Scholar finds parallels between U.S./Japanese attitudes toward wolves

The Japanese once saw wolves as benign creatures that guarded their crops. Farmers went to shrines to buy wolf talismans they could place around their grain fields for protection. In some places, the kindly Canis lupus was even honored with stone sculptures.

"It was almost the exact opposite of our 18th and 19th centuries in the American West," says Brett Walker, assistant professor of history at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.

But then came 1868, a critical year in Japanese history.

The feudal government of the Tokugawa shoguns fell that year, and Japan turned to the West for help. As part of its effort to create a more modern and western-style country, Japan invited Edwin Dun, a rancher from Ohio, to oversee the establishment of a ranching industry on the northernmost island of Hokkaido.

"They believed ranching represented the agricultural future of Hokkaido," Walker explained.

Dun introduced American ranching techniques to the Niikappu Ranch, but he also introduced American anxieties toward wolves, Walker continued. Dun advised the Hokkaido Development Board to poison wolves and wild dogs with strychnine. Hunting and bounty systems followed. Ultimately, persecution and other ecological factors caused the Hokkaido wolf to become extinct around 1890. The last Japanese wolf was killed in 1905. Both were distinct subspecies of Canis lupus and different from any wolf found in the United States.

"I'm interested in that historical shift. That is, how Japan went from a country that viewed wolves as benign creatures to one that viewed them as animals that needed to be erased from the landscape," Walker said.

Walker specializes in Japanese history during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and has always been interested in environmental history. He plans to teach a course on Japanese environmental history in the fall. But the discovery that Japan had wolves is taking him outside the normal realm of Japanese historians and

Contact: Annette Trinity-Stevens
Montana State University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. USC researcher named General Motors Cancer Research Scholar
2. Searle Scholars program awards $240,000 to UT Southwestern researcher
3. 2002 Canon National Parks Science Scholars named by U.S. National Park Service and AAAS
4. Scholar: hurricanes helped shape Cuban culture, history
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center molecular biologist named V Foundation Scholar
6. Colorado State biochemist wins Searle Young Scholar award to unravel how information is extracted from packed strands of DNA
7. Genetics Debate Suffers From Misinterpretation, Scholar Says
8. Cigarette smoke causes breaks in DNA and defects to a cells chromosomes, Pitt study finds
9. DNA barcode finds four new bird species
10. Rice finds on-off switch for buckyball toxicity
11. Folic acid vitamin use by women reaches all-time high, March of Dimes survey finds

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. ... of Neihulizumab, a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), ... Dr. Paul J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Catalent, a ... purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in the Shiga prefecture ... facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide customers with flexible ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract with Merus N.V., ... their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and develop ground-breaking drugs. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... September 01, 2020 , ... Slone Partners , ... announced the placement of Julianne Averill , CPA, as Chief Financial Officer ... operations and implementing key business strategies to accelerate Alveo’s growth as the company ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... The ... the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Clinical Trial Research Network (FSHD CTRN), with ... network is a consortium of academic research centers in the United States and ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... ERT, the global ... has been named one of the 100 most inspiring individuals in the life-sciences ... are selected based on how they have inspired their colleagues and affected positive ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... solid-state radar transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, ... that can drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: