The arrival of Westerners in Japan diversified the function of cattle in Japan: no longer sacred animals or compassionate drafting partners in the fields, cattle became providers of beef and milk across the country and, later, the entire Japanese Empire. As Japan rose as the new imperial power in Asia, the home island’s limited cattle resources required more aggressive colonial planning of cattle production across the Japanese Empire. While Colonial Korea became a significant supplier of cattle for beef consumption, in Colonial Taiwan, where the imperial state prioritized agricultural production and circulation, cattle served as significant drafting energy. However, systematic reclamation, deforestation, and drought in the hinterland posed an environmental crisis for cattle keeping as it reduced possible pasture. This article examines an attempt by the governor general’s office in the 1910s to solve the problem as they imported a more muscular and cost-efficient Indian breed, Kankrej cattle, which thrived in a similar tropical environment. They coordinated– and sometimes conflicted with -- physicians of trading companies, scientific and agricultural societies, and ordinary settlers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, and Southeast Asia. This transaction showcases how evolving (and sometimes hierarchical) knowledge of scientific husbandry, the market network in Asia, the growing cross-Asia transportation network, and the limitation of Japan’s colonial capacity facilitated unprecedented cattle mobility across tropical Asia. It argued that the Japanese Empire’s evolving colonial strategies were closely entangled with the environmental and colonial conditions across Asian borders and significantly impacted non-human actors in the realm.
|Publication status||Published - 18 Feb 2023|
|Event||The Association for Asian Studies 2023 Annual Conference - Boston, United States|
Duration: 17 Feb 2022 → 18 Feb 2022
|Conference||The Association for Asian Studies 2023 Annual Conference|
|Abbreviated title||AAS 2023|
|Period||17/02/22 → 18/02/22|