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Asian Studies

Asian Studies

Find Background Research, Journal Articles & Films

Find out if KPU Library subscribes to a particular journal (print or online) by searching the Journal Titles database.

Selected Journals

Japan and the culture of the four seasons : Nature, literature, and the arts -  In Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons , Haruo Shirane shows how, when, and why this practice developed and explicates the richly encoded social, religious, and political meanings of this imagery.

Ecoambiguity : Environmental crises and East Asian literatures -  Ecoambiguity is the first book in any language to analyze Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese literary treatments of damaged ecosystems.

Chinese ecocinema : In the age of environmental challenge -  This anthology is the first book-length study of China's ecosystem through the lens of cinema, in a historic moment of unparalleled environmental crises and destruction.

Fixing landscape : A techno-poetic history of China's Three Gorges - this book offers radically new ways of thinking about cultural and spatial production in contemporary China.

The Yangtze  -  travel along the Yangtze from its first bend to Shanghai

China weighs environmental concerns against economic growth

Social Criticism - Two photojournalism pioneers, Lu Guang and Zhang Xinmin, sift through the somber reality of “hypergrowth,” while Liu Zheng, one of the leading names in contemporary Chinese photography, reflects on the ills of a civilisation that is prepared to wipe out the past.

Manufactured Landscapes - Manufactured Landscapes follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country capturing the evidence and effects of China's massive industrial revolution.

Inside Fukushima: beyond the ‘no go’ zone  - Nightline was given rare access to Japan's shuttered power plant and surrounding areas. Radiation experts test Pacific Ocean waters surrounding the plant for signs of unsafe levels.

Fukushima: the next wave - The set of events devastating Northern Japan in March 2011 have coalesced into one word - Fukushima.

Books & Videos: China

A world trimmed with fur : wild things, pristine places, and the natural fringes of Qing rule - This book reveals how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. 

Tigers, rice, silk, and silt : environment and economy in late imperial south China - Challenging the conventional wisdom conveyed by Western environmental historians about China, this book examines the correlations between economic and environmental changes in the southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi from 1400 to 1850, but also provides substantial background from 2CE on.

The retreat of the elephants : an environmental history of China - This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records.

Coping with calamity : environmental change and peasant response in central China, 1736-1949 - this book considers the Jianghan plain's volatile environment, the constant challenges it presented to peasants, and the peasants' often ingenious and sophisticated responses, in the Qing and Republican periods.

The profits of nature : colonial development and the quest for resources in nineteenth-century China - In the nineteenth century, the Qing empire experienced a period of profound turmoil caused by an unprecedented conjunction of natural disasters, internal rebellions, and foreign incursions.

Mao's war against nature : politics and the environment in Revolutionary China - relates the great, untold story of the devastating impact of Chinese politics on China's environment during the Mao years.

Food and environment in early and medieval China - provides an account of the development of food systems, agriculture, and trade in China's imperial era, connecting those foodways to the global phenomenon of Chinese cuisine today.

Additional books and videos:

Environment -- China -- History.

Agriculture -- China -- History.

The Yellow River : the problem of water in modern China - China's urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification rested on compromised water resources, with effects that cast a long shadow over China's future course as a global power.

The river runs black : the environmental challenge to China's future - Drawing on historical research, case studies, and interviews with officials, scholars, and activists in China, the author traces the economic and political roots of China's environmental challenge and the evolution of the leadership's response. 

China's water warriors : citizen action and policy change -  In China's Water Warriors, Andrew C. Mertha argues that as China has become increasingly market driven, decentralized, and politically heterogeneous, the control and management of water has transformed from an unquestioned economic imperative to a lightning rod of bureaucratic infighting, societal opposition, and open protest.

Additional books and videos:

Water -- Pollution -- China.

Water resources -- China

Water use -- China.

Water supply -- China.

The economics of air pollution in China : achieving better and cleaner growth - Suffocating smog regularly envelops Chinese metropolises from Beijing to Shanghai, clouding the future prospect of China's growth sustainability.

Clearer skies over China : reconciling air quality, climate, and economic goals - A groundbreaking U.S.-Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

Additional books and videos:

Air -- Pollution -- China.

Air quality -- China.

A change in worlds on the Sino-Tibetan borderlands : politics, economies, and environments in northern Sichuan - explores the environmental, economic, and political history of the Sino-Tibetan Songpan region of northern Sichuan from the late imperial Qing Dynasty to the early 21st century.

Spoiling Tibet : China and resource nationalism on the roof of the world - Spoiling Tibet is the first book that investigates mining at the roof of the world. A unique, authoritative guide through the torrent of online posts, official propaganda and exile speculation.

Taming Tibet : landscape transformation and the gift of Chinese development - Taming Tibet focuses on three key aspects of China's modernization: agrarian change, Chinese migration, and urbanization

Mapping Shangrila : contested landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands - Mapping Shangrila advances a view of landscapes as media of governance, representation, and resistance, examining how they are reshaping cultural economies, political ecologies of resource use, subjectivities, and interethnic relations. 

Empire and environment in the making of Manchuria - This unique and compelling analysis of Manchuria's environmental history demonstrates how the region's geography shaped China's past.

Discovering nature : globalization and environmental culture in China and Taiwan - A description of the extraordinary transformations which have taken place in Chinese and Taiwanese responses to the environment across the twentieth century.

The Ordos Plateau of China : an endangered environment - The Ordos Plateau of China is an account of the regional human-environmental history of the Ordos Plateau, a dryland region inhabited by Chinese farmers and Mongolian shepherds. 

Additional books and videos:

Tibet Autonomous Region (China)

Manchuria (China)

Regional planning -- China.

Rural development -- China.

China and the Environment : the Green Revolution. - provides access to otherwise unknown stories of green activism and is the first real-life account of China's environmental tensions.

Environmental winds : making the global in southwest China - The book brings the reader into the lives of Chinese scientists, officials, villagers, and expatriate conservationists who were caught up in environmental trends over the past 25 years. 

Fantasy islands : Chinese dreams and ecological fears in an age of climate crisis -  Fantasy Islands probes Chinese, European, and American eco-desire and eco-technological dreams, and examines the solutions they offer to environmental degradation in this age of global economic change

Chinese perspective on environment and sustainable development - The authors examine the status quo, as well as the challenges of and possible solutions of China's environment problems.

Greening China : the benefits of trade and foreign direct investment - Ka Zeng and Joshua Eastin find that international economic integration with nation-states that have stringent environmental regulations facilitates the diffusion of corporate environmental norms and standards to Chinese provinces.

Developmental dilemmas : land reform and institutional change in China - Developmental Dilemmas singles out land as an object of study and places it in the context of one of the world's largest and most populous countries undergoing institutional reform: the People's Republic of China.

Environmental litigation in China : a study in political ambivalence - This is a book about the improbable: seeking legal relief for environmental pollution in contemporary China.

Additional books and videos:

Environmentalism -- China.

Environmental policy -- China.

Environmental protection -- China.

Sustainable development -- China.

Cities and towns -- China -- Growth.


Books & Videos: Japan, Korea, Taiwan


Environment and society in the Japanese islands : from prehistory to the present - How does Japan's environmental history compare with that of other countries, or that of the world as a whole?

Pre-industrial Korea and Japan in environmental perspective - Taking the history of Japan and Korea and their environmental interactions from late Pleistocene down to about 1870 AD

Seeds of control : Japan's empire of forestry in colonial Korea - A study of Japanese "forest reclamation" in Korea during the period of Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945)

The Green Archipelago : Forestry in Pre-Industrial Japan - The Japanese are conscious of the lush green of their homeland, which they refer to as 'the green archipelago'.

Our land was a forest : an Ainu memoir - This book is a beautiful and moving personal account of the Ainu, the native inhabitants of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, whose land, economy, and culture have been absorbed and destroyed in recent centuries by advancing Japanese.

Natural Disasters

When the Earth roars : lessons from the history of earthquakes in Japan - As the first sustained historical analysis of destructive earthquakes and tsunamis, this book is an essential resource for anyone interested in Japan, natural disasters, seismology, and environmental history.

Natural disaster and nuclear crisis in Japan : response and recovery after Japan's 3/11 -  This book is essential reading for anyone seeking an understanding of the events of March 2011 in Japan and the wider consequences for the future of the country and the rest of the world

Negative Impact on Humans & Animals 

Toxic archipelago : a history of industrial disease in Japan - Explores how toxic pollution works its way into porous human bodies and brings unimaginable pain to some of them.

Bringing whales ashore : oceans and the environment of early modern Japan -  An important contributions to both environmental and Japanese history by connecting Japanese whaling to marine environmental history in the Pacific, including the devastating impact of American whaling in the nineteenth century.

The lost wolves of Japan - Many Japanese once revered the wolf as Oguchi no Magami, or Large-Mouthed Pure God, but as Japan began its modern transformation wolves lost their otherworldly status and became noxious animals that needed to be killed

Acid rain science and politics in Japan : a history of knowledge and action toward sustainability - a pioneering work in environmental and Asian history as well as an in-depth analysis of the influence of science on domestic and international environmental politics.

Waste : consuming postwar Japan - Explores the many ways in which the Japanese have thought about waste—in terms of time, stuff, money, possessions, and resources—from the immediate aftermath of World War II to the present. 


Green Japan : environmental technologies, innovation policy, and the pursuit of green growth -  Green Japan critically examines the Japanese effort to combine economic growth with commitments to environmental sustainability.

The ethics of Japan's global environmental policy : the conflict between principles and practice - This work examines Japanese government policies that impact on the environment in order to determine whether they incorporate a sufficient ethical substance.

NIMBY politics in Japan : energy siting and the management of environmental conflict - NIMBY Politics in Japan is the first detailed account in English of energy siting disputes in postwar Japan.

Japan's dietary transition and its impacts - An examination of the transformation of the Japanese diet from subsistence to abundance and an assessment of the consequences for health, longevity, and the environment.

Waste : consuming postwar Japan - Explores the many ways in which the Japanese have thought about waste—in terms of time, stuff, money, possessions, and resources—from the immediate aftermath of World War II to the present. 


Additional books and videos:

Environmental policy -- Japan.

Forest -- Japan.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Japan, 2011.

Nuclear power plants -- Accidents -- Japan

Japan -- Environmental conditions.

Whaling -- Japan.

Seeds of control : Japan's empire of forestry in colonial Korea - This study of Japanese "forest reclamation" in Korea during the period of Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945)

Environment, politics, and ideology in North Korea : landscape as political project - Environmental and developmental matters have long proved key to North Korea’s “revolutionary” industrial and economic strategies.

Fish, fishing and community in North Korea and neighbours - examines the complex interactions between local communities, fish themselves, wider ecosystems and the politics of Pyongyang through the lens of critical geography, fisheries statistics and management science as well as North Korean and more generally Korean and East Asian studies.

Pre-industrial Korea and Japan in environmental perspective - Taking the history of Japan and Korea and their environmental interactions from late Pleistocene down to about 1870 AD, this work aims to make a convincing case for viewing the two countries together, looking at their pre-industrial experiences.

Leverage of the weak : labor and environmental movements in Taiwan and South Korea - Comparing Taiwan and South Korea strategically, Hwa-Jen Liu seeks an answer to a deceptively simple question: Why do social movements appear at different times in a nation’s development? 

Additional books and videos:

Environmental policy -- Korea

Agriculture - Korea

Sustainable development -- Korea

Discovering nature : globalization and environmental culture in China and Taiwan - A description of the extraordinary transformations which have taken place in Chinese and Taiwanese responses to the environment across the twentieth century.

Environmental policy -- Taiwan.

Sustainable development -- Taiwan.