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The human and ecological disasters of Minamata and Fukushima highlight Japan’s need to plan for a sustainable future. Ogata Masato, a Minamata fisherman, through his philosophy of “life- world” suggests that this quest for a sustainable future requires a change in the epistemology of social science. His philosophy offers a postmodern version of Japan’s heritage of animism, where humans are connected with all living beings, including the souls of the living and the dead, as well as animate and inanimate entities in nature. His philosophy thus presents an alternative framework for a new modernity.