Interview on Food Policy featured in JA Magazine

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

“Food Policy” is featured in October edition of JA’s magazine “Chijyou”, on which Prof. Masashi Tachikawa (Nagoya University) and Prof. Motoki Akitsu (Kyoto University), WG2 Chairs, took a dialogue interview (24-27p). With the COVID-19 pandemics across the world, “food security” has regained attention. Prof. Tachikawa and Prof. Akitsu talk about the basics of food policy and its significance, the difference in implications that “food policy” has in the older Japanese context (食料政策) and in the Western context as originally introduced (フードポリシー) in UK as well as the role of Food Policy Council. You can find the index here (in Japanese).

Magazine Column&Newspaper Articles: Installation "School Lunches of the Futrue"

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

FEAST Project created the installation “School Lunches of the Future” as one of the RIHN’s annual Open House activities in the summer of 2019. It exhibits four different school lunch menus in four future scenarios based on the 2×2 matrix of dependency on food trade (globalization or localization?) and climate change (are we able to achieve the 1.5 degree Paris climate change goal or not?). This installation project thus far received some attentions and there have been a magazine column article and two Asahi Shimbun articles. We have also published a blog article here. Please find more details from the links below. <Magazine Column Article> (in Japanese: tentative English titles) …

How we started serving the School Lunches of the Future (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

The Openhouse takes place every year in the summer (this year online 15th & 22nd Nov.) and each project of the institute has to come up with a unique activity around their research theme. Taking place in the middle of the summer vacations the four hour event draws about 800 junior- and middle-school kids with their parents or grandparents in tow to do some fun activity while practically adding to the mandatory school summer break science assignment (Yes, in Japan kids get homework over the summer vacations). In the last years the FEAST project had among several other activities asked the visitors what they consider is bad and what is …

Italian alternative farmers and the covid-19 pandemic: Voices from the lockdown (Simona Zollet, PhD Candidate, Hiroshima University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

As part of the multi-country research project on small-scale and alternative farmers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic coordinated by FEAST, we carried out a questionnaire survey of Italian farmers. Italy was one of the first countries to be severely affected by the pandemic, and the lockdown (in effect between March 9 and May 18) saw nationwide closures of all non-essential businesses and services, and drastically reduced mobility for most citizens. As most of the early information on the impacts of the lockdown on the farming sector concerned large-scale conventional farmers and food processors, this survey was designed to capture the voice of those farmers – mainly small-scale and alternative producers – …

FEAST Project on the "Local Degrowth Realities" Map

FEAST HQ WG6_Publications

FEAST is now registered on the “Local Degrowth Realities” map. Degrowth-Webportal introduces not only the basic concept of degrowth and various relevant publications (including blog posts by a wide range of degrowth scholars and activities), but also initiatives and projects on a global scale. Interested in finding what kind of degrowth movements are taking place in your city or even the country you plan to visit? Visit and go to “Get involved” tab and find out. You will find us if you locate yourself in Kyoto in the map.  

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


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 …

Peer-reviewed paper on Japanese children's green space access in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

FEAST HQ WG6_Publications

Christoph Rupprecht’s paper co-authored with Lihua Cui, Kyoto University, “Understanding Threats to Young Children’s Green Space Access in Unlicensed Daycare Centers in Japan” is now published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Mar 2020). You can access the full article from the link at the bottom of this page. <Abstract> Access to green space (GS) is vital for children’s health and development, including during daycare. In Japan, deregulation to alleviate daycare shortages has created a new category of so-called unlicensed daycare centers (UDCs) that often lack dedicated GS. UDCs rely on surrounding GS, including parks, temples and university grounds, but reports of conflicts highlight the precarity of …

Peer-reviewed paper on consumers’ trust on food labels in Food and Chemical Toxicology

FEAST HQ WG5_Publications

A peer-reviewed research paper on consumers’ trust on food labels “Trust me? Consumer trust in expert information on food product labels” co-authored with Prof. Ichiro Tayasu and Dr. Lei Fujiyoshi of RIHN’s core project “Proposal and Verification of the Validity of Isotope Environmental Traceability Methodology in Environmental Studies” was published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” (Mar 2020). The full article is available from the link at the bottom of this page. “Trust me? Consumer trust in expert information on food product labels” Christoph D. D. Rupprecht, Lei Fujiyoshi, Steven R. McGreevy, Ichiro Tayasu Abstract: Food product labels can provide consumers with rich, specific, expert-certified product information. However, sources of label …

[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 …

Introduction of Eco-ka-na

FEAST HQ WG5_Publications

Eco-ka-na – App for Transparent food chains This app is to measure and “visualize” the environmental, social and health impacts of food products. Please find such impact scores to decide what to buy and also fill in the survey toward further visualization of food information. Eco-ka-na: iOS / Android About this App The Eco-ka-na app allows users to see the environmental, social, and health impacts of food products. Please use the impact scores to decide what to buy and also fill in the surveys to enable us to increase the coverage of food information on products. When you scan the barcode of a food product, you will find the environmental, …

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 …

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 …

Peer-reviewed paper on a pluralistic practice-based futures approach published in Ecology and Society

FEAST HQ WG2_Publications

A peer-reviewed paper “New pathways for governing food system transformations: a pluralistic practice-based futures approach using visioning, back-casting, and serious gaming” about the outputs from collaborative research in Kyoto with Astrid Mangnus and Joost Vervoort, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, the Netherlands was published in Ecology and Society 24(4):2. <Abstract> The global environmental change that characterizes the Anthropocene poses a threat to food systems. Cities increasingly serve as the spaces where civil society, private actors, and local governments come together to strategize toward more sustainable food futures and experiment with new forms of food governance. However, much of the futures literature in the context of sustainability focuses …

Working Group for FPC Kyoto: Meeting on food mapping in Kyoto (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

The working group of the Food Policy Council Kyoto has continued to shine a light at yet another food related dimension in Kyoto. After last meeting’s focus on Urban Agriculture with presentations by Kimisato Oda and Christoph Rupprecht (both FEAST), this time attention was given to the role that maps can play. For this working group meeting on Oct 2nd, three speakers from Kyoto introduced three different kinds of maps they are working on. The discussions evolved around common challenges and benefits, the possible users of the different maps, as well as the ways to gather the necessary data. Kentaro Suzuki and the members of Kyoto Organic Action (KOA) intend …

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, …

An Article by the Mitsubachi Team published on Kyoto Shimbun (2019/8/14)

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

An article “Co-designing the future with honeybees” by the Mitsubachi Team was published on Kyoto Shimbun (Evening Edition) as a serial article of “RIHN Field Notes” on the 14th of August, 2019. The following is the original full text in Japanese. 上賀茂発 地球研フィールドノート(連載)⑤ミツバチと共に未来を作る:生態系へ視野広げ 優しい街に(真貝理香、マキシミリアン・スピーゲルバーグ、クリストフ・ルプレヒト) 今年4月の仏パリのノートルダム大聖堂の火災の折、聖堂屋上で飼育されていた三つの巣箱のミツバチが無事であったというニュースを聞いて、「そんなところで養蜂?」と驚いた人もいるかもしれない。パリは、都市養蜂が盛んで、オペラ座屋上の養蜂も有名だ。ヨーロッパにおいては一般に、ミツバチは極めて身近な生き物で、ドイツでは、「ミツバチは大事な昆虫」であるということを、小学生の頃から学ぶ。また、街の公園にもミツバチの巣箱が置かれたり、スーパーには、必ず地元産のハチミツが売られたりしている。 ミツバチを含め、ポリネーターと呼ばれる花粉媒介昆虫は、生態系の中で、極めて重要な役割を担う。農作物の受粉はもとより、樹木の受粉、すなわち森の涵養にも寄与するからだ。近年の、世界的なミツバチや昆虫減少のニュースを受け、今春、ドイツのバイエルン州では、「Rettet die Bienen(ミツバチを救え)」の名のもとに、「昆虫保護法」請願運動が市民から起こり、175万人︎もの署名が集まった。請願で提案された法案は7月に州議会で採決され、その内容は、農薬不使用農地の拡大や、蜜源植物の確保、川や水路を農薬・肥料の汚染から守るといった様々な政策を含むものであった。こうした運動の背景には、昆虫保護が人々の生活にも直結するという市民の共通認識があったと言えよう。 <養蜂通じ緑化推進> われわれ3人は、人間とミツバチ、環境との関わりを社会科学的な側面から調査研究しているが、残念ながら、日本の学校教育では、ミツバチについて詳しい学習をする機会はあまりないようだ。日本には、野生のニホンミツバチと、明治期に導入されたセイヨウミツバチの2種が存在するが、セイヨウミツバチの方が採蜜量が格段に多いため、市販のハチミツのほとんどは、セイヨウミツバチによるものだ。そのことを知っている人も少ないのではないだろうか。私たちは京都市民を対象に、ミツバチや昆虫に関する意識調査を実施したことがあるが、アンケート結果から得られた一般市民の意識は、やはり「ハチは怖い」「ムシは嫌い」であった。一方で、養蜂家を対象とした調査では、実に多くが「ミツバチから、今まで気づかなかった自然や生態系について様々なことを学んだ」と、回答している。ミツバチのことを学び、ミツバチの目で社会をみると、身近な花々や街路樹や森の植生、さらにはミツバチ以外の昆虫や鳥類との関係など、今まで見えなかった生態系が見えて来る。近年日本でも、ミツバチ・プロジェクトと呼ばれる養蜂を通じた環境学習、緑化推進、ハチミツの地域・プロジェクトブランディングなどが、各地で行われるようになった。 <人間も住みやすい> 一般にミツバチ・プロジェクトでは、セイヨウミツバチが飼育されることが多いが、京都市中京区役所の屋上では、ニホンミツバチが飼育されている。私たち地球研でも、今春より、2群のニホンミツバチを飼育し始めた。ニホンミツバチは、活動半径が約2キロと小さく、蜜源不足など、生息に不適な状況が起こると、新たな巣の場所を探し逃去するという性質を持つため、環境指標としても有効だからだ。ニホンミツバチは、もともと山間部に多く生息するが、都市部においては、河川敷の雑草や街路樹、雑木の小さな蜜源植物にも訪花する。四方を山に囲まれた京都市では、京都御苑を中心に多くの寺社、府立植物園などもある。古都京都の花々を、ミツバチが訪れる風景を想像するのは楽しいが、その群が周年に渡って生存するためには、春〜秋にかけて次々と、絶えず花が咲く環境が必要で、これはまさに、生物多様性にもつながっていく。また、ミツバチや他の昆虫にとっても害となる農薬使用をゼロに近く減らしていくことも重要になる。気候変動がもたらす夏の酷暑もミツバチには強敵で、ヒートアイランドを軽減する緑豊かな環境は、ミツバチにとっても人間にとっても住みやすい環境なのだ。 昨年来、私たちは「京都をミツバチに優しい街に」というフレーズのもと、セミナーやワークショップなど、様々な活動を市民の皆さんと行ってきた。その中で重要としてきたのは、ミツバチや昆虫への意識を高めること、そしてミツバチをシンボルとしつつも、そこから広がる生態系へのビジョンを、農業や緑化を含めた街づくりへと展開することであった。ミツバチに関わる事象は、「他人事」ではなく、すべての人の「自分事」である。ミツバチよって開かれた目が、大小さまざまな活動となり声となり、社会や政策にもつながっていくことを願っている。第2水曜に掲載します。

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 …

Ecological Footprint Research Data on WWF&GNF Report

FEAST HQ WG1_Publications

A report “Kankyou to Mukiau Machizukuri – Nihon no Ecological Footprint 2019 – (Community development striving for better environment – Ecological Footprint in Japan 2019 – (English title is not official)” co-authored by WWF Japan and Global Foot Print Network was published on  July 26th, 2019. Global environmental issues stem largely from our daily consumer activity. Nonetheless, we fail to relate to and understand it as we often lack a tool to do so. This report articulately shows “ecological footprint” as “a tool to visualize and quantify the impacts that local communities place on the environment” (p.3 -translated from Japanese). FEAST provided the analytical data of the ecological footprint for …