Shoko Yamada

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Yale U.

Grant number

Gr. 10358

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Yamada, Shoko (Yale U.) "Promises of Repair: Environmental Remediation and Land Transformations in Post-industrial Japan"

SHOKO YAMADA, then a graduate student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, received funding in April 2022 to aid research on “Promises of Repair: Environmental Remediation and Land Transformations in Post-industrial Japan,” supervised by Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan. This study examined the politics and ethics of living with repaired landscapes in the aftermath of environmental injuries, focusing on the watershed of the Jinzu River flowing through northern central Japan. This river basin has gone through multiple overlapping environmental injuries throughout Japan’s pursuit of modernity, whether toxic heavy metal exposure, ecological losses from engineering projects, or urban floods. Based on 19 months of ethnographic and archival work with the region’s farmers and fishers, scientists, civil servants, and river engineers, and activists and urban residents, this research traced how the effort to repair wounded landscapes has proliferated and become normalized along the river in ways that have transformed the terms and stakes of repair. In attending to the political and moral economies that inform the experiences of these reparative projects over time, this work ties together broader themes of injury and repair, time and event, urbanization and ecology, state and development, and the anthropology of history.