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JPNS 3881 Environment, Nature, and Disaster in Japanese Literature and Culture (Brown) - Rare Books Collection Virtual Visit

A guide to materials relating to Japan and the environment in the Rare Books Collection, Rare and Distinctive Collections, CU Boulder Libraries.


Minamata disease is caused by extreme mercury poisoning and is named after the city of Minamata, Japan. First identified in 1956, it was soon discovered that the Chisso Corporation was polluting the city's bay with mercury, which people then ingested when they consumed the local fish. In the early 1970s, W. Eugene Smith and Aileen Smith lived in Minamata and documented the dramatic effects this disease had on the people of the town. Children were particularly susceptible to mercury poisoning's effects (and were often born with birth defects).

W. Eugene Smith and Documentary Photography

Books at CU with W. Eugene and Aileen Smith's Minamata Photographs

Other Books About Minamata Disease

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B



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Sean Babbs