Worlds apart—Japan’s urban and rural experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader & Norie Tamura, Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ WG3

For the most part, Japan has been hailed as a COVID-19 success story, although the reasons for the success have been difficult to explain. Despite a severe lack of public testing, Tokyo (the epicenter of the outbreak) saw an increase of only 12% in mortality rate during the height of known infections in April1, the fewest of any Group of Seven nation. A number of theories have emerged as to why this may be (cultural familiarity with social distancing and mask-wearing, healthier elderly population), but it may be some time before a conclusion is reached. Whatever the reasons, the pandemic did bring massive change to everyday life. The entire nation was …

Working towards post-COVID Sustainable Transitions (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report, Seminar & Workshop

FEAST has been busy during the COVID-19 Pandemic on a variety of research initiatives and events. Some highlights include:-Organizing and managing multiple working groups as part of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (FE SSCP KAN) effort on post-COVID Sustainable Transitions. This included: -“Open Forum: COVID-19 Can Help Wealthier Nations Prepare for a Sustainability Transition” (over 300 participants) and virtual “Mini-Conference on COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions” (over 300 participants). -Multiple online surveys on COVID’s impact on small-scale farmers in Japan, Italy, UK, US, Taiwan, and Latin America and coastal fisheries in Japan. -Joining an international alliance of Degrowth experts in drafting an open letter to offer five principles for …

The 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” (Ryo Iwahashi, Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Monday, February 17th, the 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” – Special Lecture and Meeting – was organized at Galleria Kameoka, Kyoto. We have been working together with the food and agriculture-related stakeholders and actors in Kameoka, organizing various meetings and events, one of which was the 1st Seminar“Making Kameoka an organic town”. It inspired us to organize Kameoka Nou Marche in November 2019 and then seminar. The first part of this event was dedicated to a special lecture by Mr. Nobuyuki Motoyama, Manager of the Biostyle Co., Ltd. entitled “Emerging challenges of organic produce distribution: To build a good society with food”. He introduced the efforts and …

[email protected] Philippines (Maximilian Spiegelberg)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Maximilian Spiegelberg, FEAST Project Researcher, took a trip to the Philippines to join “International Meliponine Conference and Asian Apicultural Association Philippines Symposium on Pollinator Conservation” held on Feb 25th to 28th, 2020 at University of the Philippines, Los Banos, at which he gave a presentation titled “Tracking Practices of Traditional Beekeeping in Taiwan and Japan”. Tracking practices of traditional beekeeping in Taiwan and Japan Maximilian Spiegelberg (FEAST Project, RIHN), Rika Shinkai (FEAST Project, RIHN), Chung-Yu Ko (National Iilan University, Taiwan),  I-Hsin Sung (National Chiyali University, Taiwan) <Abstract> Traditional beekeeping of A.cerana in Japan and Taiwan has been part of multiple subsistence livelihoods in mountainous, rural areas for a long time. Those livelihoods rely …

The website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” launched (Rika Shinkai, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Achievements, Report, WG3

We have recently launched a website “Archives of Japanese Honeybee Beekeeping” to introduce the history and culture of Japanese honeybee beekeeping. As many of you may know, there are two types of honeybees in Japan – native Japanese honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) and Western honeybees (Apis mellifera), which were brought to Japan in the Meiji era. And, most of the honeys on the market today are of the latter. The beekeeping of Japanese honeybees started in mountainous areas at the latest in the Edo period, and honey was then distributed and consumed for medicinal purposes. When kneading pills, for example, honey was a necessary ingredient. In “Hachimitsu Ichiran (Overview of …

A taste of urban food futures in Bangkok (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Right before the end of 2019, I made my way to Thailand for a short trip to oversee a workshop and reconnect with colleagues. Thailand is a fantastic place to visit for work or pleasure—the food is amazing, the people are incredibly nice, and I always encounter something surprising. Two things struck me during my time in Bangkok: 1) the diversity of ecological food labels and designations and 2) the ubiquitous food delivery scene. Food transparency in Thailand is much more developed than what we see on the shelves in Japan. On a trip through a supermarket one evening, the vegetable section was shocking. There were four different production designations: …

COOL VEGE® case studies presented at the MAFF International Workshop

FEAST HQ WG4_Publications

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) organized three-day international workshop for policy makers and scholars of G20 countries from Nov 5th to 7th, 2019 “International Workshop on Scaling up and out of climate-smart technologies and practices for sustainable agriculture“. Prof. Akira Shibata from Ritsumeikan University, WG4 Chair, and Dr. Ayaka Kishimoto-Mo were invited to present the experiences of COOL VEGE® activities “‘COOL VEGE®’: Sequestrating soil carbon with biochar through eco-branded vegetables”. You can download the slides from the following links(Part 1;Part 2). 【Workshop Abstract】 An international workshop on “Scaling up and out of climate-smart technologies and practices for sustainable agriculture” including an expert workshop, an international symposium (subtitle in …

Kameoka Nou Marché (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Events, From the Field, WG2, WG3

On Nov 3rd, “Kameoka Nou Marché” (Nou stands for agriculture) was organized by the Executive Committee for “Making Kameoka an Organic Town” at KIRI CAFÉ in Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref. with the City of Kameoka, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), RIHN and Akitsu Labo of Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University as the supporters. This all started with WG2 Seminar “Making Kameoka an Organic Town!” on Nov 19th, 2018 which brought together some members from the FEAST Project, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, KOA as well as local farmers, chefs among many others. It led to organizing of this committee, adding some more of …

Apimondia & COLOSS (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG3

From 6th till 12th September FEAST researcher Max Spiegelberg attended the 15th COLOSS Conference along a record 154 participants, and back-to-back the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with the theme “Beekeeping within Agriculture” in Montreal/Canada. COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony LOSSes) is a honeybee focused research network which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses with 1,275 members from 95 countries and started out from Europe already 14 years ago. The Apimondia International Apicultural Congress is a global, biennial conference by Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations bringing together this time 6,000 researchers, beekeepers, extension officers, and traders from around the world. During the COLOSS …

Digital Foodscapes Workshop (Christine Barnes, RIHN Visiting Research Fellow and Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Saturday 24th August, Mai Kobayashi, Visiting Research Fellow Christine Barnes (King’s College London), and other FEAST members held a Digital Foodscapes Workshop ’“Food” that we “Cook” “Share” and “Eat”: Exploring our digital foodscape’ in Mumoteki, Kyoto. The workshop was part of the work that Christine has been doing over the summer exploring the representation and mediation of Japanese food culture on Instagram. Bringing together a group of people to share some of the initial findings of the project and discuss their perspectives on food and social media was a really useful way to test the ideas in the research. During her visit at FEAST Christine has been researching “food …

JACAP Summer School “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

Summer School of Japan Association for the Contemporary and Applied Philosophy (hereafter JACAP) “Linking Foodscapes: Three Days to Explore Food and Agriculture” was held at RIHN from September 15th to 17th, 2019. This is the annual event of JACAP which has covered a wide range of topics such as fashion, mathematics, environmental pollution problems, space exploration, business ethics among many others. Prof. Nobutsugu Kanzaki of Nanzan University and I organized this year’s summer school with the theme of “Food and Agriculture”. “Foodscapes” as in the event title refers to a place and/or space where we can find a meaning in the act of eating and food itself through purchasing food, …

Visiting the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

From Aug 25th to 27th, I had an opportunity to visit Nagano Prefecture, one of the FEAST Project’s research fields, together with other members of WG2. During our visit, we joined the regular meeting of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai) and met up with some of its key persons for interview. The Nagano Agriculture and Food Association was co-founded in 2013 by two organic farmers and another local who is in involved in sales and processing of local, organic and traditional vegetables. The members get together at a community center in Matsushiro Town, Nagano City for a monthly meeting. Our participation in the …

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 (Christoph Rupprecht)

FEAST HQ WG6_Publications

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 was held in Washington D.C. from April 3rd to 7th, 2019, which the FEAST team of Christoph Rupprecht (FEAST Senior Project Researcher), Mai Kobayashi (FEAST Project Researcher) and Daniel Niles (RIHN Associate Professor/FEAST member) had an opportunity to join and present the research outputs. You can find Rupprecht’s abstract below (the others’ are in “WG3 Publications and Outputs”). The blog post is also available from this link. Whose social infrastructure? Young children’s green space access during daycare in aging Japan Christoph Rupprecht Access to green space is vital for children’s physical and mental health. However, many urban daycare centers in Japan struggle …

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 (Mai Kobayashi, Daniel Niles)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 was held in Washington D.C. from April 3rd to 7th, 2019, which the FEAST team of Christoph Rupprecht (FEAST Senior Project Researcher), Mai Kobayashi (FEAST Project Researcher) and Daniel Niles (RIHN Associate Professor/FEAST member) had an opportunity to join and present the research outputs. You can find their abstracts (except for Rupprecht’s in “WG6 Publications and Outputs“). The blog post is also available from this link. Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan Mai Kobayashi With Gross National Happiness a globally recognized concept, one could say Bhutan is an experimental laboratory for post-development theories. In an effort to meet Bhutan’s socio-cultural, …

FEAST at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019 in Washington, DC (Christoph Rupprecht, Project Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report

After our five sessions on food system transitions at the AAG 2017, and our sessions on “Mapping urban food production” and  “The other food system(s)” at the AAG 2018, visiting and presenting at the AAG has now become a bit of a tradition for FEAST. So, in 2019 another team of FEAST and friends went to Washington DC to meet, listen to and present to thousands of researchers from all around the world – this year without any organized sessions. Mai Kobayashi joined a session on Cultural Landscapes, where her presentation “Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan” discussed the changing landscape of food choices and access in Bhutan, …

Talk about Anthropocene and Transition Town at the Kagoshima University Symposium (Kazuhiko Ota, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG2

An industry-academia-government collaborative symposium “Think about how to live the future of Kagoshima – the ecological theory in the Anthropocene –” (English title is not official) was held at Korimoto Campus of Kagoshima University on July 6th, 2019 where I was given an opportunity to introduce about Anthropocene and Transition Town. The participants included the students from the Faculty of Law at Kagoshima University and many citizens who were interested in the topic. You might have already heard of or seen the term “Anthropocene” as in the sub-title of the symposium somewhere, maybe at some events of RIHN. It refers to a geological epoch – the environmental transformation caused by …

International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture in Nagano: Transitioning to Agroecology (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Events, Report, WG2, WG3

I have been working closely with members of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO農と食の会) and Food Policy Council Obuse (OBUSE食と農の未来会議) for almost a year now, discussing ways to envision sustainable food futures and enact food policy toward their realization. One refreshing aspect of working with these groups is that the concept of agroecology widely understood and the need to enact agroecological food systems is a given. However, even though Nagano Prefecture is one of the leading agricultural prefectures in Japan, organic agriculture and agroecology are not widely practiced or recognized. When we learned of the possibility of bringing Miguel Altieri and Clara Nicholls (University of California-Berkeley) to Nagano to …

FEAST Session at GRF2019 in Hong Kong

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications, WG3_Publications, WG6_Publications

From June 26th to 29th, 2019, “2019 Hong Kong Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption” was organized at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. At GRF, Steven McGreevy, FEAST project leader, chaired two sessions “Session 2d: Changing Personal and Public Consumption: Experiences and Movements (S-15)” on the 27th and “Session 4a: Food Futures in Asia: Imagining and Experimenting with Post-Growth Food Procurement and Consumption to Redefine Rural-Urban Linkages (S-06)” as well as Keynotes session also on the 29th. And, FEAST team gave presentations at the session on the 29th as follows. Session title: Food futures in Asia: imagining and experimenting with post-growth food procurement and consumption …

“International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture: Voices from Shinshu” in Nagano

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

On June 2nd, 2019, “International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture: Voices from Shinshu” was held at Kinrou Josei Kaikan Shinanoki in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture. Following the opening remarks by Mr. Takuei Katsuyama, Director of Nagano-ken Yuki Nougyou Kenkyukai, and a talk by Prof. Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project Leader, “Environmentally and economically sustainable Shinshu: Food and agriculture”, Prof. Miguel Altieri from University of California, Berkeley gave a keynote speech “Why agroecology now?”. He introduced various cases of agroecological practices in Latin America such as application of allelopathy in lieu of plastic mulch. The following panel discussion started off with Ms. Erika Saito’s self-introduction who started organic farming in Matsumoto City after …

FEAST session at WSSF2018

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

World Social Science Forum (WSSF) 2018 was organized in Fukuoka, Japan for four days from Sept 25th to 28th. FEAST organized four sessions, one of which “CS4-05: Using game-based methods for sustainability transformations : lessons from practice and theory” on the 28th involved around the research outputs of WG2 and the FEAST members and its friends made the following six presentations. Session Abstract: Chair: Kazuhiko Ota Transition towards a sustainable society is hindered by a complexity of interactions among different societal components, conflicting values and interests, a sense of resistance to change, uncertainty about the future, various strategies that conflict against one another, and difficulty in finding an appropriate intervention …