This book describes how modern industry affected people in Japan and their communities by polluting their living environment with toxic emissions. It also shows how the populace endeavored not only to restore their once-clean environment but also to rebuild communities that had been damaged by pollution and its accompanying effects.
Environmental pollution is usually referred to in Japan as kogai, public damage, meaning that such pollution not only harms the physical environment-air, water, soil, and the human body-but also destroys the social and personal relationships in the polluted area. Those people who took action recognized that industrial and economic development had been given the highest national priority even at the cost of their health and welfare. In this sense, anti-kogai movements led them to alternative community development and to rethinking what kind of environment and community they wanted.
This book also explores the efforts driven by residents in several parts of Japan after the middle of the twentieth century and the endeavors of museums and archives as a memorial to those who suffered from the pollution and for the prospect of a better society with a good environment.
Masafumi Yokemoto, Osaka Metropolitan University Miho Hayashi, Foundation for Environmental Rehabilitation and Redevelopment of Mizushima Mayuko Shimizu, Ryukoku University Keiji Fujiyoshi, Otemon Gakuin University
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Environmental Pollution and Community Rebuilding in Modern Japan