Japanese Wartime Zoo Policy: The Silent Victims of World War II

Hardcover | November 15, 2010

byMayumi Itoh

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The Japanese government disposed of "dangerous animals" (not only carnivores but also herbivores, such as elephants) in zoos and circuses during World War II, including those in Japan's three "colonies" - Korea, Taiwan, and Manchukuo, Japan's puppet state in current Northeast China. Strangely, the "disposal order" was issued in August 1943, more than 15 months before U.S. B-29 air raids on Japan began. While some European zoos also destroyed their animals, none of the authorities in Europe enforced the disposal of zoo animals as systematically as the Japanese Home Ministry. No country conducted as nationwide and systematic a disposal of captive animals as Japan. This policy was an integral part of the Japanese government propaganda to mobilize the whole civilian population into total war, rather than for the ostensible purpose of public safety.

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The Japanese government disposed of "dangerous animals" (not only carnivores but also herbivores, such as elephants) in zoos and circuses during World War II, including those in Japan's three "colonies" - Korea, Taiwan, and Manchukuo, Japan's puppet state in current Northeast China. Strangely, the "disposal order" was issued in August ...

Mayumi Itoh is a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  She has also taught at Princeton University and Queens College, City University of New York.  She is the author of Globalization of Japan: Japanese Sakoku Mentality and U.S. Efforts to Open Japan (1998), The Hatoyama Dynasty: Japanese Polit...

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Hardcover|Mar 15 2010

$142.98 online$143.00list price
see all books by Mayumi Itoh
Format:HardcoverDimensions:266 pages, 8.43 × 5.69 × 0.8 inPublished:November 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230108946

ISBN - 13:9780230108943

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Table of Contents

Introduction:  “Disposal of Dangerous Animals” as Japan’s National Policy * Historical Background: Creation of Modern Zoos and Militarism in Japan * Zoos in Eastern Japan and World War II * Zoos in Western Japan and World War II * Zoos in Central Japan and World War II * Zoos in Southwestern Japan and Japan’s Exterior Territories and World War II * Zoos in Europe and World War II * Zoos in the United States and World War II * Zoos in Japan in the Early Postwar Years * Conclusion:  Assessment of Japanese Wartime Zoo Policy

Editorial Reviews

“This is a very important policy area that has not been addressed in the English-speaking world. The material in the opening chapter on the plight of zoo animals in Haiti, Baghdad, and Kabul puts the experiences of WWII zoos in Asia and Europe in a new light and makes one wonder whether humans ever learn from past mistakes. The author has done a wonderful job of researching and documenting this subject. I have absolutely no doubt that this is a definitive study in this area. It is simply one of the best researched and documented books I have ever seen and is truly an original piece of policy research.”--Ronald Hrebenar, Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of Asian Studies, University of Utah “This is an excellent account of a little known and sad aspect of zoo history. With a review of zoo history in Japan and the fate of zoo animals throughout the world during WW II, it puts the fate of Japanese zoos in context with unsettling detail. As a result of difficult and important research, the author has uncovered and presented the effects of war on yet another cultural institution, along with the lack of respect shown for these zoo collections and what the collections represented. It is a significant contribution to the field of zoo and aquarium history.”--Vernon Kisling, Chair, Marston Science Library, University of Florida, and editor, Zoo and Aquarium History