Dam Close Water Resources and Productions of Harmony in Central Japan

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 Earlham College cunnier@earlham.edu
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ABSTRACT

This article examines socio-cultural circulations associated with dams and other water management technologies in central Japan. Such technologies and the circulations of water they enable link communities across Japan’s rural and urban spaces in social, political, economic, and cultural ways. They also produce anxieties by highlighting social inequalities and the disparate impacts of water resource development in modern Japan. Using Makio Dam in central Japan as a case study, I argue that actors in both upstream and downstream communities actively imagine and enact social relationships that work to ease the tensions that arise from unidirectional flows of water by producing sensations of harmony and common identity.

Contributor Notes

Eric J. Cunningham is an Assistant Professor in the Japanese Studies and Environmental Studies programs at Earlham College. His research interests include resource use and governance, productions of nature, and tourism. More specifically, his work is concerned with political ecologies of resource use in central Japan and the survival struggles of local communities. Address: Earlham College, 801 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374, USA. E-mail: cunnier@earlham.edu.

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