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From the outset, society in Japan has been shaped by its environmental context. The lush green mountainous archipelago of today supports a population of over 127 million people and one of the most advanced economies in the world. How has this come about? At what environmental cost? Conrad Totman, one of the world’s foremost scholars on Japan, here provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the country’s environmental history, from its beginnings to the present day. What makes the Japanese story particularly instructive is that the country’s boundaries are uncommonly clear and the nature, timing, and extent of external influences on its history are unusually identifiable. The Japanese experience, therefore, not only yields important insights into the processes of environmental history, it offers important lessons for the wider environmental history of the planet.