• Influence of Shintoism on Environmental Management and Perceptions of Lake Biwa, Japan

      Temple, Gwendolyn; Fulkerson, Gregory (2017)
      Throughout history, Japan has been heavily influenced by one major religious philosophy: Shintoism. It is a philosophy centered around animism—the belief that all things, animate and inanimate, house a soul. What influence does Shintoism have on environmental management and perceptions? This research attempts to answer this question as it relates to Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Biwa supplies millions of individuals throughout Shiga Prefecture with freshwater. Home to hundreds of endemic species, the lake also serves as a hotspot of biodiversity. However, there are many different threats to the water body, including invasive species and urbanization. Using literature review and first-hand observations, this research attempts to explore the way Shintoism affects people’s perceptions of Lake Biwa as they relate to sense of place, the Soap Movement of the 1970s, the Mother Lake 21 Plan, and management of invasive/nuisance species such as the largemouth bass and great cormorant. In exploring the complex relationship between Shintoism and environmental management in Lake Biwa, this research helps add more dimensions to the influence Shintoism has had on people’s perceptions surrounding Lake Biwa and open avenues for future research.