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ParkscapesGreen Spaces in Modern Japan$
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Thomas R. H. Havens

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834777

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834777.001.0001

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National Parks for Wealth, Health, and Empire

National Parks for Wealth, Health, and Empire

(p.53) Chapter 2 National Parks for Wealth, Health, and Empire

Thomas R. H. Havens

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines Japan's first efforts at designating forests, scenic monuments, and national parks as public reserves from the Meiji period to the late 1930s. The concept of national spaces mapped as public parks in the mountains and at the seaside was adapted from Western models by elites outside the ruling group. This chapter first considers how Japan stirred an awareness of national spaces among people who were loyal to hometowns. It then discusses how key scientists laid the intellectual groundwork for Japan's national parks through their studies of geography and ecology. It also explores the factors that energized the national park movement in Japan and how mountainous areas that might have been candidates for national parks received protection instead as national forests. Finally, it looks at the battle to institute national parks in Japan, the questions that remained following the passage of the National Parks Law of 1931, and the use of public space as a way to integrate subject peoples into the empire.

Keywords:   forests, scenic monuments, national parks, public reserves, Japan, national space, public parks, mountains, public space, empire

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