Reading Tanaka Shōzō as an Ethical Person After Fukushima

  • CHEUNG Ching-yuen 
Part of the Tetsugaku Companions to Japanese Philosophy book series (TCJP, volume 1)


How can we understand what happened in Fukushima? It could be rather difficult to imagine a place where it is the most beautiful but at the same time the most polluted. This lack of imagination, or more precisely the incomprehensibility of what happened in Fukushima, can be explained in the following historical context: The apparently beautiful Japanese environment is indeed a victim of Japan’s project of modernization. It is important to re-examine the history of pollution in Modern Japan, and see how people reacted to major environmental disasters. I will discuss the case of Tanaka Shōzō 田中正造 (1841–1913), who is regarded as a social activist and the pioneer of democratic movement in Japan. I shall read Tanaka as an ethical person who develops an ethics to care about the nature as well as human beings.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • CHEUNG Ching-yuen 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Japanese StudiesChinese University of Hong KongShatin, Hong KongChina

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