Judith Vitale et al., "Drugs and the Politics of Consumption in Japan" (Brill, 2023)


In early modern Japan, upper status groups coveted pills and powders made of exotic foreign ingredients such as mummy and rhinoceros horn. By the early twentieth century, over-the-counter-patent medicines, and, more alarmingly, morphine, had become mass commodities, fueling debates over opiates in Japan's expanding imperial territories.
The fall of the empire and the occupation of Japan by the United States created conditions favorable for heroin use, followed, in time, by glue sniffing and psychedelic mushroom ingestion.

By illuminating the neglected history of drugs, Drugs and the Politics of Consumption in Japan (Brill, 2023) highlights both the transnational embeddedness and national peculiarities of the "politics of consumption" in Japan.

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Ran Zwigenberg

Ran Zwigenberg is an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University.

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