynn Kirby

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834289

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834289.001.0001

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Mediated Anxieties

Mediated Anxieties

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(p.50) Chapter 3 Mediated Anxieties
Troubled Natures

Peter Wynn Kirby

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how a toxic waste threat in one Tokyo hotspot, Kunugiyama, eventually loomed over the entire nation and turned into a toxic pollution scare that shocked Japan and led to decisive action on waste policy. It begins with an overview of Kunugiyama, dubbed the “Industrial Waste Ginza” of Japan (sanpai-ginza), and how it attracted unscrupulous private operators of incinerators. It then considers how one administrative district, Tokorozawa, became embroiled in a nationwide furor over toxic pollution. It also discusses the rumor, gossip, and hearsay that circulated throughout the community over a nationwide dioxin scare that had its origins in Kunugiyama. Finally, it highlights the ways in which mediated knowledge influences environmental engagement as well as the anxiety and misunderstanding that swept Tokyo's wastescape.

Keywords:   toxic waste, incinerators, Tokyo, Kunugiyama, toxic pollution, Japan, Tokorozawa, gossip, dioxin, wastescape

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