One of our graduate students, Anna Nielsen, will be giving the first talk of the new CJS talk series, “Aspects of Japanese Studies” on February 17, 2021.

[Aspects of Japanese Studies] Archaeology and Landscape in Japan’s Kofun Period: Examining the Past to Protect the Future

Colloquium: Center for Japanese Studies | February 17 | 5-5:30 p.m. |  Online – Zoom Webinar

Speaker:  Anna Nielsen, Graduate Student, Dept. of Anthropology, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Sponsor:  Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)

The Japanese archipelago, with its rugged landscapes of mountains and rivers, is prone to many unexpected catastrophes involving water, including floods, typhoons, and tsunamis. In the Kofun period (about 250-550 CE), early state-level societies developed increasingly complex mechanisms to prevent or mitigate natural disasters that threatened them (Registration required) 

New Interdisciplinary Project: Agroecology, Sustainable Food Production and Landscape Conservation: International Collaborations between Japan and the Americas (2019-2023)

We have just published a new webpage of our Agroecology Project, “Agroecology, Sustainable Food Production, and Landscape Conservation,” which is funded by the Environmental Research Grant of the Sumitomo Foundation through the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) . The project is a logical extension of the 2016 Kyoto Agroecology Declaration, a statement issued after a transdisciplinary workshop on agroecology of May 21-22, 2016, hosted by the Small-Scale Economies Project at RIHN. Check out our project page! Click HERE.

Impressions from New Discoveries in East and Southeast Asia (April 29, 2019)


On April 29, 2019, Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative, Center for Southeast Asia StudiesCenter for Japanese Studies (CJS)Center for Korean Studies (CKS)Center for Chinese Studies (CCS), Dept. of Anthropologyand Archaeological Research Facility, UC Berkeley celebrated the publication of the Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology with the three editors of this volume: Junko Habu, Anthropology, UC Berkeley, and two prominent scholars in the field of Asian Archaeology. Prof. John W. Olsen (University of Arizona) and Peter V. Lape (University of Washington).

Habu spoke about how different theoretical perspectives coming out of Asian archaeology can enrich the globsl study of Archaeology. Olsen spoke about his recent archaeological expeditions in Mongolia and Tibet with a focus on Paleolithic archaeology in these regions. Lape discussed his recent survey of small islands in eastern Indonesia and new information about the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic period. Gyoung-Ah Lee (University of Oregon), a specialist of Chulmun Archaeology in Korea, joined the event as a discussant.

Of special note, Olsen revealed exciting new discoveries on the Tibetan Plateau, including a Denisovan mandible dated to 160,000 years ago, 100,000 years before the first signs of human activity in the area. Clearly, asian archaeology has much to reveal about human origins!