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Whaling in Japan : Power, Politics, and Diplomacy : [book review] Wong, Anny Jan 10, 2012

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761 Book Reviews Major anthropological studies of Japan have closely examined community, school groups, neighborhoods, voluntary groups (PTAs, citizens’ groups, merchants’ organizations), belief networks, companies and other communities of voluntary common interest. Akihiro Ogawa’s book is an important contribution to the anthropological literature on civil society, with the goal not to argue about what civil society is but to discover what civil society does. In this compact volume Akihiro Ogawa has done much to suggest further productive avenues for much broader anthropological inquiry. Ogawa has done an admirable job of interrogating the domain between the top-down perspectives of the bureaucrats and the state and the grassroots gaze of the resident “volunteers.” Welcome additions to the anthropological literature on civil society in Japan would be more research that examines how notions of civil society have changed people’s perspectives on the traditional domains of kinship, community and company. Especially it would be valuable to see the analysis of linguistic anthropologists concerning the changing rhetoric of social welfare and citizen responsibility, and perhaps even more into the politics and prospects for cross-cultural misinterpretation of apparently similar terms such as “the third sector,” and in fact of the term “civil society” itself. Mr. Ogawa’s book contributes to the social science literature on Japan and will be of interest to anthropologists and other qualitative social scientists, to political scientists and other scholars who study civil society from a cross- cultural perspective. This book is especially valuable to the growing number of practitioners in the fields of nonprofit management, voluntary action and social entrepreneurship. It is hoped that Mr. Ogawa’s book, and the 2010 Japan NPO Research Association Book Award, will encourage much broader ethnographic study of the civic sphere in which anthropologists will bring the considerable tools of their discipline to study Japan’s newly invigorated civil society. NCC, Cambridge, USA VICTORIA LYON BESTOR WHALING IN JAPAN: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy. By Jun Morikawa. London: Hurst & Company, 2009. xii, 170 pp. (Tables, maps.) US$45.00, cloth. ISBN 978-1-85065-983-9. Black-and-white photographs at maritime and whaling museums in Bedford, Nantucket, Cold Spring Harbor and Honolulu tell stories of tough men living hard and dangerous lives hunting these giant sea creatures in rough seas. Visitors would see huge boiling pots that were used to render oil from the blubber. Whale oil lighted homes and lubricated machines; spermaceti was used in fine wax candles that were said to burn bright and smokeless. Baleen, too, were in corsets and umbrellas for it is strong yet flexible. Pacific Affairs: Volume 84, No. 4 – December 2011 762 Indeed, whaling provided many products that society needed at one time. Whale meat, however, was by and large useless to commercial whalers—at least in the West—because there was no market for it. With the discovery and widespread use of oil as the fuel of choice and synthetic lubricants and other products that are far cheaper, one by one the major whaling nations, like the United States and Britain, gave up whaling. Japan, by contrast, is a latecomer to large-scale industrial whaling and pursued whales for meat rather than other products. And the Japanese government’s emphasis on the notion that whales are a resource by and large resonates with the people because it aligns with conventional wisdom that nature sustains life rather than serves as an adornment. This book by Jun Morikawa is another attempt to make sense of this mystery of why the Japanese government has been so focused on lifting the temporary ban on commercial whaling imposed in 1982, a position that has little commercial value and much negative publicity. For this, the author has done an admirable job overall. Morikawa draws on a broad set of English- and Japanese-language media and government reports and other works by pro- and anti-whaling proponents, as well as interviews with academics and conservation advocates to provide considerable details for events through 2008. However, explaining the Japanese government’s whaling position is not the only objective of this book. As Morikawa puts it, “This critical analysis aims … [to] present a meaningful outline of the vision and alternative policies necessary for reform of the present situation” (4). For this, Morikawa offers four scenarios: (1) maintain the status quo in Japan’s policy on whaling; (2) withdraw from the International Whaling Commission(IWC)—which regulates the international regime on whaling—and unilaterally resume deep-sea commercial whaling; (3) shift to a “realistic transition” by understanding non-lethal scientific research, disassociating the government from the Institute of Cetacean Research (a quasi-governmental research organization) and “actively supporting whale and dolphin watching as a local revitalization strategy for whaling industry workers with municipalities with a historical involvement with whaling, as well as areas where whale and dolphin watching industries are now being developed”; and (4) terminating all whaling activities, both lethal research whaling and large-scale coastal whaling. Morikawa thinks scenario one is a no-go, offering only more of the same, while scenario two can cause more damage to Japan and scenario four requires a massive domestic effort that neither the government nor the public will easily swallow and execute. His counsel for a “realistic transition” in scenario three appears to have some merit for a compromise between interests in Japan and whaling opponents. Yet, it is difficult to see how Japan could pursue small-scale commercial catches in Japan’s coastal waters when opponents demand the IWC abandon its charter to make protection its end 763 Book Reviews rather than adhere to its charter to regulate use of whales as a resource. Defending this regime goes beyond whaling for the Japanese government: it is central to the Japanese government’s perspective on access to resources across the globe. Also, Morikawa castigates the Japanese government for using economic aid to buy influence in the IWC, but opponents of whaling do the same. Another flaw is the assumption held by many whaling opponents: use whale watching to replace whaling. The reality is that not all types of whales are easy to view. Humpbacks in Hawaiian waters, for example, breach near coastlines to afford a dramatic view, and this is not true of most types of whales. Neither should we assume that whaling towns want to or could play hosts to tourists. Additional infrastructure like roads, ports and lodgings may be needed. More importantly, local folks may not welcome outsiders— from whale-watching operators to tourists—disturbing age-old routines and tranquility in these frequently remote coastal areas. Whalers, too, value work and traditions they take pride in. Thus, while this book offers another good look at complexities in this Japanese foreign policy matter, it falls a bit short in achieving its objective and interested readers should complement it with other works that offer a broader view of the history of the IWC and whaling, as well as Japan’s engagement with it. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, USA ANNY WONG WOMEN AND FAMILY IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN. By Susan D. Holloway. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xii, 243 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$28.99, paper. ISBN 978-0-521-18037-5. Susan Holloway’s Women and Family in Contemporary Japan provides an excellent account of parenting from a mother’s perspective and being a mother in Japan during the turn of the twenty-first century. Holloway examines the roles of mothers in contemporary Japan, and focuses largely on mothering, though she also looks at issues surrounding Japanese wives and work-family conflict. This book discusses the concepts about parenting that emerged out of over a dozen interviews with Japanese mothers. The data used throughout the book comes largely from in-depth interviews taken with 16 mothers in the Osaka area (who were drawn from a sample of 116 women that had participated in a parenting survey). Four of these women are considered focal mothers and their narratives are the focus of the book. Other data that Holloway collected in a parenting survey is also referred to throughout the book. While Holloway uses triangulation in some chapters, the vast majority of the book focuses on presenting and discussing the key concepts that emerged from the in-depth interviews. The book is organized by concepts that concern Japanese mothers: the


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