Empire of Dogs
Canines, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World
Publication Year: 2011
In the groundbreaking Empire of Dogs, Aaron Herald Skabelund examines the history and cultural significance of dogs in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japan, beginning with the arrival of Western dog breeds and new modes of dog keeping, which spread throughout the world with Western imperialism. He highlights how dogs joined with humans to create the modern imperial world and how, in turn, imperialism shaped dogs' bodies and their relationship with humans through its impact on dog-breeding and dog-keeping practices that pervade much of the world today.
In a book that is both enlightening and entertaining, Skabelund focuses on actual and metaphorical dogs in a variety of contexts: the rhetorical pairing of the Western "colonial dog" with native canines; subsequent campaigns against indigenous canines in the imperial realm; the creation, maintenance, and in some cases restoration of Japanese dog breeds, including the Shiba Inu; the mobilization of military dogs, both real and fictional; and the emergence of Japan as a "pet superpower" in the second half of the twentieth century. Through this provocative account, Skabelund demonstrates how animals generally and canines specifically have contributed to the creation of our shared history, and how certain dogs have subtly influenced how that history is told. Generously illustrated with both color and black-and-white images, Empire of Dogs shows that human-canine relations often expose how people-especially those with power and wealth-use animals to define, regulate, and enforce political and social boundaries between themselves and other humans, especially in imperial contexts.
Published by: Cornell University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Map
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List of Illustrations
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Many people suppose that I wrote a book about dogs because I am a dog lover. My family kept two dogs, an English pointer Belle (1965–1979) and a German short-haired pointer Christy (1976–1978), when I was a child, but many years delivering newspapers added some ambiguity to my fondness for canines. I never thought I would write a book about dogs. Perhaps, though, I should have realized ...
Introduction: Canine Imperialism
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On the morning of 21 May 1925, a dog known as Hachikoˉ walked with his mas-ter to a Tokyo railway station just as they had done each weekday morning for over a year since he had been adopted as a two-month-old puppy. That day his master, felled by a lethal stroke while at work, did not return. For the next decade, Hachikoˉ frequented the environs of the station. In 1932, thanks to the efforts of ...
1. The Native Dog and the Colonial Dog
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The dog of the East has degenerated below the standard of the true savage; for, in his questionable position, like the half-civilized Indian, he retains none of the virtues of his original state, and acquires all the vices of artificial society. “In the East,” says a distinguished traveler, “the dog loses all his good qualities; he is no longer the faithful animal, attached to his master, and ready to defend him ...
2. Civilizing Canines; or, Domesticating and Destroying Dogs
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In 1873 the artist Utagawa Yoshifuji (1828–87) created a print that invokes how the arrival of Western canine imperialism had radically reshaped human-canine relations in Japan in just over two decades. The print shows three dogs sitting down to a lunch of hikkoshi soba, a noodle dish eaten to celebrate the arrival of a new neighbor. Two of the dogs are native canines, as evidenced by their physical ...
3. Fascism’s Furry Friends: The “Loyal Dog” Hachikoˉ and the Creation of the “Japanese” Dog
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Thanks to his glorification, while he was alive and since, many people have heard of the tale of Hachikoˉ (1923–35). Numerous photographs exist of the dog, in-cluding one that likely dates from around 1933 showing an aging, large, double-coated, cream-colored canine, hunched back on his hind legs, his right ear erect and his left ear drooping to the side, facing and gazing directly at the camera. At ...
4. Dogs of War: Mobilizing All Creatures Great and Small
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While the “Loyal Dog” Hachikoˉ and most other “Japanese” canines were mili-tarized only in the realm of the imagination, many dogs actually went to war. During the First and Second World Wars, nearly every combatant nation em-ployed dogs to perform military-related tasks. The widespread, systematic de-ployment of canines occurred even as the mechanization of warfare seemed to be ...
5. A Dog’s World: The Commodification of Contemporary Dog Keeping
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In the spring of 1946, just over a half a year after the Japanese government’s sur-render brought an end to the Second World War, the former army-dog specialist and owner of the Mikado Kennel, Sawabe Kenjiroˉ, reopened his shop across the street from the Takashimaya department store in the downtown Tokyo neighbor-hood of Nihonbashi. The U.S. firebombing of 9 March 1945, which claimed ap-...
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Complete list at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/weatherhead-studies.html.Planning for Empire: Reform Bureaucrats and the Japanese Wartime State, by Janis Mimura. Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China, by Shao-hua Liu. Imperial Japan at Its Zenith: The Wartime Celebration of the Empire’s 2,600th Anniversary, Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing, by Fabio Lanza. Columbia University Press, 2010....
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Studies of the Weatherhead East Asia Institute, Columbia University