Advertisement

Whale Oil Pesticide: Natural History, Animal Resources, and Agriculture in Early Modern Japan

  • Jakobina ArchEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 40)

Abstract

Ōkura Nagatsune, a prolific agricultural writer in nineteenth-century Japan, devoted an entire treatise to the promotion of whale oil as an insecticide for rice crops. This treatise is an example of how agricultural improvement efforts in early modern Japan depended on the practical understanding of animals and plants developed by scholars of Japanese natural history (honzōgaku). In the Tokugawa period, what are today seen as distinct disciplines and types of scholarship were highly interconnected. Furthermore, the push to optimize agricultural production was closely linked to the expansion of the resource base into new areas, including Japanese coastal waters. Ōkura’s text is an instructional manual intended to promote rationalized agriculture, but by including natural history descriptions of the whales from which the insecticidal oil was extracted, it also demonstrates some of the ways that the less apparently practical areas of natural history were a necessary part of agricultural improvement.

Keywords

Insecticides Japanese agriculture Japanese natural history Nagatsune Ōkura Whaling Whale oil 

References

  1. Anonymous. [n.d.]/2008. Kozaura hogei emaki. In Kozachō shiryō – Hogei hen kaiga shiryō, ed. Kushimoto chōshi hen-san iinkai, 41–51. Kushimoto-chō: Nishioka Sōgō Insatsu KK.Google Scholar
  2. De Bary, William Theodore, et al. 2005. Sources of Japanese tradition. 2 vols. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Harima, Yoshinori. 2008. Kaiga shiryō ni tsuite. In Kozachō shiryō – Hogei hen, ed. Kushimoto chōshi hen-san iinkai, 623–631. Kushimoto-chō: Nishioka Sōgō Insatsu KK.Google Scholar
  4. Hauser, William B. 1974. The diffusion of cotton processing and trade in the Kinai region in Tokugawa Japan. Journal of Asian Studies 33 (4): 633–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Howell, David L. 1989. Hard times in the Kantō: Economic change and village life in late Tokugawa Japan. Modern Asian Studies 23 (2): 349–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Howell, David L. 1995. Capitalism from within: Economy, society and the state in a Japanese fishery. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. Isono, Naohide. 1994. Edo jidai kujirarui zusetsu kō (Old illustrations of whales). Hiyoshi Review of Natural Science Keio University 16:22–36.Google Scholar
  8. Itō, Seiji. 2001. Sanemori kigen kō: Nitchū hikaku minzokushi. Tokyo: Seidosha.Google Scholar
  9. Kaibara, Ekiken. [1709]/1911. Yamato honzō. In Ekiken zenshū, ed. Ekikenkai, 1–426. Tokyo: Ekiken Zenshū Kankōbu.Google Scholar
  10. Kalland, Arne, and Jon Pedersen. 1984. Famine and population in Fukuoka Domain during the Tokugawa Period. Journal of Japanese Studies 10 (1): 31–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kasaya, Kazuhiko. 2001. The Tokugawa Bakufu’s policies for the national production of medicines and Dodonaeus’ Cruijdeboeck. In Dodonaeus in Japan: Translation and the scientific mind in the Tokugawa Period, ed. W. F. Vande Walle and Kazuhiko Kasaya, 167–189. Leuven: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kō, Ochiai. 2010. The shift to domestic sugar and the ideology of ‘the national interest.’ In Economic thought in early modern Japan, ed. Bettina Gramlich-Oka and Gregory Smits, 89–110. Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  13. Marcon, Federico. 2007. The names of nature: The development of natural history in Japan, 1600–1900. Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  14. Marcon, Federico. 2013. Inventorying nature: Tokugawa Yoshimune and the sponsorship of Honzōgaku in eighteenth-century Japan. In Japan at nature's edge: The environmental context of a global power, ed. Ian J. Miller, J. A. Thomas, and B. L. Walker, 189–206. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.Google Scholar
  15. Matsubara, Hiromichi. 1984. Nihon nōgakushi nenpyō. Tokyo: Gakkai Shuppan.Google Scholar
  16. Morita, Katsuaki. 1994. Kujira to hogei no bunkashi. Nagoya-shi: Nagoya Daigaku Shuppankai.Google Scholar
  17. Nakamura, Ellen Gardner. 2005. Practical pursuits: Takanō Chōei, Takahashi Keisaku, and western medicine in nineteenth-century Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center.Google Scholar
  18. Nakazono, Shigeo, and Hiroshi Yasunaga. 2009. Kujiratori emonogatari. Fukuoka-shi: Gen Shobō.Google Scholar
  19. Nappi, Carla. 2009. The monkey and the inkpot: Natural history and its transformations in early modern China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Ōkura, Nagatsune. [1826]/1977. Jokōroku, 1826. In Nihon nōsho zenshū, ed. Tatsuo Yamada, et al., 33–38. Tokyo: Nōsangyoson Bunka Kyōkai.Google Scholar
  21. Ōkura, Nagatsune. [1844]/1977. Jokōroku, 1844. In Nihon nōsho zenshū, ed. Tatsuo Yamada, et al., 57–118. Tokyo: Nōsangyoson Bunka Kyōkai.Google Scholar
  22. Okuta, Akira, et al. 2012. Prediction of overseas migration of the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) in East Asia. Applied Entomology and Zoology 47 (4): 379–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Robertson, Jennifer. 1984. Sexy rice: Plant gender, farm manuals, and grass-roots nativism. Monumenta Nipponica 39 (3): 233–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rubinger, Richard. 2007. Popular literacy in early modern Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  25. Saito, Osamu. 1986. The rural economy: Commercial agriculture, by-employment, and wage work. In Japan in transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji, ed. Marius B. Jansen and Gilbert Rozman, 400–420. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Satō, Nobuhiro. [1840]/1977. Baiyō hiroku. In Nihon nōsho zenshū, ed. Tatsuo Yamada, et al., 153–406. Tokyo: Nōsangyoson Bunka Kyōkai.Google Scholar
  27. Smith, Thomas C. 1969. Farm family by-employments in preindustrial Japan. Journal of Economic History 29 (4): 687–715.Google Scholar
  28. Smith, Thomas C. 1998. Native sources of Japanese industrialization, 1750–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Terajima, Ryōan. [1712]/1985. Wakan sansai zue. In Tōyō Bunko, ed. Isao Shimada, Atsuo Takeshima, and Motomi Higuchi, no. 471, 198–203. Tokyo: Heibonsha.Google Scholar
  30. Totman, Conrad D. 1995. Early modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ueno, Masuzō. 1987. Nihon dōbutsugakushi. Tokyo: Yasaka Shobō.Google Scholar
  32. Unschuld, Paul U. 1985. Medicine in China: A history of ideas. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  33. Walker, Brett L. 2010. Toxic archipelago: A history of industrial disease in Japan. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  34. Yamase, Harumasa. [1760]/1944. Geishi. In Sangyō gijutsu hens. Nōgyō, seizōgyō, gyogyō, in series Nihon kagaku koten zensho, ed. Kōkichi Kanō and Hiroto Saigusa, vol. 11, 455–518. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha.Google Scholar
  35. Yasuda, Ken. 1996–2005. Edo kōki shokoku sanbutsuchō shūsei. Tokyo: Kagaku Shoin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Whitman CollegeWalla WallaUSA

Personalised recommendations