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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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Growth, Sex, Fertility, and Decline

Growth, Sex, Fertility, and Decline

(p.133) Chapter 7 Growth, Sex, Fertility, and Decline
Troubled Natures

Peter Wynn Kirby

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how toxic waste issues have triggered anxieties over fertility and family health in Tokyo. It first considers the disconnect between community ideals such as close-knit family ties, warmth, fertility, and a cooperative ethic, and the urban lives of many Tokyo residents. It then explores Japanese pronatalism from pre–World War II colonialist designs, which intensified during wartime, through to the high-speed growth period and its own impact on state priorities and state control. In addition to specific anxieties surrounding infertility, sex, reproduction, the decline in birth rates, family, virility, and manhood, the chapter also discusses the “geography of blame” that arose from birth defects and miscarriages suffered by those living in proximity to waste facilities. Finally, it analyzes government efforts to stimulate economic growth alongside population growth and how such objectives were complicated by the issue of toxic waste.

Keywords:   toxic waste, fertility, family, Tokyo, pronatalism, birth rates, geography of blame, waste facilities, economic growth, population growth

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