New Book Announcement: Seeds of Control: Japan's Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea

David Fedman's picture

Dear Colleagues, 

I'm excited to share that my book, Seeds of Control: Japan's Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea, has just been published by the University of Washington Press. The book, in essence, is my attempt to write empire more fully into Japanese environmental history and to write the Japanese empire into global environmental history. 

Here's a brief description:

Japanese colonial rule in Korea (1905–1945) ushered in natural resource management programs that profoundly altered access to and ownership of the peninsula’s extensive mountains and forests. Under the banner of “forest love,” the colonial government set out to restructure the rhythms and routines of agrarian life, targeting everything from home heating to food preparation. Timber industrialists, meanwhile, channeled Korea’s forest resources into supply chains that grew in tandem with Japan’s imperial sphere. These mechanisms of resource control were only fortified after 1937, when the peninsula and its forests were mobilized for total war.

In this wide-ranging study, David Fedman explores Japanese imperialism through the lens of forest management in colonial Korea—a project of environmental rule that outlived the empire itself. Holding up for scrutiny the notion of conservation, Seeds of Control examines the roots of Japanese ideas about the Korean landscape, as well as the consequences and aftermath of Japanese approaches to Korea’s “greenification.” Drawing from sources in Japanese and Korean, Fedman writes colonized lands into Japanese environmental history, revealing a largely untold story of green imperialism in Asia. 

You can order the book through Amazon or the UW Press website here:

  • PUBLISHED: July 2020
  • SUBJECT LISTING: History / Environmental History, Asian Studies / Japan, Asian Studies / Korea, Environmental Studies
  • BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 320 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 14 b&w illus., 4 maps, 3 charts
  • SERIES: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
  • ISBN: 9780295747453


Thanks and best wishes,