In the 1990s a Japanese conservationist group, inspired by North American examples, launched a campaign for the reintroduction of the wolf in Japan. In addition to restoring Japan's natural heritage, the main reason offered for its reintroduction is ...
that the wolf would be the saviour of upland areas of Japan suffering from wildlife pestilence. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on the Kii Peninsula in western Japan, one of the areas nominated for reintroduction, this book critically examines the problem of people-wildlife conflicts in Japan from a social anthropological perspective. Focusing on wild boar, monkeys, deer, serow, and bears, it describes the relationship to these animals on the part of farmers, foresters, hunters, and tourists. This detailed case study shows that conflicts with wildlife are inextricably bound up with social conflict among people, and that wildlife pestilence must therefore be understood in terms of its symbolic, as well as material dimensions.