Representations of hunting in Japan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Hunting is readily defined in terms of the primary relationship between the human hunter(s) and the hunted animal. Human hunting centres on an elemental confrontation between hunters and unrestrained wild animals that results in the violent killing of these animals (Cartmill 1993: 29-30). But there is also a secondary set of hunting relations in the form of the social context in which the activity of hunting takes place. This wider set of relations is especially significant in the case of recreational hunting in urban-industrial societies. As an activity that combines violence and sport, recreational hunting is often subject to disapproval and moral critique in the wider human society. As a result of the intensity and ubiquity of such criticism, hunting ceases to be simply a physical activity and tends to develop a capacity for rhetorical self-defence. Recreational hunters do not just hunt, but must also justify or rationalize hunting to the wider society in which they live. Hunters are often obliged to represent their hunting as consistent with the larger public interest. This is the background to the familiar utilitarian justification of hunting as a form of pest control found among hunters and shooters in many societies, including English fox-hunters (Marvin 2000) and snake and pigeon shooters in rural America (Weir 1992; Song 2000).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWildlife in Asia: cultural perspectives
EditorsJohn Knight
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780203641811
ISBN (Print)9780415865203, 9780700713325
Publication statusPublished - 04 Dec 2004


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