Lifeworlds of Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Agrifood Systems in Transition

Main Researcher: Steven R. MCGREEVY, RIHN


Area : Japan, China, Thailand, Bhutan

  1. FS①
  2. FS②
  3. FS③
  4. PR①

How can we create ecologically and socially sustainable agrifood systems? Taking a bottom-up, action research approach, this project seeks to initiate sustainable agrifood transition through the creation of new communities of social practice and collective action with stakeholders ranged along global and local food chains, at locations in Japan, China, Thailand, and Bhutan. Novel methodological approaches including participatory foodshed mapping and social practice backcasting will be employed, and consumer-oriented tools will be developed (food LCA app, local eco-brand).  Read the Full Article

Long-term Sustainability through Place-Based, Small-scale Economies: Approaches from Historical Ecology

Born in Kawasaki City, Japan, Junko Habu received her BA (1982) and MA (1984) from Keio University in Tokyo and PhD (1996) from McGill University in Montreal. She is the project leader of the Small-Scale Economies Project and a Professor at RIHN, and also a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. As an environmental archaeologist, she has excavated a number of prehistoric Jomon sites and historic Edo period sites in Japan and conducted fieldwork in North America. Her books include Ancient Jomon of Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and Evaluating Multiple Narratives (Springer 2008, co-edited with Fawcett and Matsunaga). Go to original article.

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Biodiversity-driven Nutrient Cycling and Human Well-being in Social-Ecological Systems

My specialty is ecology, the field of study concerned with the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. One of ecology’s central questions is why we should conserve biodiversity. I have approached this question by integrating different research fields related to biodiversity, especially molecular biology and macro-ecology, while a member of the Center for Ecological Research at Kyoto University. At present, I am developing methods for adaptive watershed governance that can address environmental issues related to nutrient imbalances on both local and global scales. I also should say that I love nature and humanity and how they come together very much! Go to original article.

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Human-Environmental Security in Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire: Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Associate professor Aiko Endo studies the economics of fisheries as well as coastal and marine policy. She has taken interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approaches to Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) in coastal areas in Japan and has experience in projects which made national policy proposals. Her research theme is to find the proper governance structure linking local, national, regional, and global to solve the environmental issues through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research with co-design and co-production. Go to original article.

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El porqué del éxito de la Chile Week en China

China Files | 28-08-2015 – 12:02:15

Desde el domingo 23 hasta el viernes 28 de agosto se llevó a cabo la Chile Week. Al tiempo que Chile logró posicionar aún más su nombre en China, el país asiático rectificó la importancia de las relaciones con Chile por todas las ventajas que puede ofrecer el país austral. El evento inició en Shanghái y finalizó en Beijing. Durante tres días, Jing’ An Park fue el escenario que recibió a miles de curiosos que se acercaron a los 15 stands de vino, pisco, fruta, artesanías y turismo.     Leer aquí

New translation of the world’s oldest novel


Aug 1, 2015

‘The Tale of Genji,” written by Murasaki Shikibu around 1,000 A.D., is regarded by many as the world’s first novel and is arguably the most influential work of Japanese literature ever written, inspiring countless other works of drama, fiction and fine art.

This titanic tome, coming in at well over 1,000 pages in English translation, is the ultimate challenge for any literary translator of Japanese novels.

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‘Ghost population’ hints at long-lost migration to the Americas

Ewen Callaway

Present-day Amazonians share an unexpected genetic link with Asian islanders, hinting at an ancient trek.

A mysterious group of humans crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia into the Americas thousands of years ago, genetic analyses reveal. Modern-day signatures of this ‘ghost population’ survive in people who live deep in the Brazilian Amazon, but the two research teams who have made the discovery have different ideas about when and how these migrants reached the Americas1, 2.        Read Article  ||   Leer en Español

Blood brides: feminist activists cracking China’s patriarchal order

With echoes of Russia’s Pussy Riot, the arrest of five young women on the eve of International Women’s Day drew attention to the feminist activist movements simmering below the surface in China.

On 7 March 2015, on the eve of the International Women’s Day, five young women in China were arrested on the grounds of “picking quarrels and creating a disturbance”. This incident caught the eye of major international media including the Guardian and CNN, and received a personal endorsement from US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton when she referred to the detention of female activists as “inexcusable” in her tweet. On 13 April, they were released on bail but still under surveillance.

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The crisis of democracy in Japan

Shujiro Yazawa 16 July 2015

Japan is on the brink of changing from a pacifist state to one prepared to go to war if necessary. Now, more than ever, we must refocus international scrutiny on the country’s social movements.
What do you know about Japan? Answers to this question vary, but I can guess how familiar someone is with Japan by paying attention to the Japanese loanwords he or she uses. I am sure you know the following words: sukiyaki, tofu, tempura, sushi (foods), karaoke, bonsai, manga, otaku (cultural terms), kaizen, kanban, karoshi (business terms), and various other words such as tsunami, kamikaze, and hikikomori. Japan’s delicious foods, interesting culture, management, hard work, and sometimes even its disasters and discord are the main components of its image in other countries. Read Article