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Empire of dogs; canines, Japan, and the making of the modern imperial world.


Empire of dogs; canines, Japan, and the making of the modern imperial world.

Skabelund, Aaron Herald.

Cornell U. Press


267 pages



Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University


In this study of the role of dogs in 19th and 20th century Japan, Skabelund (history, Brigham Young U.) examines real dogs as well as dogs as symbols of cultural values, looking especially at the circumstances surrounding Japan's adoption of Western dog ownership and breeding practices among middle classes. The author charts the trajectory from the introduction of new Western dog breeds and campaigns for the removal of indigenous dogs, to the eventual restoration of Japanese dog breeds. Skabelund analyzes cultural artifacts, such as photos and taxidermic objects, and draws on radio broadcasts, public statues, songs, and interviews. The book is illustrated with b&w historical photos, and color and b&w historical illustrations.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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