By Ian Jared Miller

It is well known that such Western associations because the museum, the collage, and the detention center formed Japan’s emergence as a latest geographical region. much less typically well-known is the position performed by means of the surprisingly hybrid institution—at as soon as museum, laboratory, and prison—of the zoological backyard. during this eye-opening learn of Japan’s first glossy zoo, Tokyo’s Ueno Imperial Zoological Gardens, opened in 1882, Ian Jared Miller bargains a refreshingly unconventional narrative of Japan’s quick modernization and altering courting with the wildlife. because the first zoological backyard on this planet now not equipped lower than the sway of a Western imperial regime, the Ueno Zoo served not just as a staple allure within the nation’s capital—an institutional marker of nationwide accomplishment—but additionally as a domain for the propagation of a brand new “natural” order that used to be scientifically verifiable and evolutionarily foreordained. because the eastern empire grew, Ueno turned one of many fundamental websites of imperialist spectacle, a microcosm of the empire that may be traveled during a unmarried day. The that means of the zoo could switch over the process Imperial Japan’s unraveling and next Allied career. at the present time it is still considered one of Japan’s most often visited areas. yet rather than empire in its vintage political feel, it now bespeaks the ambivalent dominion of the human species over the traditional surroundings, harkening again to its imperial roots whilst it asks us to question our exploitation of the planet’s resources.

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For the main half, those animals have performed their jobs—they have engaged the love of the admissionpaying and souvenir-buying public, and so they have submitted to highand low-tech interventions of their intercourse lives. yet, as Miller indicates, it really is tricky to think about their place of abode on the Ueno Zoo an unqualified luck. the new loss of life of an expensively produced and breathlessly awaited panda cub (which may as a minimum were finally repatriated to China if it had lived) exemplifies the particular historic ironies that encompass the Ueno Zoo. And the lengthy tale of which it's the present end result trenchantly conjures up the bigger ironies—characteristics captured in what Miller calls “ecological modernity”—that have come to entangle zoos, wild animals, and folks today. Acknowledgments Books, like zoological gardens, are formed via conventions, hierarchies of items and ideas that regularly stay hidden in simple sight yet which still hold significant which means. i'm thankful for these conventions now, because the layout of the ebook calls for that I position the acknowledgments the place they belong: in the beginning. the character of the Beasts couldn't were written with no the care, help, and proposal of dozens of individuals and associations, and i'm proud to acknowledge them the following, considering their generosity and impact is clear on each web page that follows. All flaws and oversights are my very own. This undertaking begun in an archive. i didn't got down to write a couple of zoo, but if I stepped into the documents of the Tokyo Zoological Park Society (TZPS), tucked away on the fringe of the Ueno Zoo, I knew that I needed to do anything with these fabrics. The establishment has been amassing files seeing that its founding within the Eighteen Eighties, and its holdings, whereas small, contain every little thing from diplomatic agreements and conservation statements to the ephemera—tickets, maps, architectural blueprints, and letters to the zoo director—that provide archival shape to the standard politics of the previous. The wartime collection—materials of the kind destroyed at many state-run associations in 1945—is specially wealthy. it's also specially debatable, and i'm thankful to the Tokyo Zoological Park Society for his or her aid. although this e-book is from time to time severe of the zoo, you will need to emphasize that the objective of study is the matter of modernity and its courting with the xxi xxii | Acknowledgments wildlife, now not inevitably the establishment itself. the purpose is that the zoo bargains a uniquely evocative photo of that challenge, and it merits our awareness as such. it's a controversy that has been made in numerous methods through the various employees on the Ueno Zoo, TZPS, and the japanese organization of Zoos and Aquariums, and this e-book couldn't were written with no their paintings. i'm specially thankful to Doi Toshimitsu, Ishida Osamu, Komiya Teruyuki, the past due Komori Atsushi, Mochimaru Yoriko, Nakagawa Shigeo, Nippashi Kazuaki, Ohira Hiroshi, Shoda Yoichi, and Sugaya Hiroshi.

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