chapter  5
29 Pages

The Social Ecology of Japanese Forestry Management in the World War II Period

ByJohn W. Bennett

Japan, down to and during World War II, was a cultural hybrid, possessing many of the features of a centralized feudal nation (resembling, say, France in the fifteenth century) along with the structures and energies of a twentieth-century industrial society. Although Japan possessed many of the cultural features of a medieval society, she also had the beginnings of modern technology. Japan’s visible social structure looked medieval, with a sword-bearing knighthood, but at the same time it displayed stirrings of a labor movement and popular representation. This mélange of historical anachronisms was dismantled and radically reformed under the guidance of the Allied Occupation (1945–1951). While many of the traditional features have persisted into the 1990s, sometimes as ceremonial “heritage” activities, the economic and sociopolitical structure of the country has turned toward the modern industrial-democratic pattern. Thus, some of the social organizational features described in this chapter, while still viable in the late100 1940s when the writer researched them, have now been abolished or considerably changed as a result of altered property relationships, entrepreneurship style, and labor-management reforms.