13 May From Sacred Cow to Kobe Beef: Japan’s Bovine Revolution
Daniel Botsman (History, Yale University)
Tuesday May 13, 4:00 PM
This talk will begin by considering the place of cows in Japanese society before the Meiji Restoration, particularly in relation to the agrarian economy of the Kansai and surrounding regions. It will then consider the revolutionary changes in attitude and social practice that made possible the birth of “Kobe beef” at the very beginning of the modern period, and provide an account of the human impact of these changes, particularly in relation to the configuration of urban space. Overall, by exploring how the linked notions of “sacred cows” and “untouchability” might be useful for thinking about aspects of Japanese history, Botsman’s talk seeks to open up new possibilities for comparison with South Asia, which can simultaneously help us think more carefully about the legacies of colonialism for the modern world.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Reinventing Japan RFG, the East Asia Center, the Dept. of History, the Dept. Religious Studies, the Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, and the Dept. of Global Studies.