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Grant number: FA-55553-10

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FA-55553-10

Ian Jared Miller
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)

Animals and Empire: The Tokyo Imperial Zoological Gardens and the Making of Modern Japan

This project introduces readers to the history of the Tokyo Imperial Zoological Gardens, Japan's first modern zoo, opened in 1882. It is widely known that such Western institutions as the museum, the university, and the penitentiary shaped Japan's emergence as a modern nation-state. Less commonly recognized is the role played by the distinctly hybrid institution--at once museum, laboratory, and penitentiary--of the zoological garden. Imposing order on exotic nature and alien cultures alike, zoos expressed national commercial reach, scientific progress, political eminence, and imperial hegemony. The Tokyo Zoo was the first zoological garden in the world not built by a Western power, and it was quickly woven into the fabric of everyday life in Japan. Speaking to the wider transnational history of imperialism and modern dealings with the natural world, my work asks how the power of the zoo was deployed in the service of diverse political, social, and scientific ends as Japan modernized.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 6/30/2010