For those of us at RIHN HQ, the past month has been difficult in many ways— we’ve been packing up our project headquarters, boxing up books, and saying goodbye to the space we called home for the past five years. There has been a lot of reminiscing and heartfelt farewells to each other. It was really nice to see a big group of folks connecting over Zoom on Wednesday last week for our closing greeting.
As I’m sure you are aware, the FEAST Project will be ending on March 31st. Our five year journey (even longer for those of you who joined during the feasibility and pre-research phases) is at an end.
But as many of us reflected this past week, it really feels like the beginning of something much bigger. I think many of you can share our feeling that all of the effort to make connections with stakeholders and interdisciplinary researchers is just now starting to pay off with really meaningful results. Each working group has accomplished something special. Here is just a small sampling of some recent happenings!
WG1 recently published a paper that has received major attention from Japanese newspapers and multiple cities (Kagoshima, Kyoto, Tokyo) have been in contact with us to discuss collaboration.
Food policy councils (in various forms) as part of WG2 have been launched in Kyoto, Kameoka, and Nagano (Obuse) and each has already started to impact local food policy discussions. The new issue of Agriculture and Economy (農業と経済) features all of this work on local food policy in Japan.
WG3 has been actively working on Covid-19’s impacts on agriculture and seafood in Japan and a beautiful book called Zachum Feast Gochisou Life around the Bhutanese plate was published by Mai Kobayashi and Rekha Chhetri.
WG4 was able to include guidelines for biochar use in agriculture to sequester carbon in the J-Credit system and released a Starter Kit.
WG5 was successful in launching the Ecokana smartphone app as well as open source all of the programming for the app to Github.
And the interdisciplinary WG6 has created an amazing website civic sources of food in Japan, as well as an online educational exhibition of School Lunches from the Future (the physical exhibition will be displayed at the Ministry of Education this summer).
We’re also pleased to see our new book published on April 13th by Showado.
Of course, there are many publications still on the way.
Another big announcement is the start of the FEAST as a charitable organization (technically a General Incorporated Association, FEAST社団法人), which will be run by most of the FEAST HQ members and continue to research and work with the stakeholder networks we established during the project. More updates on this exciting development soon. 🙂
The FEAST Slack, homepage, and Facebook page will continue to function and receive updates.
Many of the HQ members will be leaving RIHN and starting new work elsewhere, but a few of us will be still associated with RIHN in a visiting capacity.
We want to take this opportunity to THANK EVERYONE for their hard work in making the FEAST Project a roaring success!!! Please keep in touch and we’re all looking forward to continuing to work with you all in the future.
All the very best,
Steven McGreevy, Norie Tamura, Christoph Rupprecht, Mai Kobayashi, Max Spiegelberg Kazuhiko Ota, Rika Shinkai, Kimisato Oda, Yuko Kobayashi, Yuko Matsuoka