Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies
Prologue: A Journey to Magnificent Nature … or Why Nature Needs to Be Understood in Translation
2015. "Prologue: A Journey to Magnificent Nature … or Why Nature Needs to Be Understood in Translation", Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies, Shiho Satsuka
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In the 1980s and 1990s, an influx of Japanese tourists to Banff National Park spurred public debates in Canada on the negative environmental impact of foreign tourists. As the first non-Western group to travel the world in mass, these tourists attracted curiosity, disrupting assumptions about who has the privilege of international travel. The prologue describes how a guide on a Japanese commercial bus tour in the Canadian Rockies introduced tourists to the National Park’s conservation efforts and stimulated their fascination with the magnificent nature. Here, ironically, cultural difference emerged from Japanese efforts to learn North American approaches to nature: in “nature” people imagined shared concerns of human nature and the natural environment, but their understandings of nature differed tremendously. Nature in translation concerns not only superficial differences of cultural aesthetics, but also what counts as human, what kind of society is envisioned, and who is a legitimate subject in society.