The subject of Western environmental ethics has been widely written about and discussed but the same can not be said of ‘Japanese’ environmental ethics. This discipline has not been covered in any branch of Japanese philosophy nor has there been sufficient pressure exerted by ecologists on Japanese thinkers and writers to explain how the Japanese code addresses environmental concerns. Although some Japanese scholars have in the past articulated their ideas on working with the natural world, the field covering the spirit and core of Japanese environmental ethics remains largely unexplored. This paper examines and compares the discipline of Japanese environmental ethics, a ‘bottom up process’, with that of the Western model, a ‘top down process’. It defines, and presents a new insight into environmental ethics from the Japanese perspective where the concept of ‘living with nature’ is more sensitive towards the environment than is the Western one of ‘taming nature’.