Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies
The Allure of Ecology
Ecological integrity is central to the ecosystem management plan of Banff National Park. It is the key term marking the shift from human-centered to ecosystem-centered environmental protection strategies. The notion held a strong allure for the Japanese tour guides, who saw it as a form of knowledge that transcended their cultural framework and promised inclusion in a broader cosmopolitan community. Thus, they were complicit in constructing ecological science as universal knowledge that downplayed the importance of understanding the specific philosophical and epistemological traditions that have shaped the scientific knowledge. The Japanese guides’ complicit construction of ecology as universal language suggests the tension in the simultaneous pursuit of multiculturalism and environmental protection, two areas in which Canada has assigned itself a leading role in the world. This chapter explores the guides’ engagements with ecological science, and contextualizes them in relation to the legacy of the translation of Western science in Japan.